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Screenshot Saturday Sundays: a grand greenhouse, rad robots, and a shocking smash

Screenshot Saturday! The best day of the Twitter week where I get to become very excited about upcoming games and then immediately have to temper myself because, oh, god, do you know how difficult it is to make video games. If none of these ever come out, or if they are entirely changed from what’s presented here, I will completely understand. We’re also a mere month from E3, which is once again reminding me (as if I ever forgot) about all my deeply complicated feelings about the nature of hype in the industry.

But also! Look at these games! I want to play them! This week: a beautiful hand-drawn greenhouse, some UI design respect, and a destructive rampage gone a little wrong.

A couple of nights ago I was lying awake in the middle of the night and I just felt the most incredible urge to visit my university town. I have no idea why, but this tweet about The Collage Atlas gave me an echo of the same feeling. I again have no idea why (though possibly like Pip the fact that I misread “collage” as “college” had an impact). But anything that can give me nostalgia and longing for a place I’ve never been is good in my book.

I actually found Pip’s article not by doing my usual check on the website, but because I was googling to figure out whether this game is aiming to release on PC or not. So hooray, it is! From the game’s Tumblr page: “The Collage Atlas is an entirely hand-drawn, first-person adventure through a picture book dream world, exploring themes of memory, agency, and hope.” Again, I like to urge caution when talking about games in development for all kinds of reasons but I would be lying if I didn’t say that that description and the fact that Pip seemed to like what she played of it at EGX a couple of years ago is more than enough to have me on board.

“Can a UI be worthy of #screenshotsaturday!?” asks Gwen Frey, the solo developer of Kine.

To which I say, yes, of course, for many reasons. Firstly, because anyone should be able to show off whatever they want. Secondly, because I expect that designing good UI is extremely difficult but this looks excellent to me. And thirdly, because Kine is “a game about machines with dreams” which is my secret activation code phrase for being a nerd who loves robots. According to the game’s Epic Store page, they’re even “quirky yellow” ones! Those are the best kind!

This is another one that’s been at EGX (I’m not doing this on purpose) and this time Alice Bee played itand thought it was rather good. Unfortunately, unlike her, I’m not “good at puzzles where you have to move something around a 3D space,” but I might just have to seek out a vid-o-stream of someone else playing it just to get my sentient robot fix.

You know that relatable feeling when you just want to tear down a pylon but you get tangled up and a bit electrocuted? This friend does.

Test Tube Titans does my alliterative job for me, and is about procedurally generated monsters smashing things up. Lovely. It’s already got a demo where you can play seven missions, wrestle with your friends, and build your own levels, though they cost $6 on itch.io and limited quantities are available.

Here’s a bonus showing the progress of life sim RPG Kynseed over time.

It’s a bonus I like it and I wanted to add it. But also because it’s already out in early access, as Steve Hogarty has detailed. Per his description, it’s nicely if saccharinely evocative of the ol’ English countryside, but doesn’t yet have enough of “the interminable march towards the cold embrace of my own grave.” To explain, borrowing from the game’s Steam page, growing old and passing on your legacy to your children is one of the core concepts of the game that hasn’t been added yet. I think there’s something to be said for an endless summer afternoon of a game where the promise of the end never arrives, but, as demonstrated by the gif, the game’s development chugs along, so I’m sure they’ll be adding death soon enough. Happy Sunday!

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Who am I?

Jay Castello

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Jay writes about video games, falls down endless internet rabbit holes, and takes a lot of pictures of flowers.

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