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Super Mario Crossover photo
Super Mario Crossover

Super Mario Crossover 3.0 is finally out

Work on the team's original game, Super Retro Squad, is progressing slowly
Aug 03
// Tony Ponce
Super Mario Crossover, the pixel-for-pixel recreation of Super Mario Bros. that features a selectable cast of NES stars, was all set for the big 3.0 update this past June. It was unfortunately delayed a month, but it is now a...

Marbly is the newest game from Tetris creator, now on iOS

Squares are so retro! Spheres are the new hotness!
Jun 02
// Jason Cabral
When you think of long running puzzle game franchises, you'll inevitably come across Tetris. We have all played it at one time or another, willingly or otherwise, and we have Mr. Alexey Pajitnov to thank for it...

Tetris Blitz now out, free for iOS and Android

It's like Tetris on crack
May 24
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Tetris Blitz is now available on iOS and Android for free. Blitz takes the Tetris concept and shoves it into a two minute line clearing frenzy where you want to score as many points as possible. The fast-paced game features o...
Super Mario Crossover 3.0 photo
Super Mario Crossover 3.0

Super Mario Crossover 3.0 is just around the corner

Third major version of the star-studded fan game coming in May or June
Apr 28
// Tony Ponce
Three years ago as of yesterday, indie dev Exploding Rabbit's Super Mario Bros. Crossover was unleashed online, and the reception couldn't have been warmer. For the benefit of the unfortunate few who haven't heard of this da...
Tetris photo

Tetris could fix your lazy eye

Hey, I'm over here
Apr 23
// Dale North
BBC News says that 1 in 50 children have a lazy eye, and that Tetris could help to fix their weak eyes. Doctors at McGill University has research that shows that playing the greatest block dropping game of all time ...
Tetris photo

Apple co-founder shows off his legendary Tetris skills

Woz the Tetris wiz
Apr 12
// Allistair Pinsof
Steve Wozniak is an oddity. Though many know Wozniak for his work at Apple, in his earlier days he was known for his work with videogames, both as a designer (creating Atari's Breakout) and player. This video shot by Game In...
Chiptune rock photo
Chiptune rock

Check out this sick 11-minute NES chiptune rock medley

Psycho Crusher takes you on a musical tour of the best of the NES
Mar 09
// Tony Ponce
Guitarist Psycho Crusher, whose amazing rock arrangements I've shared numerous times in the past, originally composed this latest jam with the intent to play it live as a full band. Instead, he decided to turn it into a chip...
Music photo

Some classic game songs with a Middle-Eastern twist

Contra, Mario, Angry Birds, and more all get covered
Mar 06
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
I've listened to plenty of videogame musical covers in the seven years I've worked at Destructoid. Yet, this is the first time I've heard of a musical cover montage with a Middle-Eastern twist to them. There's even some games covered here I'd never expect, like Alley Cat. [Via The Awesomer]
Sexy time photo
Sexy time

This is how videogame characters have sex

Because you always wanted to know
Mar 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Kind of creeped out at the Nintendogs part. Sex in video games [Reddit]

