Live Free, Play Hard: The Week’s Finest Free Indie Games

By Porpentine on December 16th, 2012 at 2:00 pm.

It would appear the goalie can summon an infinite supply of skeletons. Yuri romance. ARE YOU NOT EDUTAINED. Twine mastery.

 

 

Perspective by Widdershins

Outstanding perspective puzzler that plays with 2D/3D in an utterly clever way. A small humanoid has escaped from an arcade cabinet. It can jump on blue materials and dies to orange materials. Your job is to look at things in such a way that it can reach the end of the level and eventually the game, which is well worth seeing.

No pushing crates around, no altering your environment, just the elegance of seeing properly. Nothing has to die, nothing has to change, all we have to do is look.

Playing manshoots lends itself to a destructive gaze. After playing Perspective I started seeing everything in terms of relative surfaces, the blanket on my chest and the desk across the room forming a contiguous platform as I lie in bed.

 

Swap Box Turbo by Nifflas

Swap Box Turbo is a challenging coop platformer where two cubes leap across a scrolling screen, avoiding pits and the fact that the world no longer exists once the screen leaves it. The difficulty is set to how well you respond to your partner.

See, every so often the screen flashes. Each flash swaps your controls with the other player.

Touching your partner kills you. Going outside the world kills you. The only thing that doesn’t kill you is constant frantic motion without touching anything except the sterile matter of the world. In this way it functions as a metaphor for our society in which physical intimacy and stepping outside our narrow worldview is discouragrhghghhghgsrggghhgksshhh

 

 

Footbrawl Quest by immortius

What if Blood Bowl grew up in a world where rules didn’t ruin everything? It would be Footbrawl Quest, fantasy sports tactics that streamlines the idea of zombies and knights playing football to perfection, complete with multiplayer.

Footbrawl Quest makes dungeon running fun in that it isn’t about the fastidious genocide of a dungeon’s ecosystem so much as making smart choices in order to score a single decisive goal. Tactical decision-making, not the whittling down of hitpoints as you purge environments of stuff you don’t like.

Part of what makes violently-get-the-ball-to-a-place sports so interesting is the fatigue, the chipping away, the loss of energy–every sacrifice infused with meaning, with yards gained. Half your team is dead but they bought enough time for Lord Dagobert to rush past that necromancer and score a touchdown, yay.

This is football with heroic last stands. The first time I played I got picked off one by one due to bad positioning (no one told me the goalie could summon an inexhaustible supply of skeletons…). The second time I stayed tight, gave the ball to the runner with the boots of speed, dropped a bomb by the wall near the goal, blew it up, and sprinted through in a spray of bones.

 

 

Maldita Castilla by Locomalito and Gryzor87

Homage to such games as Ghosts n’ Goblins and Rygar, Maldita Castilla is a classic platformer awash with scanlines, medieval horror, and Spanish myth.

Every inch of this game is handcrafted and you remember that craftedness in all the ways it kills you–the erratic barrels thrown by the executioner (one barrel rolls naturally, the other hops up and down), the giant maggots with human faces in the floorboards, the way the ghosts sine wave across the level, the basilisk’s unpredictable death throes.

Unlike its predecessors, you have infinite continues,. However, continuing more than four times costs your immortal soul, which apparently affects the ending you get.

Grotesque and merciless in the best way.

 

Unmanned by Molleindustria and Jim Munroe

We threw up Unmanned because over at figames we’re making our end of year best of lists and a list without Unmanned would be a travesty.

A lot of words have already been said about it so I’ll just say, anyone interested in games and the world we live in should play this.

 

 

Three Body Problem by Robin Burkinshaw

A game of predicting the trajectory of two dangerous objects in response to your movements, aka Three Body Problem.  An almost sensual deep alertness as you incite violence upon yourself like a deer breaking eye contact with wolves.

Avoid the two orange cubes. Touch glowing tiles to get points. Get more points than your friends. Strangle them with your points. Bury them in a grave of points under a grey sky of points with a shovel of points.

 

 

Embric of Wulfhammer’s Castle by Saint Bomber

This is an adorable, grin-inducing lesbian romance RPG with a focus on conversation (a topic people have been discussing quite a lot lately). You play a duchess betrothed to some gung-ho adventurer who isn’t even there to greet you when you arrive at his castle, so you start exploring the grounds and yourself and other people and things change inside and out.

