Posts Tagged ‘feature’

Chris Delay on the dotty world of Scanner Sombre

Scanner Sombre [official site] is Introversion’s curious LIDAR-inspired exploration game. It caught my eye last year at Rezzed because it had such an unusual art style – the only thing close to it is A Light In Chorus and that does very different things with the specks of colour which make up its environments. In Scanner Sombre you use a scanning gun to reveal the world around you and to navigate its secrets.

A spectrum of colour helps you parse the terrain with bluer areas being far away and reds indicating what’s nearest. Yellows and greens mark out the middle ground. It’s an atmospheric game although it cleaves to a narrative I wasn’t particularly interested in. That said, it managed to get under my skin to the point where I quit out forever about halfway through because I was TOO SCARED. But the art style is the thing which drew me in and which continues to absolutely fascinate me. Chris Delay, one of the studio’s directors, was on hand to talk more so we delved into particle systems, maps and the secret mouse button function: Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Factorio?

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

I admit it, I turned into a tiny pathetic babyman when one of m’esteemed colleagues suggested I should look at Factorio, a survival-management game about keeping yourself alive on a hostile world by setting up elaborate production lines. B-b-b-but look at all those conveyor belts! Those incomprehensible mazes of construction! Only rocket scientists, brain surgeons and people who know how toilets work could possibly be able to make sense of this thing.

It was maybe half an hour before I understood everything. Read the rest of this entry »

Premature Evaluation: ECHOPLEX

Every week we expose Brendan to the radioactive chemicals of the early access laboratory. This time, the time-bending puzzles of ECHOPLEX [official site].

I am stuck. There are 15 short levels currently available in ECHOPLEX, a first-person puzzler along the lines of Portal and Antichamber, and I am stuck on level 11. It is a toughie. The thing is, I’m not sure if the game is working as intended. Bugs are part of the early access merry-go-round, for sure, but if they show up in the strict logic of a puzzle game they can be boldly destructive. But there’s a bigger problem than that: I don’t know if what I’m seeing is a bug, or if it is simply part of the puzzle that hasn’t been explained. Read the rest of this entry »

Red Faction: Guerilla’s destructible scenery makes it still worth playing today

Two hostages. One building. Five government guards with reinforcements waiting in the wings. In most games, I’d try to sneak in with a silenced rifle, methodically popping enemies in the head one-by-one. But in Red Faction: Guerrilla, I don’t even have a gun in my inventory, let alone a silenced one. What I have instead are explosives. Lots of explosives.

I rig five charges at random points on the outside of the building, retreat to a safe distance, and squeeze the detonator. Glass shatters and debris flies off at all angles, a steel girder whizzing past my left ear as concrete and metal crumble down on top of the EDF soldiers, crushing them alive. But, predictably, the hostages are caught in the chaos. One is buried in the rubble, the other limping out with her health in the red.

The game tries to make me feel bad, alerting me that ‘morale’ in the local area has fallen to account for the dead guerrilla fighter. But I really don’t care. Because blowing up buildings is fun – and Red Faction: Guerrilla makes it more fun than any other game out there. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Everything

I am a spruce beetle. I call to two other spruce beetles nearby and now I am all of them. I tell them to dance and they begin to skitter of their own volition, making concentric circles and infinity signs and all manner of patterns. Each time a circle fills at the top of the screen – the only visible UI element – I press A in order to spawn another spruce beetle which joins in the dance. I do this for seventeen minutes, until there is a thrumming mass of spruce beetles. Eventually I’ve had enough and so I become a snowball.

This is what Everything [official site] is about.

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Phoenix Point is now crowdfunding: we spoke to Julian Gollop about standing out in a post-XCOM world

The original X-COM (UFO: Enemy Unknown), Julian Gollop tells me, “succeeded in spite of itself”. I asked him how he felt about the game now, twenty three years after its initial release, and particularly about the way it’s often placed on a pedestal. He didn’t expect it to be a success and certainly didn’t think he’d be making a game heavily based on its legacy almost a quarter of a century later.

Yet here we are. The crowdfunding campaign for Phoenix Point [official site], a sci-fi horror strategy game about an alien onslaught, has just begun. Gollop is back where many people feel he belongs, and this time round he seems extremely confident in his game’s design.

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The Pipwick Papers

WELL. Let’s just dive into this collection of articles outside games! The writing of this is being soundtracked by the sparrow gang outside my window, some of whom are chilling in the bushes while a nesting pair bring all manner of vegetation to the nest box and chatter as they work. Also a song Alice linked me to earlier but the title of that would make this post NSFW, so. Read the rest of this entry »