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Screenshot Saturday Sundays: Art school, antiques, and the rental store at the end of time

Screenshot Saturday Sundays! It’s another scorcher, readers, so I hope you’re all sunscreen’d up and well-hydrated for another hike through the weekend’s best work-in-progress screenshots, videos, and gifs. This week: wake up for a road trip, perplexed alien bosses, puzzling mash-ups and a supernatural scrub.

Coming-of-age RPG ShelfLife is starting us off this week with some strong early-morning vibes.

The “2D sprites on 3D backgrounds” look is pretty damn popular on the #screenshotsaturday tag, but ShelfLife (official site) has nailed the lo-fi look down to a pixel – breathing warmth and life into a style that can often feel somewhat flat. New in town down in Cruston, New Zealand, Fnife Games’ adventure follows nonbinary art student Johannah as they reckon with the drama, anxieties and friendships that come with adjusting a new home.

Sure, there may be hints at glitched out dreams, but who’s got time for supernatural shenanigans when your dumb jock roommate doesn’t appreciate your fridge word art? Outrageous.

Sticking to small-town throwbacks – when was the last time you even saw a video rental store, nevermind took a job at one?

It’s the year 8000, and Blockbuster has somehow made one last comeback on a suburban asteroid at the edge of the galaxy. VideoHole (official site) is an episodic first-person adventure where Earth’s legacy been all but forgotten – with the notable exception of Horses and VHS tapes. It also looks sharp as hell, with an absolute commitment to surreal shapes, simple palettes and colossal horse ghosts looking over a CRT horizon. VideoHole: Episode 1 is set to launch on Steam and Itch.io sometime next month.

If you’re looking for a job right now, however, try heading on over to Hauntiques. They’re always looking for a new cleaner.

There’s a wonderful painted look to Yori Kvitchko’s boutique curiosities-slash-exorcism shop. Like ShelfLife, there’s a consistency to the way Hauntiques straddles the line between 2D and 3D – hand-drawn rooms that feel extruded, somehow, from a flat painting, with lovingly animated spectres emerging from simple 3D antiques. These are friendly ghosts, mind, and will hang about the store after being evicted from their knackered old home. Hauntiques is free to pick up and play over on Itch.

Sending us off this week is a curious, particularly pink amalgamation of Chess and Tetris. Chesstris, maybe?

It’s an experiment for now, mind. But with developer Jonny Hopkins citing last month’s utterly absurd 5D Chess With Multiverse Time Travel, I have to imagine this is only step one in what must be an attempt to fold every game into the atemporal, non-euclidean chess nightmare. Tetris was first, but we’ll all be chess in the end.

Or the beginning. Or the present. Time travel does my head in.

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Natalie Clayton

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Writes news when everyone else is asleep, sometimes

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