May 2012

A lot of games have attempted to take the addictive gameplay of Civilization and wrap a fantasy game around it, but it’s been a long time since anyone has succeeded (outside of a fantasy mod for Civilization IV). Paradox’s Warlock: Master of the Arcane manages to do so better than many have, but it still falls short in a few key areas. READ MORE

This week, Double Fine goes spelunking and we watch the coming and going of games and a studio.

TOP STORY: Double Fine creating The Cave

Double Fine is partnering with Sega to release a new side-scrolling downloadable title on XBLA, PSN and PC next year. The Cave will place players in the role of three adventurers, each with different skills and personalities. We don’t know much about the gameplay at this point, but we do know that where will a medieval castle, an underground amusement park and a nuclear ICBM.


Writer Mike Walbridge’s goal: play every Molyjam game and tell you about as many as he can. This is the final installment. Check out the archive for more.

I have done it! I have played every single Molyjam game I could possibly play. Some I couldn’t play because of broken links—others, because I lacked the necessary software (a few phone games) or hardware (like a dancepad!). A few I was able to watch, instead of play. READ MORE

As an interactive medium, games have a lot of opportunities to tell stories in different ways that differ from the standard movie-like cutscenes you would expect. A lot of Valve’s games, Half-Life and Portal most of all, do a great job of immersing you in the story while still allowing for player control. That is a great way to seamlessly blend the narrative with gameplay, but my favorite storytelling method is actually something that is even more reliant on player interaction than any other. It answers the question: How do you tell a story without directly telling a story? READ MORE

As I write this column, my cryogenic tube is being taken out of storage to freeze my body until next fall, as I do every year when Community’s season ends. Last week we got the last three episodes of the third season, including one of the best representations of video games I’ve seen on TV. That is not to say it was a super-accurate example of a video game or the development process of making a game, but it was in-jokey, sincere and, most importantly, fun. And isn’t that what video games are all about? READ MORE