Why Silent Hill mattered

Leigh Alexander

On the end of a great, mad era for video games Read the rest

This 1-bit 'peasant simulator' is the new game by the creator of Threes

Laura Hudson

In its opening screen, Royals describes itself as an "optimistic peasant simulator." This turns out to be a rather grim tagline, given how unlikely it is that your character will ever make it past age 30. Read the rest

Lo-Fi Let's Play: Life & Death

Leigh Alexander

As a child, I dreamed of becoming a surgeon, thanks to 1988's Life & Death -- before Surgeon Simulator or Trauma Center, this awkward, deathly-serious medical game gave me the idea that I should volunteer to practice appendectomies on the other third-graders. Read the rest

In this elegant ritual horror, giant hornets are everywhere

Leigh Alexander

I love Twine games that are able to create a strong sense of place. Despite being text-only, a beautiful typeface and atmospheric, well-selected words go beyond 'choosing your own adventure', to navigating vivid interconnected chambers. Kitty Horrorshow's strange, oddly-lovely Hornets is vivid, all right. Read the rest

Play a brilliant, romantic Thelma & Louise-style space tale

Leigh Alexander

You're space cowgirl Enora Bey, and you and your alien lady love Quanee have a ship full of stolen cows. Cows are worth a fortune on Truxton, but it'll be tough to make it. Listen to lonesome radio, pick up a little mind-altering substance on the way, deal with ex-girlfriends and telepathic border guards in […] Read the rest

Play games like Oregon Trail or SimCity inside your own tweets

Laura Hudson

Thousands of classic games from Prince of Persia to Wolfenstein 3D are available for free on the Internet Archive, and now you can embed and play them directly inside of individual tweets. Read the rest

Whoa, it's Zelda: A Link To The Past's world map, in living detail

Leigh Alexander

"Friendly tag-based Javascript animators" JADSDS have made a gigantic HMTL5 map of the overworld from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, also known as the best Zelda. Though it takes a while to load, it's well worth it. You can see the massive kingdom and all its tiny lurking enemies, characters, palaces […] Read the rest

Play it now: Melter

Leigh Alexander

The works of Mason Lindroth have a distinctive look and texture—clay-like blobs and gradients, cranked through a 1990s Macintosh computer screen. The play-doh colors, visual flecks and alien sounds of his latest work, Melter, will take you straight back to the days of Liquid Television on MTV. Read the rest

The sea is pretty dangerous for baby jellyfish

Leigh Alexander

I might have a Thing about games featuring the frequent deaths of cute marine life, but here is another one: Jelly Reef, a game about guiding baby jellyfish by creating swirling currents in the sea with your fingertips. It's soothing, until you realize all kinds of things will kill your jellies. Read the rest

The brain-tingling world of ASMR collides with science fiction

Laura Hudson

An inexplicably-soothing audiovisual phenomenon is making fascinating inroads toward interactivity, futurism and VR Read the rest

What if Photoshop were a shooting game?

Laura Hudson

You can do a lot of things in Photoshop, but rarely do you use its tools to defeat flaming skulls in an alternate dimension. Read the rest

Watch: The Saudi prince who's challenging video game stereotypes

Leigh Alexander

If the video above is blocked, you can view it here. Commercial video games often show Middle Eastern people as the villains -- if they can tell the difference between different countries and languages at all. Prince Fahad Al Saud is aiming to help change that. Read the rest

Print out this witch fashion game and play it with your friends

Leigh Alexander

Tragic magic! Executive realness! Here's a new game for 3-6 players, about drawing fashions for witches, that you can print out and play with your friends. All you really need is some tokens, a tip cup and a timer—and all those markers and art supplies you wish you played with more often. Read the rest

5 games with weapons you'd never expect

Laura Hudson

A week or two ago, I took part in my first Ludum Dare—Latin for "to give a game"—a recurring event that picks a theme and asks participants to make a game around it within 48 hours. Read the rest

How video game makers helped Alaska Natives tell a story

Leigh Alexander

Launched late last year, Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna), an atmospheric puzzler about a young Inupiaq girl and her arctic fox friend, has been warmly received. Many players have also enjoyed the story of how the team collaborated with the Cook Inlet Tribal Council on behalf of the Alaska Native people to share some aspects of […] Read the rest

Can a game show us what would happen under far-right rule?

