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Nov 17 // Joseph Leray

Capsized goes free for iPad in the new year

Over two years since it was announced -- and several months since it became available on Steam -- Alientrap's 2D shooter Capsized is coming soon to the AppStore, PlayStation Network, and Xbox Live Arcade. First things fi...
Nov 11 // Joseph Leray

Review: FIFA 12

My first impression of FIFA 12 was not good.Players moved like they were covered in molasses, my passes were inaccurate and under-hit, and apoplectic flailing had seemingly replaced tackling in my center-backs’ collecti...
Oct 22 // Joseph Leray

Review: Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin

To play the first, oh, ten minutes of Dragon Age II: Mark of the Assassin is to gaze into the abyss, to confront everything weird about videogames and the culture that surrounds them. The scene: protagonist Hawke is enlisted ...
Aug 25 // Joseph Leray

Limbo dev: new game takes 3 years, our engine is FUBAR

In a recent interview with Edge, Playdead game director Arnt Jensen explained that the Danish dev's next game will take three-and-a-half years to make. "A good game takes time," says Playdead CEO Dino Patti. Game director Arn...
Aug 25 // Joseph Leray

Feast your eyes: indie platformer Vessel gets trailer

A few days ago, Strange Loop Games cut a sharp new trailer for their recently-announced puzzle-platformer, Vessel.  A few notes on the visuals: I love the lighting, the water effects, and the zoomed-out perspective, esp...
Aug 24 // Joseph Leray

Rad roguelike: Cardinal Quest is cheap and awesome

A few years ago, one of my best friends bought Baroque, an Atlus-published roguelike, after I turned him onto Persona 3. It didn't go well: lured by the Atlus name and the misconception that Baroque was another RPG, he w...
Aug 22 // Joseph Leray

Impressions: a promising Owlboy demo teases

The Owlboy demo makes a good first impression -- after D-Pad Studio's logo flashes, players are treated to a sweeping, pixelated vista as Otus looks on. Pastoral music plays and, though the demo begins in medias res, the menu...
Aug 21 // Joseph Leray

The Owlboy demo is both available and good

A demo for Owlboy, the much talked-about 2D platformer from Norwegian indies D-Pad Studio, is now available for PC -- a good sign for a game beset my development trouble, despite winning a visual design award at the 2010...
Aug 19 // Joseph Leray

Wonderputt is the best way to spend your next 15 minutes

What you're looking at, right there above this text, is a 620px-wide swath of Wonderputt, the best 15-minute putt-putt game I've ever played. Granted, I'm not exactly a golf aficionado, but Wonderputt -- designed by Damp...
Aug 19 // Joseph Leray

Death, memory, space travel: To the Moon lands this fall

To the Moon, an indie adventure game developed by Freebird Games, is slowly but surely gaining traction around les salons of the games press circuit. And why not? It's heartbreaking premise and genre-swapping aesthetic ...
Aug 18 // Joseph Leray

New book PIXELGALAXY collects Game Boy art and essays

"PIXELGALAXY is a book all about the Nintendo Game Boy and the pixel graphics. It includes its secret of success, an overview of the top games and takes a closer look at the graphics," writes Sergio Ingravalle, the book'...
Aug 18 // Joseph Leray

Adventures of Shuggy dev tells of XBLA publishing woes

No one, I reckon, really wants to talk about David Johnston, the one-man dev team behind Smudged Cat Games' The Adventures of Shuggy. That's because his four years of development hell illustrate most of the systemic shor...
Aug 11 // Joseph Leray

If only there were an 8-bit Nyan Cat game by Konami

So. Nyan Cat. There is very little left to be said about Nyan Cat, except that it's my profound disappointment to inform you that Konami did not, in fact, release a licensed Nyan game in 1988. Not only would Nyan Cat vs. Tac ...
Aug 09 // Joseph Leray

Review: Dragon Age II: Legacy

“Legacy” comes from humble beginnings: Varric, our dwarven narrator, tells Cassandra, a Chantry seeker, that he didn’t tell her about Hawke’s excursion into the Vimmark because he “didn’t t...
Apr 06 // Joseph Leray

Review: The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile

Without digging into the semantic details too much, auteur theory -- the idea that a single, charismatic designer can leave his mark on a game -- was a popular talking point a few years ago. While no longer part of the games ...
Mar 28 // Joseph Leray

