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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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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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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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I Have Played: Gateways

It seems like just yesterday that Alfred Lam’s puzzler LogiGun lunged into the world, flaunting its cerebral bravado and taunting players with punishing, but rewarding, challenges. And now a contestant for the difficulty-crown approaches, found in the seemingly harmless two-dimensional puzzle-platformer Gateways, created by Smudged Cat Games of The Adventures of Shuggy fame. The emphasis being heavily upon ‘seemingly’. Continue reading …

I Have Played: Dark Scavenger

Many of the best things in life derive from unexpected combinations. The peanut butter and jam sandwich, for example, is humanity’s single most glorious achievement, and yet a mathematical quandary: the sum is greater than its parts. Psydra Games’ adventure-RPG Dark Scavenger is born of a similar (if less hyperbolic) phenomenon. It sequences DNA from Phantasy Star and Zork, adds a dash of Discworld: The Trouble With Dragons, and feels like it might have been lovingly raised by Armando Iannucci’s comedic imagination — an analogy that’s bereft of Dark Scavenger’s triumphs and near-misses, but full of its spirit. Continue reading …