Posts Tagged ‘Michael Brough’

Torrenting Handbags: 868-HACK Is Out

These shapes have meaning

Back in 1873, it was the norm of the day for ‘magazines’ to publish ‘reviews’ of games weeks before said games went on sale. Now that humanity can’t hold anything in its memory for more than fourteen seconds, reviews tend to hit the insta-second a game goes on sale. Pretty silly of me to publish a Wot I Think of Michael Brough’s amazing/terrifying cyberpunkish rogueliteish 868-HACK over a week before its release then, eh? Let’s correct that right now: 868-HACK is now on sale, here’s my WIT if you missed it, and below is a very funny live-action trailer spoofing the ill-judged anti-piracy ads which once blighted Blighty’s DVDs.
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Wot I Think: 868-HACK

868-HACK is sort-of-cyberpunk sort-of-roguelite, in which you play the avatar of a hacker trying to break into a system riddled with glitches, daemons and viruses. It falls somewhere between Pac-Man and Uplink. Well-received on iOS in 2013, it’s due out on PC very soon.

I’m several years too late to the party here (it is too late to visit Dwarf Fortress?) but increasingly I’m drawn towards games that decline to tell me much about how they work. So much more pleasure comes from discovery – oh, so that’s what that thing’s for – than simply following an objective and getting an action or cutscene pay-off. There’s this cold war right now between proponents of formalist games and leftfield games (for lack of a better term), but I think this is a conflict of equal import: games that must be learned versus games that will reward you regardless.

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Editorial: When Is It OK To Spoil A Mechanic?

Now and again, a game comes around whose experience is so vulnerable to spoiling, that it seems merely whispering a single detail could annihilate sales. Reviewers and enthusiasts who would ordinarily wax lyrical about a beloved game find themselves in the awkward position of trying to recommend the game without, uh, mentioning what it’s about. You’ve probably heard of Alexander Martin’s Starseed Pilgrim, right? Or maybe you haven’t, considering we’re not supposed to talk about it. Shhhhh.

But what if something exists beyond those spoilers, something else that we should talk about?

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IGF Factor 2014: Michael Brough’s 868-HACK and Corrypt

Next in our series of firesideless chats with the developers of PC games nominated for an award at this year’s Independent Games Festival, it’s Michael ‘Smestorp’ Brough talking about his signature, haunting ‘glitch’ style, why he will continue to resist convention, his mixed feelings about the nomination and which of his two nominated games, Corrypt and 868-HACK, he’s most interested in.
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Step By Terrified Step: Post-Future Vagabond

I do like it when a developer has a house style. Sorta-shmup, sorta roguelike death’n’dodging frenzy Post-Future Vagabond is immediately recognisable as the work of Michael ‘Smestorp’ Brough, in appearance, audio and even mechanics. If you’ve played his excellent 868-HACK on iOS – a PC version is due soon-ish, which is great news – you’ll probably figure out what’s required of you from this new, free game a little more quickly than if you went in blind. It’s a game in which every move you make matters, it’s a game about staying one step ahead of abstract, snarling monsters who relentlessly hunt you, and it’s a game about shouting SHIT BALLS DAMMIT at your monitor because you went left instead of up and now everything’s gone to hell.
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Michael Brough Is Corrypting Us All

Michael “Brog’ Brough, the cleverbrain behind Glitch Tanks and Vertex Dispenser, has gone and made a free puzzle game for you and me, on Mac or PC. It’s called Corrypt, and it’s got one of those simple game mechanics that grows up through the levels to produce brain-curdling complexity as you go on. Nor is it simply about puzzling – there’s a map to explore, and creatures to encounter and help out with their woes. As is typical with Brog’s work, it is lo-fi and beautifully conceived.

And even there’s even Some Noise. (Which made me laugh out loud.) Go play it.

Download And Play Vertex Dispenser Demo

Currently I’m writing something about how much I like Vertex Dispenser (as well as offering a couple of criticisms). But I’ve just realised that it will be much easier for people to join in and/or ask questions in the comments that follow if they’ve played the demo. The demo is on Steam. The game is a fairly complex action puzzler that you will probably enjoy. The download is tiny. Play it.