In lieu of combat, Embric of Wulfhammer’s Castle spins an enthusiastic world where everything is worth examining. At minimum you’re getting a playful description, but more often than not you’re hit with flashbacks, blunt trauma, and adventures that explode from an environment clearly poured over by a loving hand.

As the creator, I like to think of it as a sandbox rpg, somewhere between a classic jrpg and a visual novel. Perhaps even a “Sprite Opera.”

Moving the Duchess around gives you a lot of control over how the story progresses, with character  arcs compiling with other character arcs to produce alterations to each others’ stories, culminating in the final story, which will show you the results of your unique play-through.

Making sandboxes where the primary verb isn’t destruction can be hard, because conversation is so much more difficult than destroying everything you see. Saint Bomber has succeeded.

 

HOW TO MATH: EXTREME by Smedis2

Some games throw the whole game at you at once, and that’s called a game. Sometimes a game has a terrible accident and splits into many smaller games. These are called minigames. Without minigames it would be impossible to represent any single human experience in detail, like yelling, math, and violence.

How To Math: Extreme was a highly educational experience and I hope educators seriously pursue the ideas it raises re: trains speeding toward dynamite unless you figure out what’s up with numbers, shooting numbers to death, murdering bicyclists in the most educational order, etc.

 

 

Brooklyn Trash King by Ben Esposito

Brooklyn Trash King is the first Twine adventure to ask important questions like: what would you do to fund your Kickstarter? What kind of stuff is in trash? Do animals use Twitter?

Having emerged covered in fur and meat juice, I feel confident saying there are about three endings. I felt fully immersed in the trash lifestyle and would recommend this to anyone who is interested in trash and/or funny, cool games.

 

Moonlight by Jonas Kyratzes

Interactive fiction that flows like a dream, one that surprises at every turn. Dense with nonsense, Jonas Kyratzes’ nonsense, a nonsense far more personal and meaningful than what we usually think of as nonsense, a sea wide with surreality and deep with feeling.

Moonlight contains Stephen Fry, Oscar Wilde, Alpha Centauri, and eagles, to say the least. To say the most, play it.

, .

139 Comments »

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  1. justinlee21 says:

    Huh, I did not expect an RPG Maker game to appear here, much less a game made with the 2000/2003 versions.

    • Porpentine says:

      Lot of great RPGMaker games in the last few months–Middens, A Very Pink Story, I Am A Tree You Are Not Ha Ha, tons more

      • elevown says:

        Embric is a fantastic game/story – there are many endings and interwoven routes, great characters, humour and writing. It being an rpgmaker game is irrelevant.

    • Premium User Badge

      Arathain says:

      Surely what matters is ‘is it good?’ with ‘how is it made?’ being a distant and academic concern.

    • Kitsuninc says:

      A lot of people prefer RPG Maker 2000 over contemporary versions. I don’t know enough to make a call on what exactly you can do in 2000 you can’t with VX/Ace, but it’s hard to argue with the games that get made in it. Embric of Wulfhammer’s castle is pretty awesome, mainly because it’s the type of game I wish there were more of, and that I have dreamed of creating myself, but never actually attempted because of my dissatisfaction with my own ability to art, but also because it’s a pretty lovely and very fun story.

      • justinlee21 says:

        Actually, the newer RPG Maker (XP and onwards) had a much more powerful engine. You basically had a whole new programming language based on Ruby (RGSS) where you can just script things. So even certain core things in the engine can be changed. In the earlier versions you had only a set choice of functions. You had no programming language to muck around with.

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          Terry Cavanagh says:

          Which is one of the reasons the older versions are preferred by a lot of people, actually! Having a more constrained development environment can sometimes be very creatively liberating, since you don’t have to obsess about all the things you *could* do. (see: twine games, KNP versus MMF, etc)

          • Kitsuninc says:

            Is that the reason? I could have sworn there was a specific reason regarding the way 2000 handles its tiles, that created a perspective a lot of people liked, which is no longer possible (Without heavy scripting, I imagine) in XP/VX/VX:Ace. Perhaps I’m wrong, or it’s just a little easier or more familiar for people, or something.

          • The Random One says:

            It is entirely possible that different people have different reasons for preferring to use different pieces of software.

          • dvzlrnzb says:

            I should like it best if games (books movies songs et cetera) would leave off including glimpses into private bedroomy-type activities of characters altogether, on account of I think it’s not for us to see. It would make games very much better if they weren’t so full of inappropriately nosy cutscene cameras.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JuZTxlM0ek

    • Yglorba says:

      I’ve been playing it. It really is a great game, partially because it overcomes the generic nature of RPGmaker by actually trying new things in terms of storytelling methods — it does a very good job of letting you roam around following whichever plot threads catch your interest while keeping them feeling coherent and decently interconnected. We need to see more games like this.

