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ZZT Book Review

Epic Manygames

ZZT

In 1991 a man named Tim Sweeney released an adventure game called ZZT. A charming and weird shareware game, it was successful enough to launch a new company called Epic Megagames, which would ultimately be responsible for the high-end Unreal engine and such games as Gears of War. The forces that took the creators of ZZT and Jazz Jackrabbit into making joyless games about impossibly beefy men wielding chainsaw-guns would be worthy of examination in their own right. An examination of that history, however, might miss the elements of design and community that developer and author Anna Anthropy focuses on in her fascinating book about Epic's first game.

Alien: Isolation Review

Get Out of the Room

Alien Isolation

HIGH Everything involving the alien.

LOW A lengthy midgame segment that has nothing to do with the alien.

WTF Reuniting the original cast and then walling them off for preorders.

XBlaze - Code: Embryo Review

A game as meaningful as its title

XBlaze

High High production values for a visual novel

Low TOi

WTF Yet another harem of girls fawning over an unlikeable male protagonist

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments Review

Cocaine Wishes and Cadaver Dreams


Sherlock Holmes

HIGH Navigating the deduction space of Sherlock's mind

LOW Awful, unresponsive lockpicking controls

WTF Doing bumps of "sap powder" in the clubhouse of a zen garden

Final Fantasy Theatrhythm: Curtain Call Review

A musical journey through multiple worlds

Final Fantasy Theatrythm

High: Tapping and sliding along to favorite Final Fantasy songs

Low: The story is as weak as wet tissue paper

WTF: Why are the character models so creepy?

Preview: This War Of Mine


I'm not quite sure what to feel about This War of Mine. It's a game about war but not about soldiers; about the pain of conflict and the grinding pressure that war exerts on everyone. While I appreciate the nobility of its intentions, its mechanics don't quite match up with the message in the preview build I played.

Preview: Tulpa


 

The first thing I thought of when I saw Tulpa was that it's Limbo as imagined by Tim Burton. It's an easy comparison to make thanks to side-scrolling, puzzle-based play crossed with surreal imagery -- it conjured Coraline in my head more than a few times.

Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus Review

Cuteness is justice!!!

Senran

HIGH Fully grokking the combat's nuances after a few go-rounds.

LOW Getting corner-trapped into enemy combos. Also, blocking is useless.

WTF Why do so many girls wear band-aids over their nipples?

Fairy Fencer F Review

A Sword Is Your Best Friend

Fairy Fencer F

HIGH Literally any of the adorable monster sidekicks. They're all great.

LOW Killing twenty Earth Golems in a row to farm the gems I need.

WTF Wait, is the game almost over? It's only been 20 hours... Oh, I see what's about to happen!

Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed Review

Less interesting than it sounds

Akiba

HIGH Fantastically weird premise.

LOW Painfully insipid writing.

WTF How did something with so much promise end up so dull?

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