It was Weave‘s stunning visuals that caught my eye when I first stumbled across it a few days ago. I was looking for something silly and dumb to play with on my phone and ended up finding the complete opposite. Weave obviously isn’t some mind-numbing game to cure boredom. It’s more like an interactive animation, with soothing music and a hypnotic visual that makes it the perfect candidate as a warm game.
Created by Nadav Tenenbaum, the game follows two characters as they go on parallel, abstract journeys. Both characters are dealing with a situation in their past that still haunts them, a situation that’s represented as various shapes the characters are forced to push or click through. However, the story stops there. The rest of the game is a structureless and relies on the player to come up with their own interpretation. Sure, some players might find that to be a bit of a cop out, but Weave is more about the experience, not preoccupying you on whether you “get it” or not.
As I said earlier, this game is more like an interactive animation. Similar to Journey, Weave is less about gameplay and more about the experience. Follow it, and you’ll be glad you did.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015||No Comments »|
As people gear up for the long weekend ahead, just remember: not everyone gets the day off. And for some people, the work never ends.
Welcome to Forever, an odd game about working the check out at a supermarket where scanning the items produces not the price but the message “and forever.” Objects are bulky and difficult to maneuver, but as your endless line of customers marches by, they become increasingly bizarre, going from giant jam jars to baseball bats to…Magritte’s not-a-pipe.
Forever is Art with a capital A, but it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and the chief enjoyment of the game is derived from the increasingly strange things that come bumping their way down the conveyer belt. The customers are largely faceless and reactionless–throw something at them, a temptation many cashiers have no doubt struggled with, and the items simply reappear on the belt–but you find yourself wondering exactly why someone would buy this strange assortment of items and what they plan on doing.
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Friday, May 22nd, 2015||No Comments »|
Online bullying is a sensitive issue, so it seems only inevitable that someone attempt to recreate the experience through a short indie game. Designed to encourage empathy for victims, #Notifications walks you through a few days in the life of @meta_social, a self-described social justice mage who occasionally expresses “sometimes interesting” views.
Your first tweet–excuse me, Twiddle–is simple: An expressed hope that the next day be interesting. Engagement with other Twiddle members is low, with just a quick note that someone has favorited you the next day. But on day 2, as you sit on the bus, the game gives you some options on what to send out to your followers. A series of happy Twiddles complaining about the weather, getting ramped up over Daredevil…or a light criticism of attacks on women, black people, and other marginalized groups.
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Thursday, May 21st, 2015||No Comments »|
If you’re the kind of person who craves realism in their video games, then look no further. My Garbage Cat Wakes Me Up At 3AM Every Day–no summary really needed–is the realest game that has ever or will ever be made. We’ve recommended a game that explores the pros of cat ownership, but everyone knows that cats have a dark side. A dark side that’s usually unleashed when you’re deep asleep and they’re hungry or lonely or just feel like throwing a temper tantrum.
In My Garbage Cat Wakes Me Up, you play as a small cat leaping all over the room. Knock things over to decrease your owner’s sleep meter and get him out of bed. When items hit the floor, they produce a loud crash that shave huge chunks of unconsciousness off. However, the game gives you the option to meow and knead your owner into wakefulness, a tactic that is less destructive but also incredibly, incredibly slow. If you want your owner up and moving, get destructive.
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Wednesday, May 20th, 2015||No Comments »|
In case you’ve ever dreamed about working inside AAA development, The Writer Will Do Something is here to deliver a cold dose of dream-crushing reality. Six months from shipping, your follow-up game to the highly successful ShatterGate(TM) series is facing some serious problems. Josh, your creative director, has called an emergency meeting, ostensibly to discuss the game’s problems but really to point fingers.
The Writer Will Do Something is a Twine game that manages to tap into true horror, horror that everyone can relate to. I dare you not to feel the same kind of panicked deer-in-the-headlights stress that the lead writer does as everyone unanimously blames you for the game’s problems. The sense of betrayal is thick, the urge to murder your coworkers is strong. Is there a way to salvage the meeting and find a solution that makes everyone happy?
My money’s on no.
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Thursday, April 2nd, 2015||No Comments »|
Adventures in Cognitive Biases reminds me, quite strongly, of the edutainment games that shaped my early years. In particular, Cluefinders, but for adults. This is because entertainment is somewhat secondary to the developer’s quest to teach you something, whether you want to learn or not. Ostensibly an adventure game, Adventures in Cognitive Biases follows an adventurer as he or she enters a monastery and learns about cognitive biases, beginning with the overconfidence bias. So, basically what it sounds like.
I don’t know if I would necessarily describe the game as being fun, but it’s definitely interesting and a good introduction. The visual aids are nice, though the graphs can be tricky to maneuver correctly. The game does a good job of teaching you about cognitive biases, though people with more experience with them might find that it advances basic concepts only. As for myself, I half-expected the game to end with someone saying, “You know nothing, Young Adventurer.”
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Tuesday, March 31st, 2015||No Comments »|
Fans of A Dark Room no doubt recognize Kittens Game as soon as they lay eyes on the interface–because, well, they’re almost identical. Don’t let that fool you though–Kittens Game is deceptively difficult, and beneath its adorable premise (kittens in a catnip field!) lurks something…not darker. More thoughtful, maybe.
The initial game requires more attention than I realized at first, which resulted in me being greeted with the phrase “kittens starved to death” over and over and over. Nothing really ruins your day like being told you killed some kittens, I have to say. Eventually, you can have Scholar Kittens and Woodcutting Kittens, which sounds absolutely adorable, and advance through the seasons. Each season lasts 1000 days and you better be paying attention, because when winter comes, your catnip fields decrease production and kittens start dying en masse, you horrible monster.
|Recommended by Melody Lee||Thursday, March 26th, 2015||No Comments »|