Transistor

Transistor is gorgeous to behold. Every visual element—from the city and its citizens to the cut scenes and menus—exhibits an impressive mastery of graphic design. The palette alone bears mentioning: In the same way that elaborately beautiful counterpoint in a fugue might motivate a person to take up music appreciation, Transistor fosters an inexplicable urge to study color theory.

All of which makes it the prettiest game I never care to play again.

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CounterSpy

CounterSpy is a fun little gem of a game from indie studio Dynamighty that draws on a rich stylistic history of espionage in 1960’s cinema. It starts with excellent graphic design inspired by the likes of Saul Bass, then layers on a cool, “spy jazz” soundtrack that would have made Mancini proud. Add some fun, light gameplay combining side-scrolling action with simple stealth mechanics and you have an experience that will have you longing for the simpler times of cold war espionage.

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“Never Alone” Never Quite Achieves Its Potential

Never Alone held exciting prospects for me, partially because I’ve enjoyed indigenous folklore as long as I can remember.

When I was a kid back in the seventies, the small, country school I attended had a library tucked along one wall of its gymnasium/cafeteria. Amidst the usual assortment of grade-school texts, the library also offered stories on microfilm. Each film was accompanied by an audio tape that provided narration, music and sound effects.

African folktales were my favorite. I recall one in particular that depicted masked demons dancing out of a forest at night. Now, our school was bordered by a forest. This scene terrified me. I’m pretty sure it gave me nightmares.

In short, I loved it. I watched it over and over again.

So when I heard about Never Alone, it brought back fond memories of fantastic stories full of strange creatures and unlikely heroes. Sadly, while the game is visually appealing, Never Alone never quite lives up to its promise or potential.

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Video

Let’s Play “The Old Tree”

Alright, my writer’s block is kicking up again, the last post in my “Rapture Revisited” series is on its umpteenth rewrite, and I’m worn out. I’m really hoping to have it posted by Saturday, but in the meantime, please enjoy my first “Let’s Play” video:

This cute, quick little point-‘n-click was recommended by @IndieGamerChick on twitter. You can read her take on it here.

Did I mention that The Old Tree is free to play? Download it from Steam and try it for yourself!

See you back here Saturday!

Mudlarks

Mudlarks

Mudlarks is a point-and-click adventure from indie developer Cloak and Dagger Games. It freely mixes fictional European history, paranormal events, and, of course, the strangely tantalizing world of mudlarks, people who muck about the shores of the Thames in search of historical artifacts. Besides being a decent game in its own right, Mudlarks shows what a small, amateur dev team can accomplish when they focus on what matters most.

Narration Audio

[audio http://archive.org/download/pdxkcm-mudlarks-narr-2014_-_video_games/pdxkcm-mudlarks-narration.mp3] Download

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