Fans of Adventure Time will enjoy Super Adventure Pals, a free RPG about a boy, his giraffe, and their quest to save their kidnapped pet rock from the evil Mr. B. Super Adventure Pals goes out of its way to make you smile, whether it’s the silly dialogue (“Did you just run through my house?” an old man demands. “Damn kids have no respect these days.”), the goofy storyline (you’re on a quest to save your pet rock), or the cloyingly cute character designs (just look at them).
The game rarely progresses beyond simple fetch quests and your choice of upgrades is limited to either strength or health, but simplicity shouldn’t be mistaken for difficulty. Goons will happily backhand you off platforms and into spiked pits before you can blink, destroying your health bar in one swipe of their gorilla-sized fists. At the end of each level, Super Adventure Pals is helpful enough to provide you with a report card grading you on, among other things, the frequency of your deaths. Thanks, guys. And just when I thought I’d put grades behind me forever.
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Friday, March 7th, 2014||No Comments »|
Do you like yourself some animation but get tired of “plot,” “dialogue,” “a point,” and all the rest of those annoying drags on what should be a good time? The playful, free-wheeling work of Piotr Kamler might be for you then. Kamler’s short Une Mission Ephemere plays with bowls, robots, and various abstractions born from them, moving forward on the force of pure visual energy rather than situating itself in any given narrative convention. You can read the robots and vaguely eerie music as science-fiction inspired, sure, but all you really need to do is just watch. It’s Friday—dumb it down a little.
|Recommended by Anwar Batte||Friday, March 7th, 2014||No Comments »|
Everything’s better when you put “kawaii” in front of it. At least that’s what Spanish illustrators Squid&Pig think. The “kawaii illustrators” (their actual job titles) design cute versions of popular characters. So far they’ve designed kawaii versions of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Superman, The Beatles, and more. Their most recent project sets their cute radar on Disney’s Frozen. The characters Anna and Elsa are redone with adorably large heads, rosy cheeks, and innocent eyes. If you like this, you should also check out their “Kawaii Wedding Cake” flash game. It’s very, um, kawaii.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Friday, March 7th, 2014||No Comments »|
We previously saw Lena Simon on (The) Absolute as the bass player for La Luz when we shared their campy horror video to “Big Big Blood,” but now the multi-instrumentalist is working on her own project, Kiaros. She’s just given us our first taste of her debut EP with the single “Can/Cannot.” It’s a slow and quiet song but has strong emotional resonance. Kiaros is Greek for “defining moment” and that’s exactly what this song gives us. It’s a break up song, but instead of wanting her lover back, she is empowered to move on. She sings the Can/Cannot dichotomy in the chorus: “I can’t forgive you for the things that you did/I can forgive you for the things you made me make.” With lush guitars and Simon’s subtle and evocative vocal performance, “Can/Cannot” is powerful and memorable.
|Recommended by Scott Interrante||Friday, March 7th, 2014||No Comments »|
The power of human connections, including both its beauty and fragility, are explored to the very depths in a new short story collection titled Sympathetic People by Donna Baier Stein. Each of the thirteen stories revolve around male and female characters as they struggle to find happiness and meaning in their lives after experiencing loss and tragedy.
The story “Hindsight” follows a hippie-ish young woman named Jessie as she makes a brash decision that later shatters to pieces when her life goes wildly off-track. There’s also “The Secrets of Snakes,” a story that looks at how early ruptures in a marriage can make a wife desperate to do anything she can to stop it, even when she’s supposed to be keeping an eye on her son’s pet racer.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, March 7th, 2014||No Comments »|
Last week, February 26 marked two years since the night George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin. In reflecting on the police (self-appointed and otherwise) harassment and killing of black people before, including, and after him, Alex Mallis produced the short film After Trayvon, which includes excerpts from a discussion held in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene Park about handling encounters with a racist police force. It’s an important discussion, and not just for the context: the men talk about how asserting your rights in a police encounter often ends up being a provocation, something people who aren’t regularly stopped by cops often don’t understand. An important reminder that de Blasio’s New York isn’t necessarily safer for a lot of us.
|Recommended by Anwar Batte||Thursday, March 6th, 2014||No Comments »|
If the Game of Thrones RPG didn’t satisfy you, feast your eyes on Game of Thrones: The 8-Bit Game. This newest addition to an arsenal of games based on Game of Thrones combines nerdery with nostalgia as you jump, shoot, and bounce your way to victory on each of the four levels. Each character has different abilities–if you press X, Jon Snow shoots out a wolf that kills his enemies–and each world contains specific enemies and monsters drawn from a different section of the book, which is sure to delight fans of every caliber. (I repeat: Jon Snow shoots a wolf at his enemies.) This Westeros 8-bit wonder is a fun way to kill an hour or two and get ready for the next episode of Game of Thrones.
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Thursday, March 6th, 2014||No Comments »|