Indie games roundup!
The best from the independent dev scene
In this Critical Distance digest, I'm bringing you three little collections of pieces published in the past week about some of the latest hit indie games. We'll be exploring action movie pacing, the awkwardness of interactivity, and how to make the familiar feel terrifying.
The release of Superhot has many reviewers drawing comparisons with action movies, not simply because of its violent content which directly draws on hit films, but because of the way that pacing and the gaze are used.
Superhot review | Eurogamer.net
Christian Donlan considers dramatic tension and Superhot
"Turns out there is a killer trick to creating hyper-violent entertainment: do the slow stuff fast, and the fast stuff slow."
‘Superhot’ Is the Shooter Game for People Who Hate Shooter Games | VICE | United Kingdom
Ed Smith explains why Superhot appeals to a different play style than other shooters
SUPERHOT Review Impressions | ZAM
Kitty Horrorshow's latest release Anatomy is inspiring thrilling discussions of the meaning and experience of a house.
Uninterpretative | Short on Games: January/February 2016
How Anatomy sees the house as a body
"The theory of houses espoused in Anatomy is of the house as body. The tapes tell the story of living room as heart, bathroom as digestive tract, bedroom as mind, and basement as subconscious."
ANATOMY Review Impressions | ZAM
Claris Cyarron looks at Anatomy from her perspective as an architect and game designer (full disclosure: Claris and I have a close professional and personal relationship).
Interesting discussions about Firewatch have continued apace weeks after its initial launch, with some critics starting to push beyond the "walking sim" label to look at how actions centered around technology provide tactility, as well as how some interactive elements undermine it.
How Firewatch hearkens back to relationships on the early internet | Gamasutra (Content warning: spoilers)
Kat Cross describes the interpersonal intimacy of Firewatch through the terms of another medium.
"Cibele takes on the online dimension of this phenomenon forthrightly, but Firewatch abstracts it away from even the mediating force of the Internet, instead exploring all the other ways we can have ineffable but meaningful contact with human life."
Firewatch Debrief | Experience Points: EXP Podcast #366:
How Firewatch uses the physicality and immediacy of videogames for storytelling
Bad Hands in Firewatch | Pippin Barr
Pippin Barr offers an amusing critique that seems to have been missed in most writing on it so far (note, I'm sure the problem raised is a technical issue that will be patched in future, but I like this narrativist reading of its effect on the experience.)
If that hasn't sated your thirst for great discussions on games, check out the Critical Distance website to find the full-length roundup, our podcast on neglected games which you should not miss, and more.
Unreal Tournament was the multiplayer 3D shooter that stole Quake’s candy, and now it’s been demade to run on a toaster. Gone is the expansive virtual enrivonment and motion sickness; still in play is the cyberpunk corporate-sponsored deathmatch vibe and merciless sense of chaos and speed. UT2600 provides fast paced arcade action for a minimum […]
Commodore made the world’s most successful 8-bit personal computer, the C64, and its most iconic 16-bit one, the Commodore Amiga. But the latter was a weird, complicated, two-faced beast, dooming a badly-managed company to a dead end of its own making. What if it had instead made a simple but powerful monster machine more like […]
The Obscuritory offers in-depth reviews of games “unplayed and unknown,” lost to the rapid technological changes of the 80s and 90s and the countless mutually-incompatible platforms that came and went as the years rolled by. My favorite pick, though, is Knights of the Crystallion, the wonderfully weird and impenetrable magnum opus of legendary game designer […]
The human eye is a powerful thing, but it’s not so great at seeing in the dark or around tight spaces, which is partially why most of us struggle with unplugging drains, cleaning under the fridge, and other hard-to-reach jobs. This 1080p HD Waterproof WiFi Wireless Endoscopic Camera, however, gives you the flexibility necessary to get […]
Macs are undeniably some of the most versatile computers on the market, but they can do so much more than what their stock apps allow. For those looking to get the most out of their Mac hardware, the Pay What You Want 2018 Super Mac Bundle features 10 of the industry’s top apps, including photo editors and […]
Salesforce has reinvented the way companies manage customer information, close deals, and ultimately drive revenue, so it should come as no surprise that it’s one of the more valuable skills you can list on your resume today. In fact, according to research from Burning Glass, this platform is now the 7th most in-demand software skill, beating out […]