      (Apparently it took three years to make, which I can believe given the amount of content and the density of the plot — it can’t be easy to have each major plot thread account for so many other variables in terms of what you’ve done so far.)

      Oddly, in some ways the game it reminds me of most is Planescape: Torment. Much more generic setting, of course, but the basic openness combined with the intense focus on its characters is similar.

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        Durkonkell says:

        I finally found some time to play this, and it really is excellent. It reminded me of PS:T a little too, although it reminded me more of the flash RPG minigame bits from Prequel. They share the same characteristics of walking around, looking at things and talking to people. Also, laughing.

        It’s lovely. Thanks, Porpentine. Thorpentine?

  2. cptgone says:

    Unmanned is pretty impressive! Handsome, too.

  3. mollemannen says:

    Unmanned by Molleindustria huh…

  4. Scouter says:

    I… did not like Unmanned. *Hides quickly*

  5. FurryLippedSquid says:

    Maldita Castilla is superb, it perfectly captures the feel of Ghosts n’ Goblins without the sadistic difficulty, thus making it very good fun.

    • aldrenean says:

      “Without the sadistic difficulty”

      Um, did you play past the first few levels? The later levels are probably the hardest gaming I’ve ever done, and I’ve 100%ed Super Meat Boy.

      • Dominic White says:

        It’s still a complete cakewalk compared to the entire G&G series. Seriously, fire up an emulator and just try and beat one without horribly abusing save-states.

        Maldita Castilla is a pleasant walk in the park by comparison

  6. MistyMike says:

    Can’t help but notice how terribly substandard the LFPH feature is. As evidence by the number of comments, barely a tenth of a regular post. You’d think folks would be interested in free indie games, right? It looks like the editor, Porpentine, is not qualified to write about games, but instead likes to push her sexual politics in everybody’s face.

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      PikaBot says:

      …so just how scary are lesbians to you, exactly?

      • Geen says:

        He wets the bed whenever he thinks that there might be more than one woman in a room.
        Mike, there is only one thing I have to say to you: Fuck you you bigot asshat douchewaffle son of a bitch, I hope you get AIDs.

        • MistyMike says:

          I regret to inform you that due to my lifestyle choices the chance of me contracining AIDS is minimal. You on the other hand seem to be in the risk group, so take care :)

          • Premium User Badge

            shafte says:

            you mean your attitude of misanthropic celibacy and thinly-veiled homophobia isn’t getting you the ladies? color me shocked!

          • Guvornator says:

            Hmm, apparently masturbating furiously and then crying into a lonely pillow is lifestyle choice now.

    • Skabooga says:

      In the above post I count 10 game recommendations and 0 sexual politics pushings. You may not like Porpentine’s articles, but that’s hardly a reason to fabricate accusations.

      Porpentine, I enjoy your weekly articles, and hope they continue in perpetuity. I’ve gotten a number of great games through them.

      • Porpentine says:

        if you look at the first letter of every paragraph and string them together it spells D E S T R O Y H E T E R O S E X U A L I T Y A N D T H E S A C R E D I N S T I T U T I O N O F M A R R I A G E

        • Universal Quitter says:

          Ha, at least you have a sense of humor about it. Don’t forget to drink from the skulls of their children, when you’re done.

        • Geen says:

          Well played.

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          Rise / Run says:

          Very well played. Though I was a bit disappointed when I went back and checked and it was untrue!

          That said, that’s the only thing I have yet been disappointed by your column. Well, that and I don’t have sufficient free time to play more games.

    • Premium User Badge

      Durkonkell says:

      Firstly, Flare Path, an excellent column by someone who is most certainly qualified to write about simulation games also has 14 comments. Number of comments isn’t a good metric for the quality of a post.

      Secondly, what? I mean, sure, this has the word ‘lesbian’ in the middle. That… really doesn’t make this post suddenly stop being about free indie games.

      • caddyB says:

        Indeed, just because people don’t say anything doesn’t mean it’s ignored. Heh, speaking of internet, if nobody is saying anything it probably means you’re doing ok, since if people hated it they would be vocal about it, as demonstrated.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Because controversial articles that lots of people disagree with only ever get a handful of comments…. oh, wait, no, that’s wrong!

