Puzzle Games, Short Take  Comments Off on Inside
Jul 112016

Status: Completed, including secret ending Most Intriguing Idea: Controlling characters is creepy Best Design Decision: The workers throwing the boy. Worst Design Decision: A main character without any clear desires or internality. Summary: Inside is, I think, a lesser work than Playdead’s first game Limbo. Both games feature a child protagonist with limited powers who has to traverse a hostile world rendered as a two-dimensional space, and both do a very good job of cultivating a particular atmosphere. Limbo creates a world of constant, unexpected threat. Inside, for the most part, makes its dangers more obvious, instead developing a sense [Read more…]

Feb 222016

Status: Completed, all secrets found Most Intriguing Idea: Yarny’s principal handicap is also a key to its mobility Best Design Decision: The versatile knotting mechanic. Worst Design Decision: That field with the birds oh my god Summary: Ever since one of its designers showed up to E3 with a little yarn doll much of the gaming world has been awaiting Yarny, although some writers fervently wished for the little character Yarny to burn in hell. I occasionally shared the sentiment as I was playing. One problem I often had was being unable to tell that an object on the screen [Read more…]

Feb 172016
One Hand Clapping

A curious feature of games that seem to be the least bit intelligent is that they inspire people to believe that one True Meaning™ can be found in them. It’s a little bizarre. Games, like any work of art, tend not to be about One Thing; that’s not how creation works. Any work of art contains multitudes, not only because the creators have more than one idea in their heads but also because the interpreters are of wildly divergent backgrounds. Regardless, the temptation remains, especially when one auteur is primarily (and often erroneously) identified with the work. This approach has [Read more…]

Mushroom 11

 Puzzle Games, Short Take  Comments Off on Mushroom 11
Nov 092015

Status: I got to this part in chapter 7 with a wheel and I just wasn’t interested in continuing. Most Intriguing Idea: A totally new kind of puzzle-platformer. Best Design Decision: The novel motion of the slime mold. Worst Design Decision: The incredible slog of chapter 7. Summary: I loved Mushroom 11. Then I liked it. Then I tolerated it. Then I hated it, and that’s pretty much where I stopped. I loved it at the start because it has a fresh and original gameplay idea. Instead of controlling a little dude, as you generally do in platformers, you have [Read more…]