I know what a game is

Feb 27 // Daniel Starkey
Trying to define something -- especially something whose definition would appear at first to be completely clear and free from dissension -- is no easy task. Take time, for example. I don’t think I heard anything that I would consider an acceptable definition of time until I was well into a decent physics course. Even then it seems at least once a week that definition is tweaked and refined. That sort of constant, steady modification is one of the important elements of this conversation, as it seems patently absurd to me, that anyone would get themselves so wrapped up in one, immutable definition for something that is always in flux. Language, art, communication -- these things are always changing and evolving. What we consider classics, in many cases, were once considered pretentious tripe, or the works of the foolish, lecherous, and the uneducated. To say that you know, without a doubt, the absolute final, permanent and unchanging definition of anything is a species of arrogance I can’t even begin to fathom. And if you’re one of those people, you should probably stop reading because you won’t benefit from anything I have to say. Anti-game activists fall back on the two conditions I listed above: 1) a game must have rules and 2) it must have a “win state.” Both of these qualifications seem odd to me. The first one is basically worthless, in the sense that, anything that you can do would arguably have a set of rules. Life has rules; anything you ever do or interact with is limited by something. That point is so non-specific as to be completely meaningless and applicable to nothing. The second condition, that games must have some kind of “win state” is a little better, but still leaves many things that most would consider games out of the “real games” party. Is Simon a game? Minecraft? What about Tetris? Or Missile Command? Skyrim? None of these things that I would readily call games have a “win state” that is clear, with three of them being completely unbeatable. Jane McGonigal, one of the more interesting people working on the more pragmatic side of what I will call “videogame design theory,” has perhaps one of the best, though ultimately imperfect definitions of what a “game” is. She claims that every game, whether it is video, board, or playground, shares four fundamental traits: a goal, rules and limitations, a feedback system, and voluntary participation. Unlike the hopelessly unclear requirements of only a set of rules and a “win state,” Jane’s set of traits work together to increase their collective specificity. Her rules could also be interpreted as obstructions to the goal of a player. And the requirement for voluntary participation safeguards against simply calling anything anyone ever does a “game.” Indeed, my only real issue with her list is the “goal” part. I don’t like Proteus. I don’t like Dear Esther. I don’t like Twine games. Still, they are all games. Proteus is, to me at least, about exploration. I was underwhelmed by this exploration, primarily because I think plenty of games accomplish the same goal, the same sense of wonder and the same kind of otherworldly fascination, without needing to be so unnecessarily obtuse. There is also a very clear feedback mechanism -- different bits of the environment react and interact with you and the rest of the world based on your presence. Over time, they steadily guide you to see a few specific things. Whether or not you find those things interesting and whether or not you care about how they change is irrelevant. They do, along with a given rule set, exist. If, for example, you chose to ignore every clue or signal that the game gave you, and simply decided to wander aimlessly until your boredom grew sufficiently large to stop playing -- then you might not ever know what any of the core pieces of the game are. Ignorance of all of the disparate elements, however, doesn’t immediately disqualify its status as a game, though. It isn’t uncommon for me to approach a game with a different mindset than most of my friends. I, allegedly, am a professional game critic and I have a certain set of things that I look for and continuously slot away in a mental filing cabinet while playing. When that “critic hat” comes off, though, I’m often known to be one of the more ... unruly players. In Halo, I’ll often use sticky grenades on teammates that are about to ride off in a vehicle. Sometimes In Capture the Flag modes, I’ve been known to kill people on my team so they can’t score points. In these instances, my goal not only differs from those the designers intended, but they transcend them. I give up trying to win, and create new goals for myself. Surely, McGonigal and others would argue that I am creating my own sub-games within the established rule set. Instead of Capturing the Flag, my new goal would simply be to fuel my own amusement. Rules? Whatever I think is funny. Feedback? My own laughter. Each of these things would exist and be bound not only by the structure of Halo’s regular multiplayer modes, but my own set of conditions as well. I do the very same thing in single-player titles when I’m not reviewing them. If I start finding a game boring or frustrating, I co-opt its mechanics to allow me to do ... whatever it is I can. I look for things to break, new ways in which I can manipulate different elements of the game so that I can extract whatever entertainment value I can salvage. I’ve already established that these changes are, in themselves, creating new games within something larger. Why then, would my doing the same thing in other titles not count? If a player begins ignoring everything the developer is trying to tell them, what difference does it make in which digital world that act of creation takes place? If no goal is ever clearly given merely because you never progress far enough to see if you, the player, don’t know the goal, is it still a game?  Everyone has their set of reasons for playing games, and we could be forgiven for trying to project our own expectations onto others. It raises the question though, why anyone else genuinely cares what gets called what. I think that’s the real issue here. That some people feel that their way of life, or their hobby is being threatened. It’s a weird, relatable-yet-irrational sort of paranoia. That seems to be happening a lot lately.
I know what a game is photo
But I don't really think it matters in the first place
A lot of people have been running around attacking games like Proteus or The Walking Dead; claiming that they aren’t, in fact, games. Generally speaking these people spout off random things about requiring “win st...


Marching band does an amazing videogame-themed show

Oct 07
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Marching bands have done videogame covers in the past, but it looks like Ohio State has just raised the bar in how to perform a truly great gaming themed performance. The band began with Space Invaders, followed it up with P...
It Came from Japan! photo
It Came from Japan!

