Available On: iOS, Mac, Windows (Steam), Android
Original Release: March 24, 2011 for iPad (now also available on iPhone)
D and D by: Superbrothers, Cabybara Games
In one sentence: Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP is a rule breaker, through and through. And it’s a must play because of it.
As thatgamecompany’s last title, Journey is an accumulation of experience taken, focused, and concentrated into a two hour long dream. It is a game that strives to be more than a game, and as per the intentions of this blog, speaks to the heart of what I believe games can become. As always, this is your spoiler warning.
I’ve spent hours trying to figure out what makes Dark Souls such an engrossing game, trying to find out what new feature utilized by the people of From Software that created a game so difficult, yet so inherently rewarding that its garnered a cult fanbase devoted to subjecting themselves to the murderous rampage of this game playthrough after playthrough after playthrough. Strange thing was, every aspect I explored was met with examples that already existed in other games. Simple controls, flexible battle system, cooperative gameplay, an immersive world to explore, and the incredible difficultly that has become an internet fad with games like Super Meat Boy, I Wanna Be the Guy, and Splosionman.
Ico is a game that could not have existed in the ’90’s, yet much of its gameplay and puzzle solving reminds me of games from that era such as Myst and the Legend of Zelda series. Indeed, it most strongly seemed like a 3rd-person installment of Myst. It is an interesting combination, an experiment that paved a way for more peculiar games and arguably began the whole idea of alternative/hipster video games if Myst didn’t already own that distinction.
From Dust packs a fittingly holistic philosophy into its theme of man versus nature, despite the tribesmen who are sometimes dumber than lemmings. (WARNING: As always, expect spoilers to be exposed at length)
The almost universal opinion on Catherine floating around the net right now is that this is a game that does choice right. It sheds the typical polarity that dominates games that utilize morality. Infamous, Mass Effect, and Fable all fall into the habit of creating a situation where, if you don’t commit to your allegiance right from the start, the bulk of the perks and end game benefits are lost. Forcing you to align yourself with a particular extreme, Hero or Infamous, Paragon or Renegade, right from the start. Doing this causes all dilemma that is essential to a game that is trying to challenge your beliefs to be lost. The choices cease to be choices and simply become a strategy based on your particular play style. Catherine does this differently, and succeeds these other attempts by miles.
Again, SPOILER WARNING, these dissections of the story are uncensored so viewer discretion is advised.
Limbo has been out over a year now so there’s little reason to review it for its entertainment value. Besides, there are plenty of websites that’ll give you a score or grade for you to evaluate if that’s what you’re looking for. Instead, I’m going to try and explore what Limbo seems to say from a creative standpoint. You’ll never see a number or letter judging a game here so if that’s all you’re interested in you best try elsewhere. This is the exploration of gaming as an art form, so if that interests you read on. However, in order to be able to fully explore Limbo, I need to be able to discuss portions of it uncensored. So consider this your spoiler warning.