Author Archive

Steam Charts: In MemoVRium Edition

With Steam’s big VR Spring Sale on, obviously the charts are a bit full of… ha ha ha, no of course not. No one wants VR. Same old same old. Read the rest of this entry »

Pivross is a 3D picross game that still needs some work

Pivross is a 3D picross game, which is – and someone will correct me if I’m wrong – the first of its type on PC. That is what piqued my interest. It is, unfortunately, not nearly as good as it needs to be. But then again, the first fifth is free, so you can find out for yourself without risk.
Read the rest of this entry »

Marie’s Room is a free and splendid little exploration game

Exploring an old room, putting memories together, trying to piece together a narrative – it’s a theme we’ve seen a few times of late, and it’s one that has to be handled carefully and meticulously. So it’s rather a pleasure to report that’s exactly the case for the entirely free Marie’s Room, a short exploration game set primarily in a single bedroom. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam Charts: Oh What’s The Point Edition

Why God, whyyyyyyyyyyyy?

Join us for our weekly skip through the bountiful fields of fresh gaming joy! Hold our hand as we guide you down the top ten selling games on Steam, to discover which heart-lifting original content has caught the attention of the enthused gaming public! Someone please help me! Read the rest of this entry »

Far Cry 5 has the worst endings in all of gaming history

Far Cry 5 has a bad story in the same way that the bubonic plague has a bad bacterium. It is, by a considerable stretch, the most abysmally written narrative in AAA gaming. Not just in how it so idiotically interrupts you in the middle of other scripted missions to force you to play through hideously badly written enforced semi-playable cutscenes, but in every word uttered by every character from start to finish. And wow, does it reach its subterranean nadir when it comes to the finish. It is time to drape yourself in spoiler warnings and embrace the volcano of awful that is Far Cry 5’s ending. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam Charts: We Can Rebuild Edition

As the Steam Charts slowly attempt to reassemble themselves after last week’s complete collapse under the weight of Far Cry 5, think of this week’s compilation as the moment the thought-destroyed terrifying monster is halfway through its grotesque reforming. Witness as its undulating viscera twists through recongealing flesh, a bleak but ghoulish moan emanating from deep within its darkest soul. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Minit

Minit is that most rare of joyful things: A really good idea, done really well.

In Minit you play a little bird-like pixel character who lives in a black and white pixel world, and is cursed with only ever living for a single minute. And yet despite this limitation, it presents a little RPG. HOW?! you ask, in your belligerent way. Hush, I shall tell you. Read the rest of this entry »

Far Cry 5’s interrupting story ruins everything

I have very much enjoyed the Far Cry series, most often despite itself. Far Cries 3, 4 and Primal (why is everyone forgetting poor old Primal?) have all occupied me for countless hours, provided enormous amounts of entertainment in their kleptomania-inducing maps, and always done so despite everything it thinks is so compelling about itself. Far Cry’s self-belief in its own abysmal stories is always so grossly apparent, like a strutting buffoon bursting into the bar and looking around, confused, when every man, woman and animal doesn’t immediately throw themselves at his feet. So then he starts loudly demanding people throw themselves at his feet. And when they don’t, runs around putting his feet as near to people as he can and declares to the room that this counts. Oh Far Cry.

Unfortunately, this time out things have gotten a lot worse. Far Cry 5 – to run with the previous analogy – barges up to you, grabs you by the collar, and throws you down onto the ground by its shoes, screaming “MY FEET! WORSHIP MY BLOODY FEET!” Which is to say, engaging with its godawful cutscenes has become less optional. Far Cry 5 has the most egregiously bad imposition of its story. Read the rest of this entry »

Steam Charts: The Great Collapse Edition

Right, well, I’ve had a month off writing this it seems, so it’s time to check that Brendan and Alice have been looking after the Steam Charts properly. Obviously it requires regular watering, and perhaps most importantly, weeding, to prevent things getting out of contr… ALICE AND BRENDAN! COME HERE IMMEDIATELY!

