Posts from ‘Games and Art?’ Category

The Path Released

By: Derek Yu

On: March 20th, 2009

Tale of Tales’ beautiful and terrifying horror game, The Path, is now available for purchase ($9.95) through the ToT website, Steam, and Direct2Drive. Two years in the making, the game has already drawn its fair share of praise, confusion, and unabashed criticism (the discussion in the comments of this one are very interesting). And more praise.

But you should probably just try it for yourself before reading too many of everyone else’s opinions. And given the open-ended and experimental nature of the game, and its adult themes, I can understand why ToT has chosen not to provide a demo for it, either. Fans of horror and/or experimental games should find it easy to take the plunge and support developers who stray off the beaten path (pun very much intended).

TIGdb: Entry for The Path

How and Where

By: Guest Reviewer

On: March 11th, 2009

How and Where

This is a guest review by Andreas Kämper.

I’d like to present two charming little games done by Mike Inel, called “How” and “Where”. I’d also like to thank KnightBlargh from the forums at this point for pointing us out to the games.

“How” is a charming little game in which you control a girl who has to put as many balls into a well as possible in five minutes. Carrying balls around uses up Stamina, while consuming the balls restores Stamina, but slowly kills the girl. While that sounds pretty bland and straightforward as a game, it’s the execution that makes this game so special. The graphics are hand-drawn and smoothly animated, creating a unique atmosphere without even using so much as sound effects or music. You just have to feel sorry for the girl when it clumsily drops to the ground of exhaustion or simply drops dead after eating too much of the spheres.

“Where” on the other hand is a 3D first person maze game. You start the game walking towards a ball of light, until a maze starts forming around you that you can then explore. If you reach the edges of the maze, you can change its layout and style, resulting in a change of color as well as music. While there is nothing much to see in the maze, save for its four different styles, the game, just as “How”, creates a unique and relaxing atmosphere. According to Mike Inel, the game has been remade once already, but was neither completely finished when it was original made, nor when he remade it.

Neither of these games offers long-lasting fun or much replayability (except for breaking the Highscore in “How” maybe) but they still should be played by anyone valuing an unique experience or taking an interest in “art games”. Some people may also be offended by the skimpiness of the girl in “How” a bit, so better skip on it if you’re that type of person.

Where Is My Heart?

By: ithamore

On: February 15th, 2009

Where is My Heart?

Where Is My Heart? is a platformer by Bernhard Schulenburg that presents its own unique style and challenges with charm and brevity. It was one of the winners of this year’s IGF Student Showcase, and it was part of Indiecade 2008. This quote from the WIMH’s description on its IGF Info page sums it nicely:

“Where is My Heart? is an engaging and touching exploration of familial relationships through the metaphors of exploration and collection.”

You can download the Demo Verion 0.3 from Schulenburg’s blog for either Mac or Windows platforms. It was the final version he submitted for the Student Showcase, and there are also two earlier versions available under his download label (both of which I must now begin playing).

Flower – thatgamecompany returns to the PSN!

By: Xander

On: February 13th, 2009


Phew, finally finished ‘I wanna be the guy’! Hah, that took a whil-

Wait, it’s WHAT year now?! Well, time does fly when you’re in a sado-masochistic relationship with a video-game! Luckily I’m finished just in time for the release of Flower.

From the creators of Cloud and Flow, this is certainly an original title. It’s quite difficult to draw comparisons without either referencing TGC’s own works or the even more esoteric PSN experience Linger in Shadows. This aside, part of the enjoyment of the title definitely comes from playing the game yourself, and certainly that’s where Flower trumps its demo-scene partner. There’s a lot more interactivity involved in Flower, the rough explanation of which is that you control a petal in the countryside by utilising the motion controls of the Six-Axis controller to invoke the wind. The ‘goal’ is blow through flowers dotted around the landscape to encourage them to blossom and add their petals to your own ever-growing collection.

Its a very simple game, aided by a simple control scheme where-in every single button on the controller calls forth the wind. The motion controls are amazingly responsive, so much so that really the only thing that stops you from maneuvering your blossom-storm in fantastical formations is that your wrist might just twist itself off. Both a lack of urgency in your objectives, combined with the responsive controls provides an unparrelled relaxation experience, though that isn’t to say your role is an entirely passive one. Each environment adds slight complexities to the activity, as well as new aesthetic delights.


