Monument Valley. Are you playing this? You probably should be.
This mobile game from ustwo has been out for a while, but the description of it as a casual puzzler kept me expecting yet another underwhelming freemium click-and-wait game. I missed out on months and months I could be playing Princess Ida on her beautiful puzzle path!
In each level, players are tasked with helping Princess Ida through a strange and gorgeous world towards her goal. Over time, she’ll have friends to help her and obstacles to overcome. Ida’s paths have a dreamlike, Escher quality to them, creating such pretty scenes that iam8bit has art prints based on Monument Valley levels, but they also make perfect sense as gameplay.
|Recommended by Meg Stivison||Friday, January 29th, 2016||1 Comment »|
I loved the browser minigames GrowCube and GrowTower, so I was really excited to put eyezmaze’s new Grow Recovery on my phone. The basic premise of the Grow games is deciding how to add new items to the scene. Each item interacts with the other items in interesting ways, and to complete the game, you’ll need to find the optimal order so that each item is used in the best way possible. Of course, plenty of “wrong” combinations are great fun to watch, too.
Grow Recovery, though, adds a little narrative to the Grow game formula, showing an exhausted little figure in need of comfort and healing. It’s a simple human outline, but the task of looking after him is surprisingly moving. Each of the items available will make him feel better in a different way, Give him a blanket, and he’ll wrap himself up. Give him a friend, and the friend will help heal him. I think the animation at the beginning of the game is meant to show that the little grow guy is exhausted, but it’s easy to see all kinds of self-care and recovery in this tiny charming game.
|Recommended by Meg Stivison||Tuesday, November 10th, 2015||1 Comment »|
Hipster Zombies, available on iOS and Android from indie devs Sharkbomb Studios, is yet another game inviting players to battle oncoming hordes of zombies. But these are hipster zombies, and in addition to brains, they want old records, black plastic glasses, retro bicycles and cans of PBR!
Players stand behind a makeshift barricade and try to defend their neighborhood (Is it Williamsburg? Greenpoint? Probably is.) from oncoming zombie waves by throwing hipster gear at the zombies. Mechanics are classic and the controls are simple—you’ll move side-to-side with your left hand, while choosing what to throw with your right. The game is free but monetizes on players’ in-app purchases of hipster gear like vinyl records and PBR cans, much like Brooklyn does.
Enjoy the simple game and hipster jokes as you deploy your zombie-fighting powers of irony to battle the undead!
|Recommended by Meg Stivison||Tuesday, January 7th, 2014||1 Comment »|
Read Only Memories, a cyberpunk adventure game from MidBoss Games, has reached (and surpassed!) its Kickstarter funding goal, which means these retro-styled adventures of a young reporter in dystopian Neo-San Francisco is in the works! The game resembles beloved classic adventure games by using character dialogue and text options to move through branching storylines, but the story is modernized with a focus on queer characters and customizable gender. Not only will players be able to choose their gender, a simple mechanic I can’t stop praising in ChoiceScript adventure games, but they’ll also be able to choose their preferred personal pronouns. (And the list includes He, She, They, or Mind Your Own Beeswax.)
MidBoss Games, the developers of Read Only Memories, are no strangers to queer themes in gaming or to crowdfunding success. MidBoss Games successfully founded and Kickstarted the GaymerX convention, a convention for queer gamers and allies. With the ongoing harassment of women and GLBTQ people in mainstream gaming culture, GaymerX fills the need for a safe gaming space and helps make the gaming experience more inclusive. Adding genderqueer characters to the Read Only Memories gameworld continues to make gaming a more accessible and inclusive space.
Read Only Memories is being developed for Mac, PC, iOS, Android, and Ouya systems. The first $62,064 raised on Kickstarter is being matched by Ouya’s Free The Games Fund.
|Recommended by Meg Stivison||Monday, December 16th, 2013||No Comments »|
Good news for Android gamers! The latest Humble Bundle is a collection of popular Droid games, including two Android ports of award-winning iOs games. The Droid market usually takes a backseat to iOs releases, so this is great news for gamers with Droid phones, as well as a good indication of a growing Droid gaming market.
Humble Bundles usually offer a collection of games for one price, usually indie, although we’ve seen THQ and other mainstream giants get in on the action. Gamers name their own price for humble bundles and determine how much of that price goes to charity and how much goes directly to the developer. Pay whatever you want for the games, even one penny, but gamers who pay over the average get an extra game or two thrown in.
Humble Mobile Bundle 3 includes popular Droid games robot battle EPOCH, fantasy action Kingdom Rush, minimalistic space strategy game rymdkapsel, and word puzzler SpellTower. Ridiculous Fishing and Swordigo are both massive successes on iOs, and this Humble Bundle marks their Android release. Touch Foo’s cute adventure game Swordigo reached #1 for Adventure Games on the App Store, while Vlambeer’s zany Ridiculous Fishing received honors everywhere from Apple Design Awards to PAX Prime.
Droid gamers can get EPOCH, rymdkapsel, SpellTower and Swordigo, right now for any price. Pay over the average, which is currently about $5, and get Ridiculous Fishing, Kingdom Rush, and new additions Hundreds, Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, and Desert Bus, too.
|Recommended by Meg Stivison||Monday, December 2nd, 2013||No Comments »|
Forget Candy Crush, I have found America’s next cell phone game addiction! Does this even count as a video game? I don’t know, but I’m enjoying it; it’s like Guitar Hero for your fingers! The game I am rambling on about is called Smule. It comes for the piano, guitar, and karaoke. So far I can’t stop playing it, and I have to say it’s a little embarrassing. It’s a smartphone app that’s available for iOS and Android devices (though I have yet to find the guitar version for Android). The basics of the game are easier enough to understand. You have a guitar neck with all the strings and frets, then a series of dots and lines move across the screen. The point of the game is to touch the dot with your finger or slide it down the line once it reaches the line of play.
There are multiple songs you can perform and unlock that range in difficulty, and they all make you feel like a rockstar (as did Guitar Hero). Beware of the piano version though; those levels get so high that you eventually find yourself trying to use two fingers. They use recognizable songs that you can hear yourself playing. This means that if you don’t hit the correct notes then your song will sound terrible and you can’t even get through a phone game. So maybe it could be a video game, maybe it’s just a mind numbing app that makes noises on different levels. Either way, it’s completing its purpose of bringing me entertainment in order to keep my stressed out mind occupied.
|Recommended by Danielle Dabrio-Carroll||Friday, November 15th, 2013||No Comments »|