Read the rest of this entry »

Lamplight City promises a detective story where you can screw up everything

After the delights of sci-fi adventure Shardlight we were always going to be interested in what Francisco Gonzalez did next. Now having played a small section of his follow-up, Lamplight City, I can confirm such anticipation is well merited. This is a steampunk detective adventure where messing everything up is an entirely legitimate way to play.

Read the rest of this entry »

Unavowed aims to be an adventure that borrows the best of RPG narrative

It really doesn’t feel like it, but it’s been five years since Dave Gilbert released one of his splendid point-and-click adventure games, and twelve years since he worked on a brand new story, following his series of Blackwell games. Unavowed is that brand new story, due out later this year, and it’s ambitious in ways I wasn’t expecting: it’s a very traditional-looking adventure, that belies a depth of narrative RPG ideas.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ghost Of A Tale is a stealthy RPG with bright whiskers

Ghost Of A Tale is out of early access, letting you squeak your way past an army of rats, in a rodent stealth-cum-RPG. Is it the big cheese, or lost in the rat race? And considering these incredibly obvious puns, why on Earth isn’t it called “Ghost Of A Tail”? Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Picrastination

I get quite a few picross/nonogram puzzle games sent my way of late, which is really quite a splendid state of affairs. One of the best puzzle types in existence, there have been few truly great versions, starting with Mario Picross on GameBoy, then Picross E on 3DS, and most recently Pictopix on PC. There are also an awful lot of duds, and out of kindness I quietly pass on most of them I see. Picrastination is a good, solid picross game that falls in the space between. Read the rest of this entry »

Super Seducer is a blancmange of ineptitude and misogyny

Super Seducer is a game made by self-described “pick-up artist” (PUA) Richard La Ruina, aimed at teaching straight men so-called seduction techniques for attracting women. The result is a farcical and disastrous laughing stock of a game. But PUAs aren’t a funny joke, rather they’re a frightening reality of a deeply misogynistic culture that in its less PR-friendly moments has frequently advocated sexual assault against women.

Super Seducer is clearly intended to be part of the PR exercise, an attempt to portray PUAs as just guys looking for ways to convince girls to like them, albeit through techniques that are primarily focused around lying and manipulation. It’s an attempt to put a friendly mask on an ugly face. What’s so peculiar about it is that it’s not only bad at its attempts to do this, but it’s cringingly bad at everything. Read the rest of this entry »

Trump’s White House video games meeting has a very concerning list of invitees

The list of invitees to US president Donald Trump’s White House video games meeting today has been released. And it’s a sorry sight, including names from notorious right-wing censorship advocacy groups, and not a single qualified expert on the topic. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Chuchel

Chuchel is a tour de force of animation, every scene so vibrant and hilarious, colourful and manic, the slightest tweaks in character facial expressions eliciting guffaws. Every new scene is a glorious delight just to look at, before you even start playing with it. And then, as you click on every element on the screen, delightful, silly and gorgeous things happen. This is a game where I find myself trying to work out what is the correct solution to any given puzzle, just so I can avoid clicking on it before I’ve clicked on everything else. I exhaust every repeated joke until it loops, don’t mind when they do, and call people in from other rooms to see the funniest moments. Chuchel is, beyond belief, wonderful.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Ion Maiden

Ion Maiden Preview Campaign is, without question, brilliant. A mad-speed Build engine project that feels like it was made by present-day time travellers who went back to 1996 to make a game. It’s stupid and crass and loud and gory and everything else you could hope for. And this is just the two-mission mini campaign while they finish the full game.

Read the rest of this entry »

Steam Charts: The Someday Papers Edition

Some Monday mornings, as I plonk myself down at my desk at 6.50am and load the RSS feed for the Steam Charts, I think to myself: you know what? There are so many other things I’d like to write about today. Anyway, here are the top ten games on Steam from the last week.

Read the rest of this entry »

#SamBarlow’s #Wargames #goeslive #March14th

Sam Barlow, once lead designer on the Silent Hill series, has now made his name exploring the lines between film and gaming with 2015’s Her Story. While we’re still waiting for that games’ spiritual sequel, Telling Lies, he’s just announced the release date for #WarGames, an interactive six-part programme where the viewer controls the video feeds, which will, apparently, influence your experience of the series as it goes on. Read the rest of this entry »