Podcast: The Electronic Wireless Show talks Tacoma, The Shrouded Isle and comfort games

"Tacoma" is an ancient Native American word, meaning "videogame"

You look tired, traveller. Come in, sit by the fire and listen to the RPS podcast with us, the Electronic Wireless Show. It’s about comfort gaming this week – the things we play when we feel down in the dumps or ill with the flu or just a little cold and tired. Here, drink it all up with your ears, like a nourishing audio broth. Delicious. Adam likes to relax in his cabin in The Long Dark, Pip finds safety in the world of Zelda, while Brendan soothes his sick self with a bit of Final Fantasy IX.

But we’re not done here. Space-walking simulator Tacoma also came out this week and both Pip and Brendan have things to say about it. But so does Karla Zimonja, one of the game’s creators at Fullbright, who takes part in a round of Quickfire Questions. On top of all that, Adam has been putting ignorant cultists in charge of school lessons in The Shrouded Isle, and we also look at what our listeners consider their own go-to comfort games.

You can listen above, or go straight to Soundcloud where you can download it for later.

You can also get the RSS feed here or find it on iTunes, Stitcher or Pocket Casts. Comforting music is by Jack de Quidt.

Want to write in with questions for a future episode? Now you can, to podcast@rockpapershotgun.com.


The Long Dark is survival at its brutal best

The Long Dark weather watching

Have you played… Final Fantasy IX?

Tacoma review

Gone Home review

Bonbon on Itch.io

Brian Butterfield’s Bonbonbonbons

Conduct sacrificial duties in the Shrouded Isle


  1. causticnl says:

    if you get Tacoma on Gog you get Event[o} free with it.

    • Aristotlol says:

      That’s great, because while a bit rocky, Event[0] is more innovative than Tacoma, to my mind. The new thing Tacoma brings to the table is basically just needless world detail that, to be fully appreciated, requires indescribable drudgery.

      In removing or drastically downplaying the “gamey” aspects of videogames, walking sims focus more on narrative or interactivity as such. They bring us to consider things of less immediate, practical relevance – like how many resources we have, or in which direction to twitch – and instead to contemplate things of more abstract, “psycho-philosophical” significance. It’s a genre that’s particularly worthwhile for what it does for the medium. And while well-written and well-acted, Tacoma doesn’t really push any boundaries whatsoever.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I could see Ocarina of Time as both vaguely horror and comfort. The ruined future world is pretty horrible, and the redeads are spooky to kids at least.

    Just like Subnautica. The Safe Shallows are pleasant and sunlit and lovely, with few predators and lots of happy little peepers and whatnots. The depths (or kelp forests, or bloodkelp forests, or just about anything other than the Safe Shallows) are full of monsters and teeth and violence that you never really get the chance to strike back on.

    For me, comfort game… Animal Crossing? Stardew Valley? That kind of thing, I would say.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Grizzly says:

    For me, the best game for getting in the zone probably would just be S.T.A.L.K.E.R. – Call of Chernobyl (pun not intended). I’ve harped on about it a bit before, but it’s a mod for Call of Pripyat (although it’s installed into it’s own folder) that gives you the zone to walk and shoot and loot your way around in, and it’s great for sampling podcasts. In a very similar vein, the Signal From Tölva is also a neat walking simulator with plenty of mechanics to keep you busy, with half a mind on the world and half a mind on processing the information provided by… podcasts!

    I do find racing games that are played with a pad to be quite relaxing too. There’s something about the modern NFS Most Wanted (and mabye Burnout Paradise which I should try out one day) or something like FUEL that is great becuase although there’s a lot of going fast and racing, they are also about big worlds and it’s races are short and easy to control, unlike the far more demanding simulator games like Assetto Corsa.

    Anything with a not-always-hostile open world that involves travelling a lot, in short.

  4. Rizlar says:

    Can we just get a full episode of Zimonja and Caldwell talking absolute nonsense please?

  5. Premium User Badge

    magnificent octopus says:

    For a good “in-the-zone” game, I usually like music games. Audiosurf was quite good, and I currently use Melody’s Escape, which is a nice kind of Audiosurf/guitar hero hybrid. Fast platforms, like Mirror’s Edge at its best and Rayman Legends are also good. I do consider these sorts of game distinct from comfort games, which I play when I need to relax. My comfort games are also my netflix games, and Banished is probably the biggest, with Thea: the awakening played on easy mode and CKII up there as well. I’ve also played Thomas was Alone several times because I find the story very comforting, for reasons I have never been able to explain.