Posts tagged ‘indie games’

Luxuria Superbia

Luxuria Superbia – ios
The other day I watched a 5 minute clip on youporn of a Japanese porn actress being pleased by a somewhat well cut man. I found myself walking around most of the day with a new perversion: a desire to please someone with my hands. Luxuria Superbia is described as sensual, but in reality it is quite sexual. I found myself clawing with 4 fingers to please a flower’s needs. It brings up so much of what makes simulation in video games unique. I have never myself actually jerked a vagina off in any meaningful way, yet this idea of pleasure which honestly I had never thought of is present in this game or is the simple pairing of the two the cause of my interpretation? Regardless, the game dares to dip into places of sensation most games do not. It doesn’t mind being sexual, sensual, or even a little grotesque. What’s great is that it turns this pseudo-sexual desire into a game. If you get to avaricious you will not score that high, if you hold back or aren’t feeling it the flower will close. Are we ate the beginnings of a cyber-sexuality? I haven’t seen this much action in years. It was also made by a husband wife team. The later part of that duo I think might have been instrumental in this game.

August 24, 2014 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

Shelter by might and delight

We’re supposed to use words to describe things.

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Shelter is a game by Might and Delight. Might and Delight’s history is unknown to me beyond their last game P.I.D. Which was a disaster in some sense, but a compelling one in another. Shelter is a far more focused game. You are a badger mom. Now I know you just went out and bought the game based out that fact alone, but maybe we should discuss the mechanics?

You know that little grey baby at your side? It needs food. Your cubs will starve to death if not given enough food and that makes up a healthy portion of the game. Shelter is not a stress inducing game, what it does right is realize the potential of ambient play. It’s also really really linear, but the linearity ensures you don’t get lost. There are a few thankfully small sections were the anxiety bird descends and the play mechanics change to scurrying from cover to cover.

Creatively the game derives from nature documentaries, Disney films, and Metal Gear Solid. Mechanics include a well done night level, flash floods, and using brush to hunt foxes. The game is more than it’s parts by a long shot. It is propelled by a soundtrack that’s indolence and any meanderings capture the experience of a nature walk perfectly. The outdoors are meant to be relaxing, Shelter understands that.

When you’re in the wilderness thought often ceases. Nature still provides enough for the mind to see that our attention often shifts elsewhere, we become attuned to the asymmetrical ambience that surrounds us. Nature is a form of meditation and Shelter realizes this. The game is as charming as a nature walk. It reminds me of a 3 day hike I took into the Grand Tetons, the stillness of that horizon. With ambient play becoming so vast Shelter does something important: it doesn’t risk atmosphere for mechanics.

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    On another note I recently bought SMB2 aka Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic from the 3DS eshop and am enjoying it immensely. It got me thinking about platformers and the way they ended up going. Yume Kojo is not an inherently violent game, each and every critter can be chocked out of the way, playing as the princess you can politely put them down in another space. This creates an interesting tension because enemies require skill to be squashed. The game preserves a slightly more complicated ecosystem of ostriches, shy guys, ninjas, and ninnies. The game also has some interesting mechanics, things pulled up from roots include bombs, a watch that stops time, and a potion that makes a door and what with those doors anyways? Do the coins in the alternative dimension do anything? I collect them like rare gems Hoping they increase my score a bit. Yume Kojo is a lot like Quack Shot, it’s not necessarily lethal and it also makes riding enemies a breeze. It suggests a different place platformers could have gone to a less lethal and more constructive world. One where gender is a choice, and platforms are cosmopolitan accommodators. The vertical levels designs still give me the chills, those pauses as we adjust to the next free fall sections. I love this game even if it’s not as adrenaline pounding as Mario Brothers be. I want to make a spiritual sequel with horses and dragons and mice, a gravity system, an insane race to awesome. So many of these ideas need to be fleshed out, but instead we’re getting a 4 player 3D Mario that looks awful.

    Also have been playing this game a bit:

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    It took a little bit to get it and I won’t get in depth this early through, but the hype is worth it on this one.

