Many of us had siblings growing up that would watch us play video games, shouting out things they noticed that we might have missed, or ideas on how to kill a particular boss. They might not have been playing, but they were involved. Scram Kitty and his Buddy on Rails – the upcoming Wii U exclusive from the creators of Floating Cloud God Saves the Pilgrims – seeks to rekindle that feeling with gameplay that just wouldn’t be possible on any other system. Continue reading
Over my years writing about video games, I’ve become burnt out on the big AAA games. “Oh boy, another shooter.” “Look at all the gray.” “Are there any new ideas left or just more sequels that are guaranteed to sell somehow?” Turns out that there ARE new ideas, and those ideas are in games made by small 1-10 person development teams doing this because they still love it. How creative can you be when you’re making the latest Madden? Indies are where the big ideas are born. If that’s not cool enough, the people that made the game are standing right there next to it 8/10 times at these conventions. You can get the full picture of what actually goes into a game besides thousands upon thousands of lines of coding. There’s also a ton of love and enthusiasm. It’s almost enough to inspire one to make games themselves…
*Ahem* Well now, let’s take a look at the little guys with big ideas over at E3’s IndieCade section.
E3 2013 is over! But don’t worry, I still have lots of stuff to tell you about from the final day. Sorry I passed out at like 10 p.m. then had to travel. It was a long week.
Day 3 was all about finding those last few games that I missed, and – even then – there are still so many now that are as much of a mystery to me as they are to you, my precious readers. The Division, The Order 1886, Knack, Project Spark, Titanfall, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, every racing game… there were a lot of cool looking things that I just didn’t have time for. But let’s talk about what I did, shall we? Continue reading
Day two was longer than the first by two hours, and I have no idea how that is decided. The biggest news of today was probably the better swag. This was most likely a result of an increased number of booth tours and appointments which, due to the fact that I didn’t know I’d even be attending E3 before last week, I made yesterday. Let’s see what happened today, shall we? Continue reading
I have decided that the best way to do my one-man E3 coverage is a huge list of games I played each day with a short impression of each. I’ll do bigger pieces on the ones I found particularly interesting/important and maybe even some you ask for in the comments. It’s like a reality show or something! Anyway. It’s 10:00 p.m. and I’m already sleepy so let’s do this. Continue reading
Bit.Trip Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien is waaaaayyyy too long of a name. Adding to that is the fact that it’s both “Runner2” (no space) and “Runner 2” (with a space) even on the official website, and, well… good luck finding it on the PSN Store.
HOWEVER. None of that matters in the end. The game is incredible, and addictive, and the perfect mix of challenging and frustrating. It’s worth every penny of the $15 asking price, even if it does have a few flaws that don’t become apparent until after you’ve sunk a dozen hours into it over the course of two hopelessly fun and sleepless nights. Continue reading
Little Inferno is this weird little puzzle game from the makers of World of Goo. Honestly, I had never heard of it before I saw it sitting there in the Wii U digital store, looking all interesting and different and only $10. It was the video embedded above that sold me on it. Dark humor? Old timey-time jingles? Kids burning all their childhood memories? That sounded exactly like the kind of thing I needed to break in my brand-new Wii U (thanks, Santa!). And boy, am I glad I did. Little Inferno is terrific. Continue reading
You’ve probably heard of the Humble Bundle – a bunch of indie developers sell their games together in a complete package for a pay-what-you-want price, letting you split your cost however you want between the developers, the Humble Bundle operators, and charity. The games themselves are DRM-free, compatible with Windows, Mac, or Linux, and – almost without exception – a mix of high- and low-profile games from independent developers that you might not have ever had the chance to try otherwise. Yesterday, that changed. Continue reading
Think back to the NES days. Or even think about now. Do you still have an original NES? No, not the top loader, you fancy rich jerk. That old gray box shaped like how people thought the future would look like back in the 80s. How many times would you have to blow into the cartridge to get it to boot up? Remember when it just kinda turned on, but it was all glitched out? Did you try to play it anyway? Add bass drops to that and throw it into a browser and you’ve got yourself Skrillex Quest. What the crap?
Skrillex is known as “the Prince of Dubstep,” a genre of music that, for all intents and purposes, is already dead, less than two years after it burst onto the scene all across the world, burning far too brightly to even outlast a single elephant’s gestation period. But now he has a game. It’s kind of like The Legend of Zelda, or maybe 3D Dot Game Heroes. There are hidden collectibles and secrets to discover all over this world that happens to be constantly on the verge of glitching out, taking you and everything you’re trying to save with it. And it’s all because a little hair got in the cart.
The art style is very reminiscent of Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, but on acid. The gameplay is simple: just move and slash. It’s a little graphic-intensive for my 5-year-old Dell laptop on wi-fi (there is always SO MUCH going on!), but all the slowdown kind of added to the intensity of the glitch battles. There’s a lot of glitching.
I dunno, I guess I don’t really have a lot of exciting things to actually say about this game; I just reeeeeally wanted to make you aware of its existence. Mostly because it’s so weird. It’s important to play some weird games in your life. It’s short, and the gameplay is simple, but there’s a replay value here that’ll keep you coming back again and again. My first playthrough, I got a whopping 15% final score. And I’m pretty sure that’s only because I know the Konami code. There’s so much I haven’t seen in the world yet.
On second thought: you might not like Skrillex Quest if you hate dubstep. Every sound effect in this game is dubstep, every backing track in this game is dubstep, and every glitched out world feels like you’re in a dubstep. The beats match up with the action in meaningful ways, putting those old movies you watch while playing your favorite Yes album to shame. There might even be a Skrillx in the game, doin’ Skrillex stuff like smoking and cooking. But you knew what this was.
It’s Skrillex Quest – the best game to ever feature Skrillex. Also probably the last game. Good job staying relevant, dubstep.
You remember the edutainment games from when you were growing up in the 90s; Number Munchers, Mario Is Missing, and Treasure Mountain were staples of my youth, back when every school computer lab had Apple IIs, or – if you were lucky – iMacs. Frog Fractions starts off like one of those games. You move around the bottom of the screen, protecting your fruits from being eaten by bugs with your long tongue a la Missile Command. For every bug you eat, you are awarded points in fractions instead of full integers. That’s when things get weird.
That’s when Frog Fractions becomes one of the most interesting, self-aware video games I’ve ever played. Continue reading