QWOP dev releases GIRP; hilarity ensues

You remember QWOP, don't you? (Now on iPad!) Of course you do -- it almost spawned a meme, and you can't hear Chariots of Fire without seeing the bruised and broken body of QWOP's nameless protagonist. Today, Bennett Fod...
Mar 28 // Joseph Leray

Project Zomboid: a zombie apocalypse browser game

[Update: Seems we got this one a bit wrong, originally reporting that the game would be an MMORPG. But according to the game's developer, that's not the case. Indie Stone's Chris Simpson explains that Project Zomboid is "pri...
Mar 27 // Joseph Leray

New games from Amanita: Osada, Botanicula, Samorost 3

After the release of Machinarium in 2009, Czech developer Amanita Design have been pretty quiet. Sure, they're bringing Machinarium to the PlayStation Network after adding it and Samorost 2 to Wolfire Games' Hu...
Mar 26 // Joseph Leray

The 2D Adventures of Rotating Octopus Character

I'm calling it here: 2011 is the year of the cephalopod. DePaul University already brought us Octodad ("Loving father. Caring husband. Secret octopus."), and Dakko Dakko's The 2D Adventures of Rotating Octopus Character...
Mar 25 // Joseph Leray

A thing of beauty: Plus Kareha's Aegis papercraft

If you still haven't played one of three available versions of Persona 3, you may not see what all the fuss over this Aegis figure is about, but the beauty of a socially maladroit android who shoots bullets out of her fi...
Mar 24 // Joseph Leray

BioWare writer defends romance options in Dragon Age II

When I interviewed David Gaider for a series of Dragon Age II-related previews, he seemed a charming, soft spoken, and intelligent writer with a passion for role-playing games. Imagine my surprise, then, to see the bespectacl...
Mar 22 // Joseph Leray

Review: Dragon Age II

Marian Hawke -- refugee of Lothering, Champion of Kirkwall -- is a liar, a thief, and a murderer, a political sellsword for the powerbrokers of the Free Marches. Most Kirkwallers assume she is a lesbian after a brief affair w...
Feb 28 // Joseph Leray

Keep your friends close: character interaction in Dragon Age II

Unlike games like Fable and BioWare's own Mass Effect, Dragon Age: Origins deftly sidestepped framing its character interaction systems as a set of moral binaries. It's a subtle shift: actions aren't judged in absolutes, but ...
Feb 25 // Joseph Leray

Dragon Age II's frame narrative explained

Very little of what BioWare has said about the upcoming Dragon Age II gives the impression of forward movement. In a Q&A session at BioWare's Edmonton studios, producer Mark Darrah explained that Dragon Age II isn't "a br...
Feb 25 // Joseph Leray

Bits and booze: The short story of Robotube and Gaijin

When I try to get in touch with Jason Cirillo, founder of Robotube Games, he's in line trying to buy a bento box, somewhere in New York City. He's starving and needs to eat, so I try again later. This time, he's stepping onto...
Feb 24 // Joseph Leray

The old school: Dragon Age II and its influences

"I've been playing RPGs since ... Ultima 2 territory, way back on my PC," says Mike Laidlaw, lead designer on BioWare's Dragon Age series. "And it's like, I remember, actually Ultima 3 did this: 'Choose your gender: male, fem...
Feb 23 // Joseph Leray

Building a better RPG: hands on Dragon Age II's intro

BioWare's made no secret of the fact that they keep a running tab of player metrics, and Dragon Age: Origins was no different. They learned a few neat tidbits -- "more people played warriors than rogues or mages" ex...
Feb 22 // Joseph Leray

Art nouveau: Dragon Age II skirts its generic label

The videogames industry has a complex: it relies, perhaps too much, on the concept of genre, but being "generic" is an offense of grave proportions. Being "innovative" is, naturally, antithetical to being generic. According t...
Dec 20 // Joseph Leray

Dragon Age II dev on DLC: add-in instead of add-on

"Oh, look, we've got a 91 Metacritic," begins Dragon Age II lead designer Mike Laidlaw. "But it's not 100, so there's got to be room to improve." Over the life of Dragon Age: Origins, Laidlaw's BioWare Edmonton team...
Dec 20 // Joseph Leray

Dragon Age designer on fan response: 'It's a compliment'

It's not uncommon for fans of upcoming games to go on media blackouts -- actively avoiding screenshots, trailers, and previews so as not to spoil their initial impressions. So far, that hasn't been difficult with Dragon Age I...

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