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mini metro mario run

Mini Metro is a good game. Interesting mechanic, simple but with (I suspect) a decent amount of depth, and (at least on the iPad) an interface that works extremely well with the gameplay. Super Mario Run is also a good game. Despite being a one-button game, it is unquestionably a Mario game; and the levels […]

firewatch

(Spoilers ahead.) The introduction to Firewatch sets puts Henry in a situation that’s impossible to successfully navigate. I can’t really imagine what it would be like to have somebody you love not only fall into dementia but to do that when they’re in what should be the mental prime of their life; I would like […]

ace attorney – spirit of justice

The latest Phoenix Wright game, Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice, turned out to be one of my favorites in the series. Not for mechanical reasons, because the mechanics, while pleasant, are completely unsurprising to anybody familiar with the series: the same exploration, the same trials, the game keeps all the characters from the previous […]

star realms

Star Realms is an awful lot like Ascension. It includes the mechanic of multiple cards in the same faction reinforcing each other that Ascension didn’t add until a later expansion, some cards let you trash them for a benefit, its equivalent of constructs can be attacked, and of course many of the card effects are […]

fire emblem awakening

I’d played one of the earlier Fire Emblem games, but only one. There are ways in which I like the gameplay, but I didn’t like the permadeath, the later levels got long, and the story didn’t grab me. Ultimately, I was more of a fan of Intelligent Systems’ Advance Wars games instead: I liked the […]

rise of the tomb raider

I liked the first Lara Croft Bow Warrior quite a bit: very legible action platforming, a surprisingly decent story about coming into your powers, tons of collection that managed to stay on the entertaining side instead of the annoying side. Rivers of blood and not enough tombs—it’s a AAA video game—and there were too many […]

rocksmith as virtual reality

In the September VGHVI Symposium, we talked about virtual reality, using the phrase “metaphoric presence” to describe it; we contrasted VR to immersion, which we defined as identification with a ruleset. Basically, with our definitions (or rather Roger’s definitions, though I support them) virtual reality gives the impression that you’re there, while, if you’re immersed, […]

pokemon go

The special thing about Pokemon Go: so many people are playing it. Parks are full of people playing it, my coworkers are talking about it, when I’m on a train I see gyms at stations change ownership before the train has even stopped. My favorite experience with the game was when Miranda asked me to […]

imbroglio

My first impression of Imbroglio: lovely symmetry, with a fondness for twos and fours. The playing field is a four by four square, with monsters coming out of the four corners. You fight monsters with the weapons on the playing field; those weapons come in two colors, red and blue, doing one point of damage […]

love live

I am pretty confused as to what I think about Love Live! School Idol Festival: there are three fairly distinct aspects to the game, I’m not sure what I think about those aspects individually, and the three of them pull me in different directions. It kept me playing for quite a while, and I did […]

ipad game roundup

Some iPad games I played on vacation: The Room 3 The latest game in a well-done series: the puzzles are challenging without having me quite getting stuck on them, and the game is committed to those puzzles. (My favorite way that plays out: they barely pretend you you have a body, if you’re moving to […]

signing up for pokemon go

A day or two after Pok√©mon Go came out, I decided to give it a try, so I downloaded and launched the game. (The iPhone version of the game, to be specific.) And, after being asked to enter my birthdate, I was given a choice of registering with a Google account or a Club Pokemon […]

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 […]