The Games of Humble Indie Bundle 11

The Games of Humble Indie Bundle (Featured Image)

This week I teamed up with some other Leviathyn writers to share our thoughts on the latest Humble Indie Bundle games.  Of course, I chose to talk about my favorite game of 2013, The Swapper.

“The Swapper is the sort of game that I don’t spill any details on when recommending it to a friend. It’s the sort of experience I want people to go into mostly blind, free to immerse themselves in what it does and what it has to say without expectation. But I will say this of The Swapper: it was my favorite game of 2013, and it’s one of my favorite games of all time. It’s an atmospheric puzzle-platformer with a gorgeous clay-model aesthetic, but what sets it apart for me is just how beautifully it’s mechanics support it’s narrative. It’s a story about identity and consciousness and the gameplay matches it perfectly. The Swapper is one of the best examples for how to design a game to express ideas through both the story and the play. The Swapper is gaming at its best; don’t miss it.”

So click here to read me gushing over The Swapper some more, and also check out what Fergus Halliday, Aaron Randolph, and Daniel Mellman had to say about Guacamelee, Dust: An Elysian Tail, Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, Antichamber, and Monaco.  Also, you can follow me on Twitter to find out which day of the week I dislike the most (hint: it’s Thursday).

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Our Darker Purpose Review: Difficulty Done Wrong

Our Darker Purpose Title Screen (Featured Image)Another week, another review.  This time it’s the Binding of Isaac clone, Our Darker Purpose.  It’s got a great style and look, and it mixes up Binding of Isaac‘s gameplay enough to make itself interesting, but a major design flaw in the progression and difficulty exacerbates all of its other little flaws.

“With each new playthrough, another problem is revealed, another good element wears out its welcome, and another small design error becomes a big nuisance. Yet these problems wouldn’t be so aggravating if Our Darker Purpose didn’t force players to grind through the game over and over again in order to make progress. Our Darker Purpose wants to be hard. It is, but for the wrong reasons.”

Click here to check it out, and follow me on Twitter to see me being a curmudgeon in far fewer words!

The Lingering Questions About The Wolf Among Us

The Wolf Among Us Bigby Silhouette (Featured Image)

This week fellow Leviathyn writer Fergus Halliday and I took a look at some of the questions we had following The Wolf Among Us episode two, put our detective hats on, and gave our best guesses as to where the series was going.

THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS BIG SPOILERS FOR THE WOLF AMONG US

READ AT YOUR OWN RISK

Click here to see our expert predictions for The Wolf Among Us episode three.

Leviathyn | Mega Review: The Wolf Among Us Episode 2 – Smoke and Mirrors

The Wolf Among Us Episode 2 - Smoke and Mirrors (Featured Image)Today Leviathyn published its first Mega Review, and I was lucky enough to be a part of it.  Mega Reviews hearken back to the days of classic EGM where multiple writers would review and score a game, and then the game’s final score would be an average of the three reviews.  Along with Fergus Halliday and Alex Shedlock, I reviewed the latest episode of The Wolf Among UsI loved the first episode all the way back in October, but I can’t say the same for this one…

From my review: “It’s as if in the four months between this episode and the previous, Telltale forgot what exactly it was that made that first episode so great. Not to say that this episode isn’t good, but gone is the awe from the premiere episode Faith and what’s left can’t hold a candle to what came before. In short, the magic’s gone.”

I love the idea for the Mega Reviews and hopefully we’ll see more popping up on Leviathyn from now on.  Click here to see the review and leave a comment with your thoughts on The Wolf Among Us and the Mega Review.  Like it, hate it, want to see something changed or improved? Let us know in the comments!

Octodad and Portal: The Two Types of Comedy Games

Octodad and Portal (Featured Image)
“Most games throw in funny quips or a sarcastic protagonist, but few games devote themselves fully to the art of comedy. But perhaps that’s because, as I see it, no game has truly found how best to use comedy in our interactive medium. Comedy in gaming comes from two elements: the mechanics and the story. Each has its own strengths, but each also lacks something that the other has.”

I wrote a thing about comedy in video games.  Click here to head on over to Leviathyn to check it out and leave a comment about how dumb I am for forgetting the best comedy game of all time, <insert game name here>!

An Explanation for My Absence and An Announcement

Leviathyn Logo and Text

Our regularly scheduled Tuesday post was missing last week.  On top of starting classes last Monday, another circumstance arose that has kept me from my usual duties.  As of last Sunday, I am now a writer for the website Leviathyn.  It’s a great site with dedicated writers for each of the three big consoles as well as mobile, entertainment, news, and PC, which is the section I write for.  I’ll be doing reviews, previews, opinions, and all types of articles there.  They’ve recently overhauled their look and style, and hired a bunch of new writers, including me, so check it out.

Anyway, since my duties at Leviathyn require more time from me every week than I previously reserved for this blog, I’ve decided to stop doing a weekly post.  Unique posts for this blog will, from here on out, become more infrequent.  When I do post here it’ll likely be about movies, comics, or books since anything I write gaming-related will be going up on Leviathyn.  I will post links and excerpts here for anything I write at Leviathyn so you can still check out what I’ve been up to.

It’s a great site and I’m very excited for all the opportunities working there allows me.  I hope you’ll stop by.

But without further ado here are the two articles I’ve had published so far:

Stonerid Featured Image without textStonerid Review: Trial-and-Error in Two Dimensions

My first review was on an indie platformer called Stonerid.  It wasn’t a very good game for a myriad of reasons, and hopefully I explained them all without coming off as a jerk.

“From its implementation of the dimension shifting to its cluttered and samey art, Stonerid fails to properly give its players the necessary tools and knowledge to succeed. Every level inevitably devolves into trial-and-error and frustration.”

Steam Desktop Icon (Featured Image)Steam Isn’t Perfect and It’s Important to Know Why

An opinion article about Steam’s shortcomings and why we should all be aware of them.

“But those services and conveniences don’t come without penalty. In PC gaming’s reliance on Steam, we’ve not only given up important rights as consumers, but we’ve affected how game creators do business.”

Hopefully, you’ll check out some of the stuff I put up over at Leviathyn.

Thanks for reading.

– Cam