Review: “Astro’s Playroom”

Astro’s Playroom is a game filled with so many Easter eggs that the few moments where players actually do anything mechanically interesting are themselves actually the Easter eggs. Or maybe it’s an exceedingly literary tech demo, one that gets so lost in its own details–the microscopic detail of the X/O walls in the CPU PlazaContinue reading “Review: “Astro’s Playroom””

Review: “Super Meat Boy Forever”

An evolution of the autorunner, this creative, colorful, challenging game expands upon Super Meat Boy as much as that incarnation did upon the original. If you want to, or at least until you smash all the controllers in your house, Super Meat Boy Forever can indeed be your forever game. Each time you start aContinue reading “Review: “Super Meat Boy Forever””

Missed Opportunities: “Immortals Fenyx Rising”

The games covered in “Missed Opportunities” are already good. What follows is why and how this one should’ve been better. Every game developer–especially the triple-A ones–should take a cue from Jurassic Park‘s Dr. Ian Malcolm. Ubisoft, in particular, already knows it can make these big, ambitious open-world games, so instead of being preoccupied with that,Continue reading “Missed Opportunities: “Immortals Fenyx Rising””

Discourse: The Idealism of Game Reviews from the Outside

Over at Defector, Albert Burneko writes harshly against those reviewers who agreed to CD Projekt Red’s embargo in exchange for early access to Cyberpunk 2077, wondering how we might ever trust those “clown” critics who had “abandoned any claim to adversarial journalism, as well as any utility they may have had to their readers.” ThisContinue reading “Discourse: The Idealism of Game Reviews from the Outside”

Review: “Shakes on a Plane”

The airline concept helps Shakes on a Plane get off the ground but can’t keep it aloft. At the start of the cooperative Shakes on a Plane, a quartet of aliens hoping to win the Galactic Cuisine Prize look to inspiration from Earth chefs. This plot gives Huu Games a lot of latitude (and longitude)Continue reading “Review: “Shakes on a Plane””

Imagining a Free-to-Play FFXIV: Eorzea Without Commitment

Final Fantasy XIV is not a free-to-play game. Beyond the cost of the base game itself, which is currently $19.99, there’s also a recurring subscription fee of at least $12.99 a month. Unless, of course, you take advantage of the game’s exceedingly generous free trial, in which case you get access to that entire baseContinue reading “Imagining a Free-to-Play FFXIV: Eorzea Without Commitment”

First Drafts: “Mobius”

Game jams and indie sites are filled with novel concepts that could sometimes use a bit more fleshing out. This off-and-on feature aims to highlight great concepts that we hope we haven’t seen the last of. I’m beyond delighted to learn that Adam Pype (@adampi) is working on Shovel Knight Dig, but I really hopeContinue reading “First Drafts: “Mobius””

No Refunds: “Greedfall”

Seen it before, done it before, irritated again. Honestly, the constraints of this “No Refunds” column isn’t ideal for discussing a lengthy RPG; the first two hours of most are often bogged down by all the expositive world-building and tutorials, and reading through a skill tree doesn’t properly convey how the game will actually playContinue reading “No Refunds: “Greedfall””

Discourse: Leveling Up Empathy

The big stories this week surrounded the toxicity of the community responding to one critics report of epileptic triggers in Cyberpunk 2077 that resulted in a grand mal seizure and the choice to publish a well-intentioned but somewhat tone-deaf piece about how to handle exploitative mechanics in Genshin Impact. What the two have in commonContinue reading “Discourse: Leveling Up Empathy”