Atum screenshot. A first-person view of a computer on a desktop. The computer screen shows a platformer game. The player character is holding up a lighter to the screen, which has set some barrels on fire in the game-within-the-game.

MIXTAPE: Fourth Wall Breakers

September 22, 2015 / 1 comment

I’ve always been attracted to media that break the fourth wall. In movies and TV, this can be used to resist the traditional philosophy that the equipment that makes a film is ugly and uncouth and should be treated as a silent observer of a spontaneous display of narrative. Turning and speaking to this stuff…

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First person camera. A corner of a room covered in rich but peeling wallpaper in dark red and gold. A cloudy oval mirror with an ornate gold frame is on the wall. There is a pile of crumpled yellow wallpaper on the floor. The floor is bare wood.

MIXTAPE: Burn It All Down

September 19, 2014 / 0 comments

rat chaos (2012) j chastain So here’s how I assemble these mixtapes. I play short games all the time. If I notice several games with a similar theme, I throw the titles into an Evernote page and record the number of games. As I play more games that have that theme, e.g., games in which the game world falls…

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FRUIT MYSTERY screenshot. Background is a neon, glitchy-looking image collage. The only legible picture is of a smiling man in a blue polo shirt. A huge red X is drawn over the collage.

MIXTAPE: You Lose for Playing

June 17, 2014 / 1 comment

Execution, Jesse Venbrux (2008) Over the years, I’ve played or read about a lot of games that push the player to feel bad or conflicted about doing the things the game allows. The idea fascinated me when I first played Bioshock; by the time I watched my boyfriend play Spec Ops: The Line I had already tired of it. In between I played Execution, a game which presents the “you…

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MIXTAPE: No Interaction

May 5, 2013 / 4 comments

Okay, let’s talk about non-interactive games. When people in a poorly written critical essay or internet comment get anxious about a Dear Esther or a dys4ia this is an accusation they often bring out, after all. It’s fine, you know, but it’s not really interactive. What’s the implication of that? It’s not interactive, so it’s…

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Swimming Upstream

October 14, 2011 / 0 comments

Being slow with the blog for a while means my backlog of experimental games has grown even more overwhelming. Today I’ll be covering some games from the June Experimental Gameplay Project, theme “MASHUP,” so you can see how far behind I am. There’s nothing for it but to keep pushing forward against all odds! Squirrels…

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Chemical Reactions

September 6, 2011 / 0 comments

This is up a bit late. I blame Labor Day! Also, getting swamped at work. Anyway, last week I was mainly playing through last May’s Experimental Gameplay Project entries, with the theme of “ZOOM.” The Camera Made Me Fat! and Broken Zoomometer [direct download link] Both of these games use a pretty straightforward interpretation of the…

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Woo!

Gormless?!

August 28, 2011 / 0 comments

I was pretty busy this week (also hurricane), but I got a few steps forward in the backlog. One odd thing about this week is that I played two games in a row that prominently used the term “gormless.” I have never encountered that word before, so that weirded me out. It also coincided with…

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blockpush

Awkward Attachments

August 19, 2011 / 0 comments

Just a few short reviews this week. I had the bad luck to run into a few more buggy/unplayable games than usual. Comes with the territory, that. On to the games that worked! Block Push Championship Another great puzzler from Stephen Lavelle. One of his favorite maneuvers in these type of games is to put you in…

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Terrible Gameplay is Hilarious

August 12, 2011 / 1 comment

Those of you who follow me on Twitter may have noticed that I’ve been tweeting links and brief assessments of all the experimental shorts I play. Most of these don’t end up getting full reviews here or at Robot Geek, but I like to record my thoughts on them anyhow. In addition to that, I’m…

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