    • caddyB says:

      Wait, WHAT?

    • Chris Remo says:

      After seeing this comment, I re-read the whole story to find some evidence of a sinister sexual agenda, but I was left just as baffled as I was after first seeing your reply. I don’t know anything about the author and I’ve not read this column before, but having read this edition, I can only conclude your post is the result of lingering insecurity triggered by this author’s past work, satire whose meaning escapes me (perhaps due to said unfamiliarity with author), or somehow managing to associate a reply with a totally unrelated article.

      • caddyB says:

        My thoughts exactly, I think it’s cognitive bias at work here. So it’s my turn to ask if it’s fit to use the comment section to push your agenda of accusing articles of having ulterior motives?

      • Gnome says:

        Porpentine picks brilliant games, makes incredible games and, as Rob put it, is waaaaay more than qualified to write about games.

      • The Random One says:

        It’s pretty hard to find Sinister Sexual Agenda, they haven’t released an album in years.

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      RobF says:

      I fucking love the way Porpentine writes about games. Waaaaaaay more than qualified, man. Waaaaaay more.

    • Low Life says:

      This comment thread has improved the quality of this article by almost 100 %.

      • Shuck says:

        And has infinitely improved upon the comment that started this thread.

      • LionsPhil says:

        I dunno; it’s nice that we don’t really froth up into too much of a pants-on-head rage over it, but we’re still biting a troll.

        • The Random One says:

          Not everyone expressing an unpopular opinion is a troll, dude.

          Judge’s still out on this one, but I’ve seen more Misty Mike posts and he seems like a normal fella. Would’ve never have guessed he’s terrified of lesbians. (Then again, on his best days PC-GAMER-4-LIFE also sounds pretty normal.)

        • MistyMike says:

          Call people with unpopular opinions a troll. The group think is strong in this one.

          • EPICTHEFAIL says:

            The internet, ladies and gentlemen.

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            jrodman says:

            A troll with unpopular opinions is still a troll.

            Hint, it’s how you injected content that didn’t exist, ficticiously, that really nails the status.

      • Kitsuninc says:

        I love the irony that MistyMike implied the number of comments is indicative of the quality of an article, then the number of comments has tripled or more, just in response to his own post.

    • Universal Quitter says:

      Show us on the polygonal model where he touched you, Mike.

    • JonasKyratzes says:

      I’m a secret supporter of the Great Lesbian Conspiracy.

      We are everywhere.

      And we’re coming for your free indie games!

      • The Random One says:

        Noooo! My weird pixelated platformers!

        You got meaning all over it!

    • The Random One says:

      I usually don’t comment on these articles because I’m usually doing other stuff on Sunday and only get around to playing these games along the week, and I’m terrified of expressing a partial opinion on them.

      • Premium User Badge

        Durkonkell says:

        I have various things that Must Be Done on a Sunday evening, which is why I don’t usually find time to play any of these games – at least, not on the actual Sunday. This is why I don’t normally comment here, even though I like these articles and enjoy Porpentine’s word thoughts.

        Also: I love that the act of accusing this article of not having enough comments caused it to have a lot more comments.

    • MistyMike says:

      White knights on the charge!

      C’mon guys, if you look at some past issues you will notice a definite theme of questionable quality games which set out to promote a cerain socio-political outlook. Pair that with the content of Ms. Porpentines personal websites and it seems clear that RPS really like to hang out with the cool San Francisco crowd. To the detriment of actual game coverage, sadly.

      • Premium User Badge

        PikaBot says:

        They like to hang out with the San Francisco crowd…from literally the other side of the planet?

        I repeat: Just how threatening do you find the existence of lesbians?

        • MistyMike says:

          It’s not the lesbians. I just get the general air of ‘Look at me, I’m so kinky! Look at me and my postmodern critical theory!! Look at me, you bourgeois bastards!’ I’m just a little disappointed to see my favourite games’ editors fall for this.

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            PikaBot says:

            What on earth are you talking about? And I can’t help but notice you still haven’t answered the question. They apparently perturb you to some extent.

          • Bhazor says:

            D’awwwwwww, they’re so cute when they try to make actual arguments.

            To be fair I found lesbians quite scary when I was little. Kept hearing about them using bombs and mass deaths connected. It wasn’t until I was older I found out I’d misheard lesbian as lebanon. I seriously wish I was joking. Especially when my sister’s friend came out.

          • sinister agent says:

            Seriously Mike, if you were transferring any harder you’d need a duty free shop.