It Came From Japan! Tetris Battle Gaiden

Sep 27
// Allistair Pinsof
[It Came from Japan! is a series where I seek out and review the weirdest, most original and enjoyable titles that never left the Land of the Rising Sun.] We all have that one so-called classic that we groan at when we see...

Tetris: The Musical is... VeggieTales?

Aug 24
// Tony Ponce
Well... not really, obviously. You gotta admit that there's some resemblance! Tetris: The Musical, the latest short by Random Encounters Entertainment, anthropomorphizes the iconic blocks in a very liberal interpretation of ...

Proof that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is a Tetris god

Jul 19
// Tony Ponce
Steve Wozniak, computer wizard and one of the founding fathers of Apple, has boasted about his mad Game Boy Tetris skills on several occasions. According to Steve, he still walks around town armed with a few Game Boy Lights (...

Fake Tetris movie is easily better than Battleship

May 27
// Tony Ponce
Not that it's really all that difficult to make anything that's better than Battleship. This fake live-action Tetris trailer comes courtesy of Warialasky, the real-life GoldenEye bros. It perfectly encapsulates the essence o...

Preview: Three 1C Company games worthy of a gander

Mar 19 // Ryan Perez
Men of War: Condemned Heroes, King's Bounty: Warriors of the North, Royal Quest (PC)Developer: 1C-SoftClub, Katauri InteractivePublisher: 1C CompanyRelease: TBA 2012 Men of War: Condemned Heroes It seems like everyone with a gun is "of" something these days. The interesting thing about this particular WW2 strategy game is that your troops are members of what were known as "penal battalions." Apparently, whenever Russian soldiers faced a court-martial, they were aften relocated into these particular battalions and sent on some of the most hazardous missions that our Russian allies had ever seen. Admirably enough, even members of these arguably punishing squads were deemed heroes within the war. So Men of War surprisingly features a controversial subject from Russian WW2 history. I've read about strapping bombs to dogs and training them to "find food" beneath tanks, but this one certainly tops my list of intriguing WW2 trivia. All of the missions players embark on are based on historical reference, which should make some of these soldiers' no-win scenarios even more interesting and inspirational. Too few games feature this sort of attention to non-fiction, so titles like Men of War: Condemned Heroes have their own appeal over the competition, from my point of view. As for the gameplay: It's what you'd expect from a tactical strategy game. Players are given a set amount of troops, and are tasked with accomplishing particular goals and objectives.  The graphics are on par with most other games in the genre, and the combat has some admirable depth to it (even giving players the choice between context-specific squad formations). The Men of War series is a pretty successful franchise for 1C, so check out Condemned Heroes if you dig strategy and are curious about the Russian side of the Great Patriotic War. King's Bounty: Warriors of the North I can't say I've had many chances in my life to play strategy-based RPGs. The genre doesn't exactly top the charts, after all. That hasn't stopped companies like 1C from trying to grasp a bit of that audience with the King's Bounty series, which is actually one of their top-selling franchises. Warriors of the North takes the genre into a European direction, featuring Nordic and Saxon-based armies -- everything from Vikings to, well, more Vikings. Players build armies that move around the continent (map) independently and engage in turn-based battles with other armies. Each battle consists of a grid where combatants move their units around to destroy each other. It's that simple. Those who are fans of strategic RPGs will feel right at home with King's Bounty. You build bases, upgrade troops, maintain morale, and basically wipe the other player off the map. Considering the raping and pillaging that Vikings often did, some might consider this a "game for the whole family." One thing grandma would definitely like is how you can summon a valykrie to destroy your enemies. A f*ckin' valkyrie! Royal Quest If there's one genre that the free-to-play market has plenty of, it's MMOs. They are easy to monetize and last about as long as people are willing to play them. For companies that are anxious to make some decent profit, never-ending games with microtransactions are like foreclosed homes to a Wall Street banker. I present to you: Royal Quest. To be fair, Royal Quest may look a bit on the cheap side, but it features plenty of variety that often make these F2P games worth trying out. Players choose one of three class types (melee, ranged gunman, or magic user) and embark on a journey of leveling, looting and lollygagging with other players. If you're at all familiar with MMOs and point-and-click RPGs -- I'm assuming most of you are -- then Royal Quest will be familiar territory. The game is simple, but it does have a decent emount of content that keeps it interesting. Players can expect no shortage of items and gear to add to their characters. Even gameplay has some nifty elements to it, such as certain enemies requiring specific element-based attacks to be defeated (i.e. fire monsters requiring water). Overall, Royal Quest seems like a decent diversion, wrapped up in a friendly, free-to-play package. 1C games might not be the topic of most conversations among gamers, but they do retain enough fun to generate an audience worth noting. 1C is technically the largest publishing company in the world (by product volume), and the company even has its own retail chain in Russia. So if you're curious about how these games have retained such a substancial constituency, try them out for yourself when they release later this year.

