Driving creates so many sensory memories, or at least descriptions of those sensory memories that can change depending on when and where a person is driving. Whether it’s the street lamps rushing past while you ride in the backseat on a long road trip or that memory of you and your friends driving down the oceanfront with the convertible’s top down during spring break.
Wheels of Aurelia creates new memories with the protagonist Lella driving the Via Aurelia to reach the French Riveria in the the late ’70s. What Wheels of Aurelia does so different from other driving games is the focus on character stories. Throughout the drive different paths may be taken depending on the exits and the dialogue options that are chosen between characters such as Olga, Gorilla and others. In fact, Wheels of Aurelia could almost be considered a visual novel, but it is too ambitious to be held back by one genre.
The characters in 1970s Italy are all fueled by political interests and social topics that create discussion between themselves that the player has to navigate. “Any news about President Moro?”, “Are you a feminist?” and “Can I ask what you think about abortion?” are all topics that Olga may bring up within the first ten minutes of a playthrough. The time period is educational too, I know nothing about Italy in the 70s and topics such as Pasolini’s murder and “the real revolution in May ’68” that Lella speaks of in France led me to doing some research after each playthrough.
The game is currently still in beta and can be purchased from developer Santa Ragione’s website. So what are you waiting for? As the Italian’s say, buon viaggio!
|Recommended by Kieffer Wilson||Monday, January 18th, 2016||No Comments »|
As 2016’s first month opens up we’re looking forward to the excited works coming from some of our favorite creators. I’m personally excited for No Man’s Sky, The Neon Demon, and Sunset Park, but what excites me the most is the sucker punches. Pony Island is the first sucker punch that landed on me this year coming from Daniel Mullins, who also developed Agent Maxwell and Grav, for mobile devices. It’s easy to assume multiple things when seeing Pony Island, with the obvious first being that it looks like a simple sidescrolling arcade game. But if I were to spoil you a bit and say that the game dives into the human soul, a war of faith, and a devilish take on game development, it may seem a bit different than what the cover reveals.
The most difficult thing about recommending Pony Island is that the immense satisfaction the game brings comes from discovery and going in blind. So many amazing twists appear throughout the game that would be instant-selling points, but all of those points come from not knowing what you’re getting into. Even without those points though, Pony Island is another fresh take on narratives in video games. Throughout playing the player tries to answer what the story behind the main character is, where they are, and are they alone in this battle against the devil himself? Finding the answers to these questions never become stale either, with each half hour throwing something completely different at the player.
I won’t give away much more about Pony Island, but do yourself a favor, hop onto Steam and experience the smartest surprise to start off your year.
|Recommended by Kieffer Wilson||Monday, January 11th, 2016||No Comments »|
If you wanted to ask Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinska, who make up the Polish web design Hipopotam Studio, why they created Bubloe, the answer is not far from their homepage: “Because =)”.
Because why not create your own typeface? Why not load it with your own beat box sounds? And why not let users design their own monsters in endless amounts of ways, from mutant animal heads to showgirl legs, and make them fight? Bubloe never hides the fact that its existence is fun, and its fun is contagious.
Though as far as traditional game play goes, Bubloe may seem at first a dud. Think 1980s Street Fighter arcade games but with less functionality: you can punch and you can block, and other than that, it’s all timing.
|Recommended by Rhys Dipshan||Tuesday, September 8th, 2015||No Comments »|
I like free stuff, but who doesn’t? So, since we all like free things, I thought this was worth a quick share (really quick). Free Key Fridays is a Twitter raffle online that takes place every Friday (duh) opening at midnight. This started as a way to spread knowledge of great indie games by letting gamers compete for free keys from some of the best developers and games. In order to participate you must follow the group on Twitter and answer the weekly Twitter question that is posted every Friday. From there they select the winners.
