What Remains of Edith Finch is free this month from the Epic store. I downloaded it last night and couldn't stop playing until I was done. It's a detailed, polished walking simulator that clocks in at 3 hours, so tightly orchestrated it feels like a genuinely interactive movie.
It centers on Edith, a high schooler and the last surviving child of a family "cursed" by generations of tragedy. After her mother's death, she inherits the cosy yet unsettling manse she grew up in and sets out to uncover the family's secrets. She wants to know why so many Finches died young and why her mother didn't want the stories told.
It's obvious from the outset that something is deeply wrong with the family even as it is clearly a family full of love. The wrongness hovers at the margins of reason. It's reflected in the house, normal at the ground level but an alarming mass of ramshackle additions up top. Surely that would be dangerous, you ask yourself.
Some of the family death vignettes really got under my skin. They're all elaborated in the telling to the point of magic realism and beyond, but when you sit and think about what happened they unravel to mundane parenting failures, one after another after another. The elaborations thereby become part of the problem. But now I'm in danger of spoiling the game's secrets.
Edith Finch maintains a tension between modern gothic mystery and the suggestion of a damaged family that mythologizes its subtly self-destructive currents. It does such a good job of this, though, that when the ending comes it can't close the balance, choosing instead a too-easy way out. Still, that's often just how it goes, with families that aren't quite right.
Magic: The Gathering is Turing complete. In a new scientific paper, researchers “present a methodology for embedding an arbitrary Turing machine into a game of Magic such that the first player is guaranteed to win the game if and only if the Turing machine halts.” From Ars Technica: Furthermore, (software engineer Alex Churchill) and his […]
Volume One of Man-Eaters, Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk's scathing, hilarious, brilliant comic about girls who turn into man-eating werepanthers when they get their periods, is the best comic I read in 2019, and Volume Two, just published by Image comics, continues the brilliance with a set of design-fiction-y fake ads and other collateral that […]
Simplified racing with weapons: it’s not all about Super Mario Kart. the genre is surprisingly diverse and persistent, all the way back to the mid-70s. The genre got very crowded, very fast at the turn of the century. Roughly two dozen kart racers came out across all platforms from 1999 to 2001. Every man and […]
So you’ve visited the Kennedy Space Center every year. You’ve watched “The Right Stuff” for the 95th time. There must be something to do while you’re waiting to join Space Force for the next manned mission to Mars or the moon. Here’s a combo that should raise a salute from any fan of space or […]
Looking for a new tablet? If you haven’t upgraded in a while, it might be time to check out the latest iPad Pro for two very good reasons. First, the 2018 model is a real workhorse. The 12X Bionic chip processor means it can handle any task you set out for it, and still have […]
You want wireless earbuds to make an impact on your mood and workout, not the environment. If that’s the case, we’ve got a new contender for AirPod market share: Brio Phantom X7 True Wireless Earbuds. The features on these tiny, comfortable buds are impressive even without the environmental angle. Their Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity is good […]