          • MistyMike says:

            @ sinister agent Transfering? I think the word ‘projecting’ was the one you were looking for. /armachair psychology

          • sinister agent says:

            No it isn’t, and I was in fact mildly annoyed that it isn’t, because that would have allowed me to use the much more pleasing “if you were projecting any harder you’d need subtitles”.

            Projecting would be if you were some kind of straw lesbian activist. Transference would be when you once met one, and now you see her everywhere, regardless of what it is you’re actually looking at.

            Which is what this so very clearly is.

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            Dilapinated says:

            I remain unconvinced that MM has ever actually met a lesbian in the first place.

      • Tagiri says:

        Saying “the cool San Francisco crowd” in place of “those gay people” does not automatically make what you said less homophobic, but thanks for trying!

        • Vinraith says:

          The use of “white knight” is really all you need to notice here. In this context, “white knight” is a phrase used by assholes to try to imply that everyone else is just as bad as they are, because anyone acting like a decent human being must be doing so in anticipation of some reward. In other words, it’s a phrase used by scum to try to make themselves feel better about being scum.

          • MistyMike says:

            ‘onward progressive soldiers marching off to war
            with my trusty keyboard heteronormativity will fall’
            etc.

          • Vinraith says:

            See?

          • Eater Of Cheese says:

            It’s almost as if there’s a conspiracy of scared, paranoid internet McCarthys who jump at the mere shadow of a game that dares to have a story that doesn’t fit with their sick little small-balled videogame hegemony.

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        RobF says:

        Dude, these are actual games getting coverage. Like, real games made by real people using real things.

        If RPS are posting actual real games instead of posting about actual real games, then I’m perfectly OK with that. It seems like a fair swap to me.

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          Jackablade says:

          I… probably agree with your sentiments, but I have no idea what you’re saying.

      • cuppy says:

        FYI, these are free indie games. They’re a wide assortment, from small crude games to polished pieces. Some of them you might not find up to your standards, and that’s okay. They are real games, this is real game coverage. I enjoy Porpentine’s articles, and many others do as well.

        Also, quit with the white knight crap. Some of us here are in fact queer and appreciate when an attempt is made to be inclusive. If you’re not interested, skip the column entirely. And take your homophobic comments with you.

      • Fozzie_bear says:

        Mike – I really don’t understand why you’re so intimidated by the mere mention of lesbians. I’ve keenly followed their work on a number of websites and I have to say they’ve always struck me as friendly, welcoming and broad minded sorts.

      • Tacroy says:

        Yeah! These games are so terrible and push their ridiculous worldviews on unsuspecting gamers! I mean, Three Body Problem isn’t even emblematic of the three body problem!

        How dare they call it that when there aren’t even three gravitating bodies – the player doesn’t move with respect to gravity, it’s merely a fixed attractor! And the two actually gravitating bodies in the game aren’t even mutually gravitating, they are simply attracted to the player! Why, I’m beginning to doubt that the game is even using a real inverse-square attraction law! I would not be surprised at all to see that the exponent is less than two!! In fact, I seem to detect some amount of target leading and perhaps even flocking behavior!!!

        but anyway my high score is up to 13.

    • The white guar says:

      Comments like this are the reason why one should never read RPS without popcorn at hand

    • zeekthegeek says:

      Everyone else is being way too kind. I logged on just to tell you how full of shit you are. Embric of Wulfhammer has been well renowned for a while now and the article doesn’t push jack shit. Your neanderthal insecurities are leaking onto the internet.

      • EPICTHEFAIL says:

        *looks at rest of thread* You are sane. SANITY IS FOR THE WEAK!

    • Totally heterosexual says:

      I know man. Women, huh?

      Come on, leave these feminazis and white knights here. Let’s go fondle each others hairy bums, while reading articles from better (MALE) journalists.

    • cuppy says:

      That’s some pretty serious homophobia going on there. Because the author mentions that the game is a lesbian romance RPG, they are no longer qualified to write about games? You have to be kidding me. I actually really appreciate and enjoy this column, and think that Porpentine is an interesting writer. I’m for one, PLEASED that Porpentine goes out of their way to choose games that are diverse and inclusive to be featured here.

      • MistyMike says:

        Not because the author mentioned lesbian themes, because one look at her online activities makes it clear that we have to do with an attention-seeking hipster who puts out that kind of porn/erotica that would surely make the fans of Fifty Shades blush (or excite them, I don’t know). I am bemused RPS would give this person screen time.

