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human resource machine

Robot Odyssey was one of my favorite games growing up, so I do have a soft spot for programming-based games; so I decided to give Human Resource Machine a try. Unfortunately, Human Resource Machine is no Robot Odyssey. The adventure game aspects are missing: no world to explore (or even to view, really: the give […]

captain toad: treasure tracker

Captain Toad was the first Wii U game that caught my eye: it sounded like a well-done, charming puzzle game that was different enough mechanically to be interesting. I didn’t actually buy a Wii U then, but when I finally picked one up for Splatoon, I also got a copy of Captain Toad. And I’ve […]

persona 4

I didn’t know how much I needed to play Persona 4, but wow, it really was the perfect way for me to spend my game-playing time over the last two months. (Many thanks to Dan and Adam for nudging me to play it!) I’ve gotten sick of games that present you as an all-powerful hero […]

alto’s adventure reconsidered

When I wrote a paragraph about Alto’s Adventure a few months back, I really thought I was done with the game; but maybe a month or so later, I picked it up again in a free moment, and this time it stuck with me longer. The basic issue that I had before was that it […]

ori and the blind forest

I was not that impressed with Ori and the Blind Forest when I first started playing it: the opening made me think it would be a game about companionship, which could be interesting both narratively and mechanically; but the parent figure gets summarily disposed of at the end of the opening, the pretense of narrative […]

current netrunner status

Last fall, I wrote a post about wanting to get better at Netrunner and possible techniques for doing that. I’ve tried some of those ideas, I haven’t tried other of those ideas; I’m still pretty bad at Netrunner, still not managing to get back to where I’m winning half of my games in tournaments. The […]

alien: isolation

For years now, I’ve been frustrated by games’ fixation on an anointed hero saving the world through mass slaughter; I’ve been talking about that most frequently recently in the context of Dragon Age: Inquisition, but of course anointed murderers are all over the place, the only reason why I bring the issue up in the […]

ipad game roundup

A few iPad games I’ve played recently: Alto’s Adventure After hearing about this game on Apple podcast after Apple podcast, I figured I should try it; and I just don’t get the hype. (Or rather, I get that Apple podcast hosts don’t play games much.) It’s really quite lovely, in a subdued way; it’s a […]

game of thrones and life is strange

I played through Game of Thrones and Life Is Strange at the same time this fall. I started both of them when about half the episodes were out, and played through one episode a week (alternating weeks between the two games), so I got a slightly compressed but still episodic experience out of them. If […]

dots and two dots

Dots is a charmingly presented puzzle game. Like many puzzle games, the board is a square of objects that you want to make disappear; in this game, the objects are colored dots, and you make them disappear either by connecting same-colored dots via paths or by making a square of same-colored dots. In the former […]

returning to okami

What a game Okami is. I loved it when I first played it, though in recent years, I’d started to wonder: maybe that game went on a little long, maybe I was thinking about it through rose-colored memories? As it turns out: yeah, sure, the game does go on a little long, but wow what […]

spl-t

I can’t think of another puzzle game like SPL-T: it’s deterministic, but it nonetheless has the “responding to random circumstances” feel of a game like Tetris or Drop 7. That was especially the feel for the first week or so when I was playing the game, when I didn’t realize how the drops work. When […]

clapping music

There’s a game out now that has you play through Steve Reich’s composition Clapping Music. Pleasant to play through: it took me a couple of tries to figure out what they were asking for, but once I got the feel for it, I enjoyed the music, and I got a lot more out of the […]

infinite loop

One of my coworkers introduced me to Infinite Loop, and it’s a pretty interesting game. At its core, it’s a puzzle game that would be completely at home among Nikoli’s or Conceptis’s puzzles, but it’s one that is much more at home on an electronic device than on pencil and paper. I was going to […]

ascension: dawn of champions

I don’t have much to say about the latest Ascension expansion, Ascension: Dawn of Champions. The new mechanism never super grabbed me, and when I had spare moments, I was more likely to play Alphabear; I ended up not even giving the multiplayer a try. (Though, incidentally, Miranda and I have started playing the original […]

returning to blast corps

I had a lot of fun playing Rare games in the Nintendo 64 era, so I was really glad to have the Rare Replay anthology appear. Of course, a lot of Rare’s games are well-designed examples of genres that are now familiar to us; but there’s also Blast Corps. I still haven’t seen anything like […]

thinking about getting better at netrunner

I play Netrunner at lunch several times a week, I go to a tournament once a month, and neither of those are stopping any time soon; it’s a fun and interesting game. And I like getting better at the game (or at least I would like to get better at it, it’s not clear that […]

games, prices, value, and uncertainty

Earlier this summer, I talked about the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter; I wanted to expand on my approach to questions like that. In general, the price of a game (or of any product!) will be somewhere between how much it costs to develop, produce, and sell the product, and how much value people get from the […]

dragon age inquisition: the descent

(I don’t normally worry about spoiler warnings, but, given how recently this DLC came out, I’ll give one here.) I thought that the first piece of DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition, Jaws of Hakkon, was meh; but still, not every piece of DLC is going to advance the series. And, going through the first half […]

one more rocksmith 2017 request

One item that I forgot to add to my earlier list of requests for the next version of Rocksmith: help us get low-latency audio. The game strongly encourages you to use optical audio; and, when I switched over to that, it made a big difference. But there’s a reason why I didn’t switch to optical […]