Regina, or 1995Regi, as she calls herself on Instagram, is a Polish girl who likes selfies, science fiction, and Drake. She's also the creation of artist Katarzyna Witerscheim, who dreamed Regina up as a cross between a slice-of-life webcomic and a roleplaying game, which you read and interact with through her illustrated selfies on social media.
The details of Regina's life can be gleaned not only from the images Witerscheim creates, but also the interactions she has with followers as Regina. Shortly before Halloween, for example, "Regina" took a poll on what costume to wear; later, in a photo taken at a Halloween party, we see her dressed as the people's choice: Sailor Moon.
Meet my date! Teddy is my Tuxedo Mask! #halloween #trickortreat #sailormoon My costume is made by @kairiincosplayland !!! 🎃🎃🎃
In another image, we see Regina kissing a handsome boy named Sasha, and answering questions about where they met. A week later she Instagrams a picture of her tear-stained face: They're broken up. She posts a screenshot of Adele's melodramatic ballad "Hello," playing on her phone. The responses from fans are serious and sympathetic: "Treat yourself kindly and surround yourself with people who love you!!" says one.
"I thought the project would be great to be interactive," Witerscheim told The Daily Dot. "You can write to her, you can talk to her, you can say to her about what she should do. Read the rest
The space exploration game Sun Dogs comes with a promising description: "Sun Dogs is about exploring our inner solar system, altering your body, and embracing death." After playing, I deem it accurate. Read the rest
Cat collectors rejoice: the cult favorite mobile game Neko Atsume has finally made its way to Android—and soon, to iOS—in English under the name Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector. Read the rest
There's something a little mysterious about the programs you can find in strange corners of the internet, and doubly so if you happen to find them in the bowels of someone else's computer.
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I was ready to love Murder from the moment the game opened on a female police lieutenant waking from a rain-soaked cyberpunk nightmare about murderous robots, and walking out on her balcony to smoke a cigarette over the light-spattered skyscrapers of Future Tokyo. "Yes," I thought, "I'm in." Sadly, I spoke a little too soon.
Developed by Peter Moorhead, the creator behind the abandoned astronaut game Stranded, Murder is another brief, point-and-click adventure illustrated with beautiful pixel art. This time around, Moorehead promises players a "short story" that delves into some pretty lofty ideas: "the intersection of morality and sentience, in a future where both are commodities."
The moral crux of the story revolves around the sentient service robots of Murder's near-future world, and whether humans can ethically use them for unpaid labor. If that sounds familiar, it should. It's an idea that has been explored rather extensively by some very talented science fiction writers, and even trickled far enough into the mainstream to inspire a Will Smith movie. That doesn't meant there isn't anything left to say about it, only that the notion of robot sentience and the civil rights implications around it aren't exactly fresh ideas, and the mere mention of them is not enough to carry a story, even a short one.
Ostensibly, the game is a murder mystery; as Lieutenant Motomeru Minori, you're tasked with investigating a brutal killing, the latest in a string of mysterious deaths. But "investigate" might be a strong word—you visit one crime scene, exchange a few one-liners with some other cops, and that's about it. Read the rest
If you like adventure games and have a few minutes to spare, the latest creation of Leon Chang should be your next distraction—and you don't even have to leave Twitter to play it.
Just watch the animated GIFs, and click on the links to make important, heroic choices about whether or not to pet cats, fight turtles, or go to the bathroom.
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As concepts for games go, this is a new one: propelling a regenerating fungus through a long series of puzzles by surgically destroying it and forcing it to regrow. And it works. Mushroom 11 is one of the more fascinating reinventions of the platform game in recent memory, the sort of game that feels new beneath your fingers—that asks you to move and think in ways you don't expect—but makes instinctive sense nonetheless.
As the player, you operate a glittering circle that annihilates any part of the fungus that falls beneath it, like an insect incinerated under a microscope. But life always finds a way, and so the organic mass will grow away from your burning gaze, allowing you to propel it forward through crevices, over obstacles, and even into the air.
While there are times when you'll need to move quickly to avoid falling into lava, which will indeed obliterate you, most of the time it's better to be deliberate than it is to be fast. Although you can't control the fungus precisely—it often feels like squeezing a tube of green toothpaste—you can trim it like an oozing bonsai until it eventually does what you want. You can even divide the goop into different parts, use them to independently trigger different elements of a puzzle, then simply erase the part you don't need and move on.
The game doesn't announce any particular plot when it begins, and would probably be just as fun even if there were no story at all. Read the rest
It's easy to feel like an automaton in the world of modern office labor. The game
Human Resource Machine takes that one step further, by imagining an office building that functions like an actual computer. You're an office worker who has just started working in this tower of commerce, and in order to do your job, you'll have to learn how to program it.
If that sounds intimidating, it's not. Every day, your tiny, adorable employee will be asked to move various objects from an inbox to an outbox using simple commands. Over time the tasks grow more complicated—maybe you'll be asked to only move some of the boxes, or to combine them in certain ways, and you'll have to figure out how to accomplish that with the limited tools at your disposal. To make things easier, you'll be given spaces on the floor where you can store boxes (aka memory) and more commands that will allow you to manipulate the boxes in different way. Yes, it gets a little brain-melting towards the end, but take it from someone who is totally clueless about programming: actually watching your little office drone walk back and forth through every step makes it much easier to understand, even when you haven't quite figured out the solution.
Human Resource Machine is the latest game from the Tomorrow Corporation, and has the same visual look (and bug-eyed protagonists) as its last release, the anti-corporate pyromania simulator Little Inferno. The same looming dystopian air permeates both, as the programming levels are occasionally interrupted by interludes that hint at a darker world outside your building, like ominous news reports about robots massing outside the city for reasons unknown. Read the rest
Investors may have balked, the internet at large has proved more open-minded about opening the wallet.
What our brains learn, they can also unlearn—including what makes us anxious. That's the idea behind Neurotic Neurons, an interactive work by Nicky Case that explores the neuroscience of anxiety, and particularly the theory of Hebbian learning, wherein "neurons that fire together, wire together" and create associations in the mind. Read the rest
The moment I tried to start the demo for the upcoming horror game Calendula, it broke. "FATAL ERROR," read the pop-up message when I tried to start a new game. "Current video configuration not supported." Read the rest
The impossible architecture puzzle game Monument Valley is pretty soothing—it's inspired hours of ASMR videos, if that's your jam—but the newest iOS release from Monument Valley developer Ustwo takes things a step further with a straight up relaxation app. Read the rest
You don't have to care about a sport to care about the people who play it.
Grammar: It's boring to talk about, unless you're that type of person. Which personally I am, though I recognize that the eyes of most normal humans glaze over like donuts at the very first mention of "tenses." Yet I implore you to push through that resistance and read this "interactive guide to ambiguous grammar" by Vijith Assar anyway. It goes somewhere genuinely important, so stick with it. Read the rest
Quick, make something creatively fulfilling before time runs out! Read the rest
We've seen Disney princesses reinterpreted as men, as minions, and even as velociprators, but this—this is something different altogether.
[Lucky Peach] Read the rest
The co-creator of The Stanley Parable has a new game that uses game design space in expressive, subversive ways.