[UPDATE: It has been brought to our attention that factual errors have been made with regards to this preview, and that only one of 1C's titles, Royal Quest, will be free to play, whereas the other two mentioned titles will b...


Videogame-themed beer pong tables are righteously crunk

Jan 14
// Tony Ponce
River Falls Pong Table Company is a family-owned business in River Falls, Wisconsin that specializes in making custom beer pong tables. Over the years, these folks have made a few game-themed tables, such as the Zelda 1 over...

Tetris manager: Angry Birds is just a fad

Dec 22
// Dale North
No sh*t, Tetris guy. You knew that the silly physics flinger was on the way out when you started seeing too much branded merchandise at the checkout stand at the grocery store. I saw a senior citizen with an Angry Birds shirt...

The DTOID Show: Xenoblade, Minecraft, and... Tetris?

Dec 02
// Tara Long
If you've ever wondered what it looks like when two sick people host a live show together, then look no further. Technical difficulties be damned, today's live taping of The Destructoid Show has explored the boundaries of wh...

Oh, EA: Subscription charges added to Tetris mobile app

Dec 02
// Jim Sterling
Oh, EA! What have you cheeky scamps gone and done now? It would seem you've added a subscription service to a Tetris app of all things. Now why would you go and do something as positively zany as that? Electronic Arts has rel...

Get digital album 'Greatest Video Game Music' for cheap

Nov 07
// Jordan Devore
I'm sure the title will cause some to argue and proceed to list many worthy songs that did not make the cut, but the London Philharmonic Orchestra's album The Greatest Video Game Music is a good sampling of tunes taken from m...

Addition of the Bastion narrator makes any videogame sexy

Oct 31
// Tony Ponce
What if the silken-voiced but incessant narrator from Bastion scored a few gigs working with other, bigger games? Would the simple gameplay exercise of running from one edge of the screen to the other become a grand journey into consciousness? Or would you just try to f*ck with the guy? Dorkly Bits: Bastion Narrator Invades Other Games [Dorkly]

Tetris crackers: Taste Mother Russia in your mouth!

Oct 30
// Tony Ponce
If you ever sit and wonder how a simple pick-up-and-play time-waster like Angry Birds could spawn such a large merchandizing machine, take comfort in knowing that it is hardly the first such case. Nope, not by a long shot! On...