    September 30, 2013 at 4:00 am Leave a comment

    New Divekick and Sir You are Being Hunted

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    Sir You Are Being Hunted

    Top down design, according to Mark Rosewater of magic the gathering, is when the story is the creative point for the game. In the case of Sir You Are Bring hunted, the summery after glow of BBC Science Fiction series is the top of the iceberg. Robots, gentlemen robots mind you, are you hunting you through the English countryside. While fodder for a juvenile nightmare, it does lead to some good game design. A hot air balloon hovers around the island, and it has a peculiar Knack of catching you off guard. Robots dogs pin you to the ground, and heavy ferns are your cover. In a slight nod to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Series of games, Sir is hard, fairly open world, and given to little blue anomalies that swim around and can give away your position at night. This isn’t Dishonored, there is no free climbing mechanic, you can’t wrestle a robot from it’s back (that I know of), and the player is more than effected, you are often crawling through British underbrush fearing for your life. The goal of the game is simple, find the 8 steaming hot pieces of a machine, and bring them back to your stone henge like base. Fortunately, because this is a game, getting those pieces requires looking out for balloons, hiding from robot hunters, and finally scrambling through ruined houses for food. Food is plentiful, but good food is scarce. Bad eggs will cause your stamina to plummet. One more good idea in the game is the damage system. If your stamina is high, you will recover health. Add to this that each shot that hits you has a chance to inflict bleeding, bleeding doesn’t stop till you bandage the wound, hence even small gunfire can be deadly.

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    Sir is in alpha so I will forgive one simple problem with the game: it feels tedious. The game lacks missions and objectives that make it interesting. The 8 fetch quests per island become perilous quickly which adds to the challenge, but hiding in weeds quickly becomes boring. Perhaps I haven’t played it enough, but the game does need more options for out witting your robotic foes. It’s not a game about empowerment, it’s a game about tossing a bottle for a momentary distraction in order to desperately run for a smoking part only to be chased by robo dogs, and then bandage your wounds in tall grass before hoping to sneak by some more hunters and loot a house that will hopefully give you food. I am about 90% confident, this game will rock on launch.

    Divekick

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    Divekick is the exact opposite of top down design. It is rather a game derived mechanically from an over familiarity with a genre. Divekick is a fighting game and and it consists of 2 buttons: jump and kick. This extreme minimalism is surprisingly enlightening. Divekick boils the genre down to a scenario and produces incredible game play from there. Fighting games could be taken down further, but Divekick reveals how much depth simple stance, stature, and stage can produce. All of this fails to mention the kicks, which are surprisingly unique and deadly. Dive and Kick have straight forward and fast kicks, other characters can warp, some can even leave traces behind that count as collision, and my pick was a horned monster Internet troll who can barrel in the air putting himself at risk, but also extending his reach. Divekick is exactly what indie games should be: quick, effective, and interesting. That is also a discourse in a genre, is icing on the cake. Strongly recommend especially for the 9.99 usd price point. It’s so much fun and surprisingly strategic too.

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    August 22, 2013 at 7:37 am Leave a comment

    Proteus


    Quickly, what Proteus reveals is that the typical application of anxiety = game play is false. This is ambiance as game play, a way out of the consistent need to drop us into combat. Proteus isn’t just anti-combat, it opens up games to the idea of exploration as a goal. Gears of Wars or Pac-man are all based off the idea of challenge, Proteus is not so much a challenge, it invites you to relax. The game is pretty, but the thing is there’s a logic there, the game makes sense, and mystery is consistent. Proteus is a game of exploration, but it blew my mind wide open to the idea of games that evade the usual stress tests of gaming. This isn’t a hard game, its simply enjoyable, but there’s a lot there and so many mechanics evolving in the game that add wonder or narrative to the world. It gave me A LOT of ideas so to what to do in games, and it made me aware of how tired I am of the consistent stress test of gaming. Proteus strives to make every choice in exploration more enjoyable, to lay out a new mechanic that makes the games that much deeper and mysterious. It’s a case of narrative that in turn lets you contribute to the soundtrack that in turn alters gameplay. I haven’t nailed it, but the game is like ambient music, not so much about tempo or anger or aggression but unfolding, Proteus reveals the rock roots of the modern game, it makes so much of what passes as game play seem jammed into a punk 2 chord riff, in other words it’s kinda like Yanni in the middle of a hair rock convention and you can be sure most game designers don’t think of themselves as Van Halen. It invites games to let down their hair and find something else to do aside from killing. It’s a masterpiece, and in a canon of game design it’s a narrative well worth enshrining.
    Visit Proteus

    March 25, 2012 at 2:49 pm Leave a comment


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