IF Only: Stories With Texture

Screenshot of the Texture Public Library page

Newcomers to interactive fiction tend to distinguish just a couple of IF formats — Twine and parser, often, depending on whether you’re clicking or typing. Those with a little more experience might also recognize ChoiceScript and inklewriter, as options for creating games with a classic choose-your-own-adventure-style interface and some of the qualities of a gamebook. But in fact there are many other possible interfaces for IF — and the IF community has just seen the release of a new one.

Texture, designed by Jim Munroe and Juhana Leinonen, is an interactive fiction platform intended to be effective across mobile devices as well as the PC screen — unlike parser designs that require fiddly typing. Despite its simplicity, though, Texture gives the reader a little bit more control than the average hypertext piece: to interact, you drag a verb from the bottom of the screen and release it over a hotspot in the text.

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Wot I Think: Okhlos

Myths and legends! Ancient Greek philosophers! Proletariat revolution! The natural ingredients, of course, of a spectacularly stupid game.

Good stupid, not bad stupid. Or at least, deliberate stupid, not accidental stupid. Okhlos [official site] is a big, dumb, like really really dumb, mash-up of a shmup, ARPG and briefly notorious GTA coat-tail-rider State of Emergency, wherein you amass a growing horde of ancient Greek sorts then go lay waste to any and everything in pursuit of liberty from titans, gods and their various hired help.

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Eight Years Later, Owlboy Has Landed

To borrow a line from Graham, there’s a parallel reality where Owlboy [official site] came out before Braid, earned mega-bucks and now Norwegian devs D-Pad are making elaborate and beautiful 3D follow-ups. But now, eight years later, there’s a seething, pixellated mass of neo-retro-platformers and Owlboy is no longer the slam dunk it might have been.

Whatever its fortunes now might be, it’s almost unbelievable that I now actually get to play Owlboy, a game I can remember posting about on RPS back in our earliest months. It is not a disappointment.
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Have You Played… Driver?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Inspired by ’70s car chase movies I haven’t seen, Driver was about going undercover as a getaway driver and tearing down backalleys with a car whose backend seemed to have a mind of its own.

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Motorsport Manager Is About Handling Egos And Cars

Motorsport Manager [official site] is about people as well as their cars. While you can spend time tinkering with the setup of the vehicles to some degree, all of your engineering and design work will come to nothing if your team can’t stand one another, and don’t understand their roles. As a person with little interest in cars wot go fast, I wasn’t sure this would be the game for me, despite my love of sports management, but after sitting down with the developer at Gamescom and spending some time with a preview build at home, I’m hooked.

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Playerkind Divided – How’s Deus Ex Running For You?

SMILING IS NOT APPROPRIATE

Just as night follows day, just as pudding follows main course, just as Westlife follows Boyzone, so too is Steam flooded with negative reviews following the release of a highly-anticipated new game. This time it’s Deus Ex: Mankind Divided [official site], which was released yesterday to a mostly good critical response, but a cooler reception from PC players. Those who pointed their mecha-thumbs downwards are divided between complaints about performance, and being very upset about the inclusion of singleplayer microtransactions.

I did a quick poll of Team RPS to see how well this sucker is running on our many and various systems and, yeah, it seems like it’s not exactly Captain Smooth From Smooth Town.
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No Man’s Sky Guide: Top Hints And Tips For Survival

No Man’s Sky is, at its heart, a game about exploration, and the wondrous yet frightening discovery of just how small you are. Its systems are built to encourage this discovery on every level, from logging new plant species to new planets. Its much-hyped procedurally-generated universe is designed to make you feel overwhelmed, but just like our universe, it obeys its own laws. If you’d like a little help understanding those laws, read on.

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