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Orcs Must Die Review

November 30th, 2011 1 Comment

It’s hard to believe that just a few short years ago tower defense was mostly confined to cultish flash games. Indies have have since stretched the genre into multiplayer, dropped player perspective to the trenches, and even stripped out the walls. Orcs Must Die is best understood against that backdrop. It’s a payoff game that emerges from so much industry to refine innovation into polish.

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Portal 2 Review

April 28th, 2011 Comments Off

Portal 2
It’s hard to talk about Portal games without spoiling them. However, it’s fair to say that a strong lineage carries a burden of expectation. Portal 2 rises to that burden with a combination of diverse content, expert craftsmanship, and brilliant writing.

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Review: Super Meat Boy

January 10th, 2011 1 Comment

Super Meat Boy is platforming honed. It’s as if developer Team Meat took a great block of code and carved everything away that wasn’t a platformer. What’s left moves fast, never wastes your time, and really captures the joy of learning a difficult skill.

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E3 Roundup: Consoles/PC

June 25th, 2010 Comments Off

There was a bunch of fancy hardware on display at this year’s E3. Sony continued aping the Wii with the Playstation Move. Microsoft debuted the motion-capturing Kinect, and Nintendo hopped on the theatrical 3D bandwagon with the 3DS. However, none of this hardware means anything without good software to back it up. Having already hit up the portable and downloadable titles, we’ll close this E3 summary week with console and PC games. Keep in mind that this includes Kirby: Epic Yarn, but somebody already covered that elsewhere. Everything else is here.

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Review: Overlord II

February 8th, 2010 Comments Off

Overlord II is an improvement over the first game in every way. Gameplay is more varied, the writing is consistently funny, and decorating your dark Fortress has never been manlier. The improvements diminish the challenge somewhat, but who subjugates the strong, anyway?

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Machinarium Review

October 16th, 2009 Comments Off

Machinarium_logo

It is an internet-verifiable fact that robots make everything better. You can therefore imagine awesome it must be to play a robot in a robot city as he tries to save his robot girlfriend from robot terrorists. Machinarium is an adventure game that lives up to those expectations in almost every way.

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Review: Tales of Monkey Island: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal

July 13th, 2009 1 Comment

Like an infatuated zombie pirate, The Monkey Island series has returned from parts unknown to perform unspeakable acts on your brains. It’s pushing eight years since the last installment, which was less well received than its three predecessors, so you may be wondering if this is a revival or betrayal of the brand.

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Review: And Yet It Moves

May 25th, 2009 1 Comment

Fans of graphic novels will have heard about the infinite canvas—the idea that comics on the web needn’t be saddled with the limitations of their paper counterparts. And Yet It Moves is the proof of concept that the same principle applies to video games, although in this case it’s more about the simulation of natural laws than simple space. It’s a game that capitalizes on the freedom inherent in simulated spaces, and the result is smart, lean, and topsy-turvy.

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Review: Geneforge

May 18th, 2009 Comments Off


Geneforge came out in late 2001, so it might seem a little early to be doing a retro review. However, it offers a portal into state of the art RPG design circa 1988, so it’s fair game. Although fascinating as an historical artifact, the brutal difficulty, tremendous time investment, and spartan graphics and sound mean that Geneforge will appeal to a very narrow audience. That audience will probably fetishize it, though—it’s not like they make ‘em like this anymore.

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Review: Left 4 Dead

January 12th, 2009 Comments Off

Left 4 Dead is more exciting on paper than it is in practice, but the actual game is undiminished for it. It promises an endlessly replayable cooperative multiplayer experience with roguelike procedurally generated content and delivers a brief, intense, FPS game that stays intense even as you become familiar with it. Perhaps not exactly as advertised, but good stuff nonetheless.

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