It’s honestly hard to explain how fantastic this game looks in motion, and the satisfaction that comes from knowing that you’re involved in the creation of the mise-en-scene is almost painfully gratifying. Whilst the spreading of beauty across occasionally barren landscapes does sound very Okami-ish, what really makes Flower special is your own emotional engagement in the scenarios. You are the one who brings life to the landscape, and so anything that happens after that fact feels like being back at play-school and having your sand castle kicked back in your own face. In Okami it feels like you’re doing a favour to the world, but in Flower everything is a matter of self. There are no other people in the game to identify with, which instead means you find yourself identifying with more abstract notions of yourself. It is quite simply, your nature.

Flower is available now on the PSN for $10/£6.29, and there’s a playable trial available if you at least happen to have access to a PS3. It’s a wonderful game, and I don’t want to say that it deserves to be played. Rather, it’s something you deserve yourselves, what with the Credit Cruch/Economic Disaster/Business Hyperbole going on, there’s just no escapism that’s quite like it!

TIGdb: Entry for fl0wer

Harpooned: 2009 Update

By: Brandon McCartin (BMcC)

On: February 1st, 2009


Conor O’Kane has released an update to Harpooned, a satirical “Japanese Cetacean Research Simulator” that’s apparently already been all over the place, even though (I’m embarrassed to say) I’ve just now heard of it for the first time.

It’s pretty clever and well put together. I’d give it 3.5 cosmetic products out of 4.
You can download the 2009 update of Harpooned here.

Cactus’ New Site

By: Brandon McCartin (BMcC)

On: January 27th, 2009

Sexy Cactus Banner

Cactus has updated his site with a new pinked-out style and sexy banners and everything. It makes my brain feel dirty, but in a good way. Plus, he’s added his most recent works, bringing his grand total of released games to forty (40!). Crazy.

Oh, also, there are new screenshots for Brain-Damaged Toon Underworld, Mondo Nation, and some WIP goodness. Word.

Update: Aha, the BDTU screens are on the Lofi Minds site. My bad.

Rara Racer, Mirror Stage Preview

By: Terry

On: December 9th, 2008

It’s very difficult to explain why you should play increpare’s Ludum Dare game Rara Racer without spoiling the whole bloody thing, and unfortunately the screenshot in the thread really doesn’t do justice to the concept. The windows download is available here, and will only take a little over two minutes and 10 seconds of your time… You just have to play it for yourself. It’s worth every second!

Also, if you’ve been following the What are you working on? thread on the forums, you might have seen a screenshot or two of increpare’s Mirror Stage, which has been in the works on and off for a couple of months now. That’s nearing completion – in fact, could quite possibly be finished this weekend. I’ve seen a few running demos at various stages of development and at TIGJam:UK, and it’s definitely one to keep an eye on! More screenshots of it after the jump:

Minotaur China Shop

By: Brandon McCartin (BMcC)

On: September 25th, 2008

Suddenly, a transmission from Flashbang’s hidden underground base…


9/11 Invaders Installation Pulled From Leipzig Games Convention

By: Derek Yu

On: August 25th, 2008


Don’t ask me why, but I’m kind of fascinated by controversial games right now. The games, the ensuing discussion, and their ultimate “place” in gaming history. If you’re not, however, then apologies in advance.

Artist Douglas Stanley has asked the Leipzig Games Convention to pull his installation, citing “a steady downward spiral in public discussion of the piece” as the reason. Stanley’s work, which lets players fight a futile battle against classic Space Invaders as they attack the Twin Towers, has drawn fire across the board – from Taito, who is considering a lawsuit against Stanley and/or the organizers of the event, to families of 9/11 victims. The controversy was also fueled over speculation that Stanley is French (in actuality he is an American living in France).

It should be noted that, unlike Sigvatr (Muslim Massacre), Stanley has publicly expressed that the game is partly a criticism of America’s war in the Middle East. And Kotaku’s Michael McWhertor, who played the game, reveals that a video loop plays next to the game, featuring “scenes from the films Taxi Driver, Independence Day, Air Force One and Die Hard — all of which are American made films with a xenophobic streak — interspersed with stills of George W. Bush in his flight suit and John Wayne pointing a gun at the screen.” (This makes the controversy over Stanley’s nationality somewhat ironical, I feel.) Also, on the “Game Over” screen the game displays “SUPPORT OUR TROOPS,” for whatever that’s worth.

I understand that depicting the 9/11 terrorist attacks in anything other than complete seriousness is still considered taboo for many Americans, but I’m still surprised that this drew so much outrage. Call me naive.

(Image Source: Kotaku)

Photos: messhof at Light Industry

By: Derek Yu

On: July 24th, 2008


Here are a bunch of photos taken at messhof’s Light Industry premiere. Looks like a good turn out! But then again, they all look like they might be related to messhof. Hmmm…

Still, I wish I could have attended!