Wot I Think – Human: Fall Flat

It’s hard not to compare Human: Fall Flat with Ubisoft’s Grow Home and Boneloaf’s Gang Beasts, because Human: Fall Flat [official site] tumbles in the exact same physics-powered footsteps. In Grow Home you control a little robot called BUD, unsteady on his feet, using physics to solve puzzles and climb a giant plant. In Gang Beasts you control little blobby creatures, unsteady on their feet, using physics to have multiplayer fights. In Human: Fall Flat you control a little blobby creature called Bob, unsteady on his feet, using physics to solve puzzles and progress through its rooms. However, rather importantly, HFF makes a strong effort to do something appropriately different with the same ideas. Here’s wot I think.

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Wot I Think: Kentucky Route Zero Act IV

I don’t think I could name a more beautiful game. I don’t use ‘beauty’ in the straightforward sense of Kentucky Route Zero [official site]’s appearance, although its bold geometric shapes and flat-wash colour absolutely qualifies, as does its wonderful architecture – Americana infused with magic realism. There is the soundtrack and the sounds too, ambience and steel guitar and the lonely sound of engines – gentle sonic beauty, but again that is on the surface.

In fact there is beauty woven through the core of KRZ: its love of images, its love of words, its love of the American landscape, and perhaps most of all in its preoccupation with the warmer side of the human mind. Whether that be conviviality and the coming together of sympathetic souls, or pulling solace from solitude and from the road. This has been a theme, of sorts, throughout KRZ’s first three acts, but the fourth arguably pushes it more to the fore, consciously slowing down and allowing its expanding cast to idle, to find themselves in idyllic rather than unsettling locales. This could be a good life, if they wanted it.

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The Bleeding Edges: The Black Watchmen

The Bleeding Edges are a series of articles on games that blur reality and fiction.

There was once a wonderful thing on the internet: The Stone. It was when we were all tiny babies (1997), and Wikipedia was still a twinkle in Jimmy Wales’s twinkly eye. You got access to it by buying a physical object, a small stone pendant, and with the code imprinted upon it delved into a creepy online world of conspiracy and truth. The game was ostensibly a puzzle game, but you played it via search engines, and even real life actual research. It was wonderful while it lived, and slightly clumsily lives on here. I constantly seek something else like it. The Black Watchmen [official site] – a tangential spin-off from The Secret World – while delivered more in the style of the more recent ARGs, certainly picks up some of its themes.

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Wot I Think: I Am Setsuna

I Am Setsuna is an attempt by Square Enix and Tokyo RPG Factory to recapture the glory days of the JRPG. From the mournful piano overlaying the title screen to the world map where your character stands tall like a rampaging kaiju next to a diorama village, it aims to intoxicate you with nuclear-grade nostalgia – but does it live up to their legacy or is it just a pale, snowy imitation?

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Wot I Think – Aurion: Legacy Of The Kori-Odan

Like most of you (be honest), I know almost nothing about Cameroon. I also know precious little about communing with ancestral spirits, launching fireballs, or punching dudes in the face. How fortunate, then, that Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan exists.

Released in April this year following a successful Kickstarter by Kiro’o Games, Aurion is many things. It’s a fusion of a side-scrolling beat’em up with a JRPG. It’s the first release by a small games studio in central Africa. It’s a long, winding, and philosophical story inspired by several cultures and genres and forms of media. But what ultimately matters is that it’s pretty damn fun.

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Impressions: Song Of The Deep

Insomniac Games, presently most famous for their Ratchet & Clank games on PlayStation, have released – with minimal fanfare – a 2D underwater Metroidvania on Steam called Song Of The Deep [official site]. So, someone played Aquaria and Ori & The Blind Forest. Here are my thoughts:

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