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Breaking the rules does not create new ones (or: UNDERTALE)

UNDERTALE playthrough dog doesn't know about art

A personal favourite moment, out of many funny moments, in UNDERTALE

UNDERTALE. Well that’s everybody’s favourite game at the moment, isn’t it? (If you don’t want to read about the game’s ‘secret’s LEAVE NOW.)

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Football Manager: What it Taught Me About Life

TSG Hoffenheim's head coach Rangnick reacts during their German Bundesliga first division soccer match against Bayern Munich in Sinsheim

For all the pretensions I could contrive about gaming, I come back to a plain fact: games are regularly a form of fantasy-living  for me.

I write about games, think about games, and play a variety to both enjoy myself and fortify that writing and thinking. But when I think of the hours I’ve spent actually just playing games, most of them have been spent on sports simulation. Not even that, but something narrower: football simulation. And not even that: formerly Pro Evolution Soccer, latterly the FIFA series; and perhaps with the greatest level of immersion, the Championship Manager (or Football Manager) series.
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I Have Played: Brothers

Brothers 2014-01-12 16-28-33-55

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a game that I had been vaguely aware of throughout 2013, but simply hadn’t given any thought to. I think there was something about the promotional art work that put me off, I don’t know. I managed to ignore it right up until the end of the year, where it appeared on almost everone’s ‘best of 2013′ lists, saw it in a sale and flopped it right onto my hard drive. I was a fool for ignoring it for so long. Here’s why… Warning: there will be spoilers.
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Becoming What You Fear the Most: The Vicious Cycle Within League of Legends

you fear the most

To me League of Legends represents a paradox of conflicting emotions that lie at extreme ends of the gaming experience.

On the one hand, it is an incredibly good video game. Some of my finest mouse-clicking memories have been created in it. It’s addictive, satisfying even when you’re losing and there’s always more to learn. Despite the fact that every game involves fiddling with an everlasting procession of guys that bundle down one of three lanes to their demise, it manages extraordinary depth. Continue reading …

I Have Played: BioShock Infinite

Bioshock Columbia

Jake played BioShock Infinite and has now sat down to write most of the things that he could think to say about it. This isn’t a review. There will be spoilers in this article.
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I Have Played: Little Inferno

burn us

What exactly is Little Inferno? Is it a fourth-wall-breaking analysis of modern throwaway consumerism, set against the all too familiar backdrop of a tempestuous environmental mutation? Perhaps it’s an existential commentary, an experiment laboured with the task of projecting the developer’s qualms regarding a detached and insular society onto an increasingly distant audience? Maybe it’s an attempt by Tomorrow Corporation to redefine meta-gaming as we know it into something tangential, something more self-aware, cynical and utterly satirical.

It’s certainly about burning things.
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Kentucky Route Zero: A Game, A Play, A Poem

equus oils

Kentucky Route Zero, an unsettling point-and-click-plus-text-adventure starts with a wide shot, Edward Hopper style, of an old American gas station complete with a man-sitting-watching-world-go-by gatekeeper. It’s an unmistakably American scene, and a strangely constructed-feeling one. But we’ll come back to that…

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