        • Yglorba says:

          All else aside, Embric of Wulfhammer’s Castle (which I assume is what sparked this) is actually a really good game, which I know because I’ve been playing it the past few days. Yes, it has very brief lesbian ero scenes, but those are generally blink-and-you’ll-miss-it things at the ends of some plot arcs; they’re not really important to the game as a whole.

          And it doesn’t just objectify its characters for the titillation of male viewers (something I got nervous about at points, and which is kind of the elephant in the room for a game like this); it does genuinely explore their relationships in interesting ways, and not just sexual ones. Not that I mean to totally let it off the hook in that regard, but there’s a lot of good stuff in it, too.

          I suspect that the reviewer mentioned the fact that it has lesbian relationships in it solely to warn people who might not be into that sort of thing.

        • Thants says:

          So you admit that there’s nothing in this actual article to support your argument.

        • The Random One says:

          “that kind of porn/erotica that would surely make the fans of Fifty Shades blush”

          so, porn that is actually good?

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Eh.. the quality of a blog post isn’t that easily measured. Nor the interest of the hivemind in one. Perhaps ‘amount of links clicked within the blog post’ is possible to measure could give some indication.

      What puzzles me is why you stress the author’s sexuality. In what way do you feel it has affected the author’s choices and/or way to write the blog post? I mean there’s always a personal style and there will always be personal opinions regardless of race, sex, sexual orientation or whatever.

      Feel free to dislike, but be cautious when you’re seeking the cause of such dislike. I personally didn’t see any reason to question the author (other than the sometimes rather overtly optimistic phrasings). I mean, feel free to do so, but it seems wise to be prepared to question your own assumptions as well as the author’s. There doesn’t need to be a greater reason than you just not liking the author’s writing style and/or game choices.

    • Bhazor says:

      That was a fun comment thread.

      • Mrs Columbo says:

        Yeah? Makes me want to never come back here.

        It’s fucking computer games. Games. I guess I’m not a PC gamer after all.

        • Citrus says:

          “It’s fucking computer games. Games. I guess I’m not a PC gamer after all.” – Mrs Columbo

          Thats right. Generalize all PC gamers. Show those homophobes/sexists how much better you are.

          • Tagiri says:

            To be fair, I think she’s actually trying to show how superior she is for not caring, rather than saying all gamers are like MistyMike.

          • The Random One says:

            ah yes, the dangerous & difficult hipster’s gambit

    • brog says:

      Can’t help but notice how terribly substandard this comment is. As evidenced by the number of replies, more than ten times that of the average comment. You’d think folks would be interested in free indie games, right? It looks like the commenter, Mistymike, is not qualified to write about Porp, but instead likes to push zir sexual politics in everyone’s face.

      I piss on your overt heterosexual agenda.

    • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

      As a STRAIGHT MAN I have a RIGHT to posts about AMAZING GAMES filled with COCKS

      Everyone cater to MY NEED to have MY EYES filled with MANLY THINGS

    • Berzee says:

      I should like it best if games (books movies songs et cetera) would leave off including glimpses into private bedroomy-type activities of characters altogether, on account of I think it’s not for us to see. It would make games very much better if they weren’t so full of inappropriately nosy cutscene cameras.

      Leave those people alone, peeping camera.
      (This increasingly explicit smooching of all types is why I stopped playing Bioware games, by the by. I know it’s all optional but…Jade Empire was a veritable minefield of mixed signals. I was always justifiably worried I would click the wrong thing and suddenly see a notification “Badoop! Surprise, you love this person now.”)

      • Kitsuninc says:

        Sorry, but ‘bedroomy-type activities’ happen. They’re something society considers to be very private and personal, but at the same time, it happens, and to just sort of imagine it doesn’t in our media is a quite ignorant way to be. Is there any reason not to have sex happen? Certainly sex can be done wrong, in ways that alienate a gender or just seem weird, but it can also very much contribute to the mood of a story.

        • Berzee says:

          I know you are probably pre-conditioned to expect indignant comments which insist that the existence of sexuality and discussions of it ought to be scrubbed from all our creative works (and perhaps all necessary information be packed into a little pamphlet placed in the glovebox of the bride and groom’s honeymoon vehicle during the reception).

          But if you will take a moment and re-consider, you will see that you have not replied to a scandalized comment of that nature. =) I don’t say that I want characters in games to be, across the board, oblivious to obvious things. I say that I do find it refreshing, and appreciate it, when it so happens that me and the cutscene camera are of the same mind about when to say, “Yeah, I’m just gonna…leave you alone…now…mosey on over here.”