Leigh Alexander

In a nifty series of articles, my friend Dan Griliopoulos has been modeling the United Kingdom's major political parties' stances in the simulation game Democracy 3. The latest piece tackles creepy far-righters UKIP, and the model isn't so favorable: Read the rest

Play in the beautiful, terrible natural world

Leigh Alexander

Part art, part science, Nadezda Suvorova's playful works celebrate the weird beauty of our reality Read the rest

A chance to give back to a quirky, legendary game developer

Leigh Alexander

I always say I feel as if I was raised by the adventure game creators of the 1980s: Wry, cryptic guys and gals who built impossible caves, surreal worlds and kingly empires for me to play in. They feel like family I've never met. Today, let me tell you a little bit about Michael Berlyn. Read the rest

What if text games were more like Saul Bass sequences?

Leigh Alexander

Jake Elliott, who made Kentucky Route Zero along with Tamas Kemenczy and Ben Babbitt, is passionate about the role of text in games -- and he believes typographical choices can make a surprising impact on player experiences. Read the rest

'I make games, and now I don't need to hide anymore'

Leigh Alexander

Nina Freeman wants you to play what it felt like to be her as a little girl, even for a moment Read the rest

One woman's hilarious game about the UK's weird porn laws

Leigh Alexander

Designer Holly Gramazio makes games you play in person, at events and installations: non-digital works that use physical spaces. But thanks to a very special set of rules—namely, the long list of sex acts suddenly banned in the United Kingdom—Gramazio was drawn to make a hilarious digital game for the first time. Imagine two or […] Read the rest

A comic that reimagines Zelda with an awesome little girl as the hero

Laura Hudson

What if the green-capped adventurer of the Zelda games was a little girl who lived in a mysterious floating city? Read the rest

A roleplaying game about ghosts, in just 150 words

Leigh Alexander

I never loved pen and paper games like Dungeons & Dragons as a kid. That kind of play felt like it took everything I liked about fantasy and pretend—being a character, drama and romance, surprises!—and turned it into a spreadsheet that chased friends away. But there are all kinds of ways to roleplay today, and […] Read the rest

Cheers, sorry, it's the very British end of the world

Leigh Alexander

Apocalyptic landscapes are beloved to video games, lonesome, evocative worlds that ask players to make much of little—to scour the earth in search of survival, resources and heroism. Something about failed civilization enchants players who might be longing for an escape from the often-ruthless order of life. Read the rest

Subversive games about waitresses and hairdressers

Laura Hudson

I spent my 20s in the service industry, overworked and underpaid. Why, now, do these games help me relax? Read the rest

This game is like a fortune cookie that makes you wrestle your friends

Laura Hudson

Want to know your destiny? Then get ready to physically fight with your closest pals. Read the rest

I can't stop collecting cats in this Japanese smartphone game

Laura Hudson

Sometimes I can't tell how much of my affection for cats is genuine and how much is the toxoplasmosis talking, but in the end it doesn't matter: I love their silly faces. That's probably why I've fallen for Nekoatsume, an adorable Japanese smartphone game whose name translates as "collecting cats." Read the rest

Try performing in atmospheric Norse slam poetry competition

Leigh Alexander

MadameBerry has made us a neat toy: EDDA, An atmospheric slam poetry battle based on a collection of Old Norse poetry. Alongside warm firelight in a great hall, you choose how to complete phrases in response to your challenger, with the aim of besting four different types of poets. Read the rest

Play it now: The Penanggalan

Leigh Alexander

Games made in Puzzlescript have a uniquely-nostalgic feel, beyond the usual endeavor toward 'pixel art'. The Penanggalan resembles a little old Atari game, starring a "floating head and entrails time-traveling vampire." Read the rest

The disturbing world of bootleg Disney's Frozen games

Leigh Alexander

Maybe you've heard of Elsa Frozen Brain Surgery -- you know, the game where you open the popular Disney princess' skull and extract fashion items from her glittering brain morass for her to wear later. "Once you’re sure she needs a brain surgery, start shaving her gorgeous blonde hair and prepare her for the long […] Read the rest

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