Review: Tetris Axis

Oct 17 // Dale North
Tetris Axis (Nintendo 3DS) Developer: Hudson Soft Publisher: Nintendo Released: October 2, 2011 MSRP: $29.99 There's a dozen and a half new modes in Tetris Axis that play on the classic game formula. I like some of them, but diehard fans of the traditional formula probably won't like any of them. Hudson Soft was trying to do something different and while I appreciate that, the end result is a game that seems to go in every direction except the one direction you'd expect. Well, you'd expect 3D silliness, and there's plenty of that. Because there's a lot of game modes to cover, I'll briefly go through them. Marathon has you clearing as many lines as possible. You know, standard Tetris. Fever mode has you playing in a narrow matrix to clear as many lines as possible in one minute. In this mode you'll earn coins that can be exchanged for items. These items will give you power-ups to make your life a bit easier. I love a good Time Attack mode, and this one's not bad, though not that much different than Fever mode. This one also has earnable power-up items, like the cascade tool. At a cost of 50 coins, this item will push down blocks to fill in lower holes when used on a cleared line. You just feel dirty doing that, as you will with all the other power-up items. In both of these modes, do well enough and you get flipped to a fast paced color clearing bonus screen that has you putting preset minos in puzzles for big points.  Survival has you clearing as many lines as you can while incoming lines make their way toward the top. The game keeps count of your total time and line count. There's also a computer battle mode that has you throwing lines at your virtual opponent. Hudson's own Bomberman is the first opponent. The computer likes to throw curveballs your way, like flipping minos, or random individual blocks, or worse, bombs that tear up all your building work. You can do the same with items as you earn them, throwing a wrench in their gears by hitting X. Some items, gained by clearing lines, can also help you out, like the UFO that comes from space to suck up your bottom rows.  It may sound fun, but it's a deal breaker to me, as the use of these items throws all of the game's balance out the window. Skill no longer matters if there's an item that will clear your board for you. I enjoyed the party modes more than any of the game's featured modes. In Party Mode you will do things like use minos like jigsaw pieces to build picture puzzles, or build an object by looking at its silhouette on the bottom screen. Modes like Tower Climber, where you'll stack blocks against a cylindrical matrix, or Fit, where you'll drop shapes into holes in the plane of the same shape to clear, will blow your mind if you're still stuck in the 2D days. Your mind will be further blown when you realize you can use the circle pad to turn the matrix around in 3D. Woaaaah. The two games in the AR mode are good only for wowing friends that haven't seen the 3DS in action yet. AR Climber has you stacking tetriminos against a cylinder that is generated in your real-world playspace with augmented reality technology. You'll work to guide a tiny character to the top of this cylinder by using your dropped blocks as steps. This game must be played on a surface you can walk fully around as you'll have to run around it to see all the way around the cylinder. The AR Marathon mode is like standard Tetris, but on a smaller floating playspace that appears in your environment. Both of these modes will likely give you motion sickness if you move around at all, and with the AR Climber mode, you'll have to. Forget turning the 3D slider up on either one of these unless you want to turn your brain to mush.  Tetris Axis does support many types of competitive play. Local Play requires another 3DS owner with a copy of the game, but there's also download play support for up to eight players. Internet mode lets you battle a random online player through quick matches. Connection time was often slow, and it would often time out. Fun. I liked the addition of dancing Miis and club-style classical music remixes, and the graphical presentation and 3D novelties were neat, but none of this really satisfied my craving to play some good ol' Tetris. Somehow the standard-ish Marathon mode wasn't doing it for me. Again, I appreciate that Hudson Soft was trying to do something new and different, but I find myself wanting to go back to Tetris DS after spending some time with Tetris Axis. I guess I'm old-fashioned that way.

Count on this: where there's a new Nintendo portable there's a new Tetris game. This time around, for the Nintendo 3DS, it's Tetris Axis. A strange name for a strange system. And it's a prety strange game, too. Yes, ther...


Tetris World Championship goes down October 16

Oct 06
// Dale North
For the record, I hate everyone that is good at Tetris. There's so many other things you can be good at. If you are one of those good players that I hate, in Los Angeles on October 16 The Tetris World Championships&...

Two Tetris games exemplify the problem with 3DS gaming

Aug 29
// Bob Muir
[Update: Our original story noted that Tetris: Axis is out on October 20; the correct release date is October 2. Furthermore, we've added a note to clarify that EA's Android versions of Tetris (while free) is supported by ads...

Signed Tetris Mega Drive cart priced at $1 million

Jul 28
// Dale North
A signed copy of the rare Sega Mega Drive game Tetris would be a great collector's item, but asking $1 million for it is just silly. This wouldn't be the first silly price on gaming collectables on eBay, but they claim this c...

Rest easy, Tetris for PSN is now playable in 3D

Jun 14
// Nick Chester
I bought Tetris on PlayStation Network when it launched awhile back. Don't look at me like that, I really like Tetris. Now, Electronic Arts has announced, it's getting a 3D update.  Yes, that's right, the PS3 version of ...

Sundays with Sagat: Sexy meow meow Tetris meow

Apr 03
// Jonathan Holmes
[Sundays with Sagat is a video series where a man named Sagat talks to you about videogames. This is serious business.] What do Rod Stewart, the Gen-5 Pokemon starters, Tetris wall-decals, Albert Wiskers, Felicia from Darkst...

Play Tetris in real life with this badass wall art

Feb 08
// Jonathan Holmes
Ever since the Tetris craze in the late '80s, people all over the world have reported hallucinations of Tetris shapes (called Tetriminos) after playing the game for prolonged periods of time. Now those hallucinations are some...

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