With almost a thousand followers on Twitter, it looks like feedback has been very positive. Who doesn’t like winning free stuff? Example questions: “What item would you use from the game of your choice to skip shopping lines this holiday season?” and “Name the profession of your favorite video game character before they began their adventure.” The questions are fun and can play on your creativity and imagination. The winners are announced the next day, and don’t worry, the usernames are always different.
|Recommended by Danielle Dabrio-Carroll||Friday, December 6th, 2013||No Comments »|
Has your gaming habit become somewhat of a religion? Well now you have a way to commemorate your favorite figures in stained glass. Atlanta based artist Rick Daniels sells his glass art through his company, Martian Glasswork. These works include images from Mario, Halo, Zelda, Portal, and more! The finished pieces are quite breathtaking and remarkable to see. Yet, what makes this even more interesting and post-worthy (as if making stained glass artwork isn’t enough) is that Daniels is a self-taught artist with about two years of glasswork experience under his belt.
In those short two years Daniels has already created a large buzz and a growing fan-base, gaining 14,000 likes on his company Facebook page. The prices of his art vary greatly. For example, an 8.5 x 11 inch stained glass Legend of Zelda hylian shield poster costs only $6 in his Etsy shop, while an actual stained glass version, measuring 25 x 36 inches, with more than 200 pieces is currently on sale for $1,150 (%10 off). Halo‘s panel can also run to about $5,000 (price negotiable for serious buyers who email). Daniels has said that some of the pieces can take up to 70 hours to complete. I personally would love all the Mario Mushrooms. Therefore, if you were wondering what to get the gamer or “video game enthusiast” in your life, you might want to add this to your gift list. He might even take requests!
|Recommended by Danielle Dabrio-Carroll||Monday, December 2nd, 2013||No Comments »|
This news is everywhere if you are on the Internet as much as I am, and I don’t know what to think about. If you thought we had enough players in this war of consoles then prepare to be greatly disappointed because Steam may be tossing themselves into the ring as well. First announced in September, the Steam Machine may actually be a thing, and I may be a little confused. Scratch that, it is definitely a thing and I am currently very confused! Scheduled to be released early next year, Steam Machines will be a line of video game consoles that will run SteamOS. This is an open source Linux-based operating system that has been developed for games and other forms of entertainment. It is said to be able to run the hundreds of games that are currently in the Steam catalog as well as the many other upcoming games that have yet to be released. The console itself raises a lot of interest in me since it claims to be as customizable as a PC. You will be able to switch out parts and upgrade its gaming abilities at will. So if this is the case, then there will likely be a basic price and after that it’ll be up to you how much money you want to put into it (like with your PC).
|Recommended by Danielle Dabrio-Carroll||Wednesday, November 27th, 2013||No Comments »|
Every action has a reaction and consequence. The latest game from Owlchemy (clever) Labs seems to have taken this saying literally when they developed Dyscourse, and I am excited! Most games are like mathematical equations; they may have a few ways of completing the problem, but ultimately there is only one conclusion. Dycourse, on the other hand, is different. While one player could be the reason for why he and the other survivors have all died, another player could end up surviving long enough to be rescued. Everything depends on you, your memory, your survival skills, your choices, and more. If ten different people play this game, there’s a good chance they won’t all get the same ending. That is the beauty of this idea, and it’s not just your ordinary choice game either, it goes much further than that.
Upon landing—well, crashing—in your plane with the other passengers, you are on a large island with no map and surrounded by many dangers! Just like in real life, your only map is your memory. You can leave “memory markers” that make it possible for you to retrace your footsteps back to a particular place. You also have to be able to recall past events, form relationships with the other survivors, hunt for food (fight or flight has been built in, too)—just so many goodies to name! You are going to need to take advantage of all of these and more if you’re going to make it off the island alive.
However, Owlchemy Labs needs help with the finishing touches and they have turned to Kickstarter to do it. They are half-way to their goal amount, and as of today, there are 11 days left to donate. The first gameplay video has been released and it has already gotten the OK to be released on Steam with every donator getting a Steam key once its live. The beta is expected to come out in May 2014. If you want to get the full details on this new kind of virtual survival game, then check it out here because I am pretty much sold.
|Recommended by Danielle Dabrio-Carroll||Monday, November 25th, 2013||No Comments »|