          On the other hand I don’t find myself making a similar objection to peeping into other private moments (of grief, joy, etc.) in characters’ lives. *shrug* That’s as far as I’ve laid the tracks on this particular train of thought, anyway. =P It ends with a hazy sort of thinking that sometimes the best treatment of a thing is to respectfully withdraw your attention (which after all may apply to the various types of moments I mentioned above, too).

          (You might still find all this a quite ignorant way to be, but at least I’ve hopefully cleared up what way exactly I was talking about — insofar as I know what I’m saying myself.)

          P.S. I should also mention, I don’t mean to say anything in this thread about the actual goodness or badness of choices made by characters. I would hate for you to hear me saying “Stories should never be written where people do certain common people-activities” when I am only commenting on the style and manner in which the narration is handled. =)
          (I could surely generate a post about what I think of silly video game characters and their relationship choices, but I think that would be way more nerdy and way more obvious ;)

          • Kitsuninc says:

            Okay, I see what you’re saying ^-^

            I guess I think there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. I do think that showing the personal stuff can be good, but you’re right, if it isn’t an emotional scene that serves some purpose within the plot, you might as well just look away, it does ruin things more often than not for the camera to watch oft-goofy pixel sex. Of course if it’s supposed to be funny…

    • Alec Meer says:

      Sorry for not catching this sooner. The despicable, tinfoil-hat wearing, homophobic moron in question has now been banned.

      • Guvornator says:

        No I haven’t. Oh, wait, you meant him…

      • Premium User Badge

        Llewyn says:

        Out of curiosity, does the process of banning someone somehow remove him from everyone’s blocked list, or have I at some point been so cretinously stupid/drunk/naive as to actually unblock MistyMike’s comments again?

  7. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Someone hid the link to sunday papers :(

    • Universal Quitter says:

      I know. I didn’t spring out of bed at the crack of noon, just to have to wait for “Monday Papers.”

      I guess Sundays are for being too fat and lazy to meet the fans’ every desire, whim, and fancy. I want my money back.

    • abandonhope says:

      Sunday’s are for… what were they for again? Don’t help me, I know this.

  8. Premium User Badge

    RobF says:

    Some incredible stuff this week. Absolutely in love with Three Body Problem, so simple, so good. How To Math Extreme is that and Moonlight provided a cracking surprise ending to a week of fantastic stuff. By being fantastic, natch.

    Marvellous stuff.

  9. Mathute87 says:

    Sunday Papers are part of my Sundays routine :( Not today, though. :(

    • The Random One says:

      Fortunately for me they are part of my Monday routine.

  10. boredofall says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-Y3xHDTTe8 ,
    I just got 3 10$ playstation network working codes for free:>

  11. The Random One says:

    I should point out, since no one else did, that Maldita Castilla means something like “damned castle”.

    • Mathute87 says:

      Actually, Maldita Castilla is not correctly written (which might be on purpose) to mean that. If it were “Maldito Castillo” then it’d be fine.

    • reosarevok says:

      It’s more like Cursed Castile actually ;)

      • Baines says:

        Yes, the same topic came up on Indiegames last month.

        The text on the web site used as proof back then was:
        “Guide Don Ramiro through the cursed lands of Tolomera and expel the evil that entered the Kingdom of Castile. Maldita Castilla (Cursed Castile) is an action arcade game full of myths from Spain and the rest of Europe.”

        • Mathute87 says:

          Then it should be Castilla Maldita… And in spanish, either damned or cursed are both translated as “maldito”.

          • Risingson says:

            My two cents of obviousness: castle is “castillo”, “Castilla” is a region (centuries ago, a kingdom), in spanish you can put the noun and adjective in any order (the usual is noun+adjective, the opposite is used mostly to put an emphatic tone) and nouns and adjectives include gender and number. So, Castilla has a femenine gender, as most, or all, regions. Why? I have to check it out, but must be as “ciudad” (city), “provincia” (province), “región” are femenine. Funny enough it also applies to countries, which are femenine except when they are named after masculine nouns (Estados Unidos – United States, Reino Unido – United Kingdom). Two cents off. EDIT: then some countries popped up in my mind that are very, very masculine: Irak, Morocco, Iran… The rule I try to apply is thinking if the country fits mroe with “maldito” or “maldita” before. Rant off, I’m thinking about this too much.

