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Alice Bell

17 hours ago

Feature: Who wants to live forever?

Ritual Of The Moon diary: day 20

Today is a day late because I was a) busy yesterday and b) the playthrough ended up being a pretty good cliffhanger for the weekend. It seems that the extremely long timeline over which I've ended up playing this may have interrupted the natural flow of the game. Here, after over a month (but which should have been three weeks), we see that Marty Burnham…

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2 days ago

Feature: Season of the witch

The Noita devs on how to make a fun game when everything is falling

Noita is a very giffable game. The official Twitter account for developer Nolla Games has a lot of cool gifs. Explosions. Acid. Ice. Rats. Noita is that game where every pixel in the word is animated. You can explode, burn, melt everything you see, as a little witchy character exploring a procedurally generated dungeon. I was sitting around a laptop on the floor with the…

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Feature: Marty says relax

Ritual Of The Moon diary: day 19

Look, I'm very busy again today. I'm back from being on holiday and nothing is finished, and I have to stay late tonight for unrelated reasons anyway. I don't understand those people who are like, "Oh I made a lemon drizzle cake when I got home, because I had a spare hour." HOW? And, when you have a spare hour, how do you stop yourself…

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3 days ago

Feature: Rolling on the floor weeping

Ritual Of The Moon diary: day 18

Alright, yesterday was depressing and made some of you sad (buddy, if you think reproductive healthcare bums you out, imagine how some of the rest of us feel!). But today I'm actually feeling pretty good today, which is out of sorts with Marty Burnham The Moon Witch, who is feeling trapped by hope. That probably needs a whole several hundred words of analysis by itself.…

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4 days ago

Feature: Oh no, a very serious one

Ritual Of The Moon diary: day 17

The siren call of the moon returns, and so do I (from my holidays). Surprisingly, despite being absent for 10 days, my moon calendar in the game still only pegs me at day 17. Perhaps the point of a daily ritual is that it sort of doesn’t happen unless you do it. In any case, because of recent geo-political events, a trip to Ireland, a…

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2 weeks ago

Feature: O' both your houses!

A Plague Tale: Innocence review

I am famously not a fan of children in video games, because I think they mostly dead-eyed haunted dolls that are used as cheap, empty receptacles for player empathy. I don’t even like Clementine in The Walking Dead. Yes, I am a monster, etc. I tell you this so you understand how cute Hugo in A Plague Tale: Innocence must be for me to love…

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Feature: Goodbye for a bit

Ritual Of The Moon diary: day 15

There was no diary yesterday, but today is in fact yesterday's diary. If that makes sense. Because today I am going on holiday and I am leaving my computer behind. No diaries for a week. I hope Marty Burnham The Moon Witch will be okay. I hope the earth will be okay. Without context that sounds extremely conceited, doesn't it?

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Feature: Mum's the word

Ritual Of The Moon diary: day 14

Yeah I miscounted the days, so today is actually day 14, but only one meteor hit the earth? I think? Honestly I'm not sure any more. Yesterday I went to get some pasta from the shop on my way home and they'd run out which made me really sad. Then I was properly passive-aggressive but also sort of just aggressive actually to my housemate, because…

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3 weeks ago

Feature: Gotta lotta letters

Letters – A Written Adventure shapes the world with words and I liked playing it a lot

Letters - A Written Adventure is, say the developers, "a heart warming coming of age story about finding the right words." It's part puzzle game, part adventure game, part platformer, but all words. I got to play an early demo of it, and talk to the devs, and it made me think about the joy of writing a letter -- of physically putting pen to…

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Feature: It's gone bad

Ritual Of The Moon diary: day 12 apparently

After last week I left Marty Burnham alone for the whole bank holiday weekend. I wanted the world to explode and didn't give a heck about it. Today I find I have once again been given a surprising reprieve; despite not playing for three whole days I have only missed one in-game. But I didn't want or ask for this one. I wanted to abdicate…

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Feature: Virginia? I hardly know her!

Have You Played… Virginia?

I've never been one for Twin Peaks, I'm afraid, and I know Virginia gets compared to that a lot. It's a small town with a cast of small town people. Weird stuff is happening. You're an FBI agent. You drink coffee in the diner. You get it. And none of that is really what I like about Virginia.

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Feature: The true heights of Olympus

I love you, giant women of the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey DLC

I have mentioned before how much I love the big buff mercenary gal of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Kassandra. She is a holy terror and can crush anyone who steps to her, like a toddler squeezing play dough in their fist until it all squishes out the sides between their fingers. Kassandra stands a full head taller than most regular citizens of Greece, because she is…

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Feature: Factor 50 thick

Close To The Sun review

Here is a story. Daedalus was a brilliant inventor, and designed the maze that kept the bloodthirsty Minotaur captive, but he and his son Icarus were themselves both kept as prisoners of King Minos on Crete, so that nobody would learn the secret of the Minotaur's labyrinth. Eventually, Daedalus built wings from feathers and wax, so that he and Icarus could fly to freedom, but…

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Feature: "They don't control how I feel"

Ritual Of The Moon diary: day nine

Marty The Moon Witch's thoughts today feel like, once again, Large Emotional States for me. Today she seems to be accepting her exile, or at least muttering to herself over and over again that she totally doesn't mind being alone. Her ritual mantra, "They don't control how I feel" sounds a bit like she's trying to convince herself again.

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4 weeks ago

Feature: On solitude

Ritual Of The Moon diary: day eight

On day eight we start the weekly ritual by clearing the former ritual objects, beginning again with the first of a new set. This time I start with a sprig of plant in a bottle. It makes a bright tinkling noise when Marty Burnham The Moon Witch picks it up. Marty seems tired again today, which means we're back in sync, because I am knackered.…

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Feature: We're heading in the direction of periods again, I'm afraid

Ritual Of The Moon diary: day back at work

Sorry for not posting yesterday. I promise I played! I have transferred Marty Burnham the Moon Witch back to my work PC, but there's been another small time skip, so Marty was forced to live through day seven again and, even worse, let the meteor hit earth on day six. I am inadvertently exposing Marty Burnham to a lot of existential complications. At least two…

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Feature: Can I offer you a nice egg in this trying time?

Ritual Of The Moon diary: day seven

Today's Ritual Of The Moon opened with what I believe we millennials call a big mood. "Why shouldn't I let them die? They don't care about me." Sometimes I idly like to imagine we can look at our parents generation as Rorschach in Watchmen looked unto, well, everyone. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth as they realise they've ruined everything and they need…

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