April 2012

While the industry divides the year into quarters, we realize that there are really three parts to the year: the barren early months, the gimmicky, convention-filled summer and the action-packed holiday season. This time, we look at January through April.

Biggest Surprise: If you had told me last year that I would love a game about parkour garbage men cleaning up a dilapidated forest, mansion and Tron-inspired game grid, then I would have called you crazy, but here we are, and I loves me some Dustforce. In each level, your goal is to clean the whole place up by running, jumping, and chaining your way forward. You’re scored on two factors: how much dust you get rid of and your longest chain. If you manage to clean all of the dust in one long chain. you’ll get an SS ranking. I’ve managed it only once, but the prospect keeps me coming back for more, and I enjoy myself every time. READ MORE

As we sat down for the Aliens: Colonial Marines presentation, the writer of the game told us something surprising. He talked about how the game is considered canon, and what a daunting task it was to write a part of such an iconic series. I don’t think he’s seen the last five or six Alien films. READ MORE

Whether you asked for it or not, Sonic 4: Episode 2 is coming. Though I’m not entirely sure why.

When Sonic 4: Episode 1 was on the way, fans could not have been more excited. Sega was finally returning to Sonic’s roots and giving us what we’ve been asking for since before polygons were common. Then the game came out and everyone was exactly as disappointed as they were excited. The levels were rote, the controls were loose and the physics. Oh God, the physics. READ MORE

Writer Mike Walbridge’s goal: play every Molyjam game and tell you about them. Want to know more? Click here.

286: When Doves Cry: “You are a Pigeon who must go around the city trying to persuade business men not to jump off buildings by retrieving items from their home.”

This game truly does let you fly around the city, retrieving items to give to suicidal men on top of buildings and bridges, all during a serious, piano-plink-filled soundtrack. It’s particularly touching, as the items vary and each man says something different upon meeting you (and again when you give him his personal item to change his mind). Items include a watch, a wedding ring, a bible, a knife, a novel, and a letter. Each has a story to it. READ MORE

Thanks to the popularity of such motion-based systems like the Wii and the 360’s Kinect, “minigame” has almost become a dirty term in the industry. You think of Wii Play, Carnival Games or one of the hundred other minigame collections that have come out over the years and plagued us with their tedious mechanics and uninspired gameplay. Not all minigame collections are bad, but most have been pushed out to make a quick buck off the gimmicks of these new control devices. In light of these releases, I want to show that minigames still have a place in the industry, and can potentially be our hope and saviors from potentially monotonous gameplay. READ MORE