          • Mathute87 says:

            Yeah, Castilla is a place, but I mean that if it’s a cursed place, it should be called Castilla Maldita. Why? Because when you say Maldita Castilla you’re basically saying “Damned Castila”. We use the same translation for both words, but when we are angry or whatever we say it as in “damn it”, and when we’re talking about an ancient… curse or something, we say it as in “curse”. I don’t know if I’m explaining it correctly, but grammar lessons aside, I can assure you that what I’m saying is right.

          • Baines says:

            This came up in the Indiegames post as well, and the result was pretty much as Risingson said. Either order is grammatically correct, with the difference being a matter of emphasis.

            If you want to argue the point further, you should probably argue it with the game’s creator.

  12. catherinecatherine says:

    If you think Edna`s story is unimaginable,, last pay-cheque my boy frends dad basically got a cheque for $5933 sitting there twenty hours a week in their apartment and there neighbor’s aunt`s neighbour did this for seven months and made over $5933 part-time at there computer. applie the guide here tips15.us

    • Fozzie_bear says:

      Meh

      I don’t get out of bed for less than $5934. And for that reason. I’m out.

    • EPICTHEFAIL says:

      Anyone up for giving this the grammar nazi treatment? Personally I`m too tired to bother.

  13. The Random One says:

    WOW! Footbrawl is a lot better than I thought it would be. It just might be one of the finest roguelikes I’ve played in recent memory. What marvelous game design! Almost every item effect affects your strategy meaningfully! And the enemies can pick up items!

    Step aside, XCOM. You can come back when the aliens bring an almond-shaped spheroid.

  14. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    Man. I know some things about math, but HOW TO MATH: EXTREME managed to teach even me something new. Also, I killed Hitler which is always a nice thing to do on a Sunday evening.

  15. aldrenean says:

    Am I missing something crucial in Footbrawl? Am I supposed to only have 4 knights versus 10+ undead as well as infinite skeletons?

  16. DerNebel says:

    I would post a long post describing how MistyMike is acting like a narrowminded douchebag what doesn’t want other people to have opinions, but I’d rather be happy.

    Thank you for the excellent column! These games really spice up my weekends. Still haven’t played Anamnesia properly though (I’m sorry).

  17. Premium User Badge

    Dilapinated says:

    Wow. Embric of Wulfhammer’s Castle just shot into my top games of the year list. Now it’s jostling awkwardly with Hotline Miami for the top spot.

    DON’T MAKE ME CHOOSE.

    Wait, no one is? I can have both? Yay!

  18. Cryptoshrimp says:

    Okay, so I want to like Embric. I get that it’s free, and I’m thankful for that.

    But. The installer is a mess, there is no resize option, there is constant screen flashing and I can not get it into windowed mode. I want to like it. The well bit was hilarious. Sadly, I couldn’t see half of it because my screen kept going black.

    What a shame.

  19. leafdot says:

    I might be a bad person. I say this up front. And I like IF. Played Zork in my youth, even wrote an Inform game. But Twine… Twine games, even the well written ones, so far do very little for me, either as literature or as game. I think Moonlight has come closest – there’s some really fun prose there – but. It all just feels like elaborate CYOA, which has its place, to be sure, but something about them leaves me cold.

    I’m not sure why. Something about how it appears to lack moving parts makes it not game-y enough for me, and the lack of determinism (inherit in most novels) makes it not properly literary?

    • JonasKyratzes says:

      It might just be a matter of taste. Maybe they’d work for you in a different environment. Maybe they’d work outside a browser, of if you were listening to the right music. Maybe they just don’t work for you; it happens.

      About the “determinism”, though – correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m reading this as a kind of problem with a lack of authorial intent, or perhaps a feeling that the narrative doesn’t cohere properly. If so, I think you’re wrong – Twine games especially (more than regular IF) are all about structure, and a big part of the Twine writer’s job is to make sure that the game works structurally.

      More than that, the ability to create stories with these structures is the main reason to make a Twine game in the first place. I needed to Moonlight to be structured like this:
      http://www.jonas-kyratzes.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Structure.jpg
      No other form of storytelling really gives me that option.

      Primarily, though, I guess it may simply come down to personal preference. And that’s OK.

      • leafdot says:

        Those’re all good points, and the graphic representation of your story is certainly intriguing. Maybe I’ll give Twine more of a shot…

  20. cloudnein says:

    Still playing Red Rogue since last week’s article. Damnit! ;)