No matter how much we try to deny it, violence is great entertainment. We’ve always known this, from gladiator fights to action movies. Blood is the ultimate crowdpleaser. Of course, participating is usually something most people won’t do, seeing how the threat of bodily harm to oneself is a rather powerful deterrent. Most people prefer to remain spectators, a winning formula that satisfies both our lust for adrenaline and the wish not to deal with the repercussions of violence.
Video games can take this one step further. Virtual worlds allow us to partake in killing, maiming and dismembering unfeeling computer automatons with no fear of the consequences. It is no wonder most popular video games feature violence in one way or another. Most games try to give justification to the carnage, or take refuge in audacity by making it too stylized and unrealistic to take seriously. Some even try to turn the tables and take a moral stand on the issue, as is the case with Spec Ops: The Line. Hotline Miami does none of those things. It simply hands you a kitchen knife, locks you into a room filled with potential victims and opens up the door fifteen minutes later with a knowing smirk on its face.
So, Flappy Bird. So much has been already written on the saga of this simple mobile game. The sudden popularity, money and fame, the dramatic disappearance and subsequent reappearance. A mere footnote on the great tome of gaming history, but an interesting footnote nevertheless. You only really need one good mechanic to make a good game, and this is the point Flappy Bird drove home. That endless second leap of a double jump has something deeply satisfying, yet surprisingly intense about it. Countless of imitators have risen in Flappy Bird’s wake, remaking and remixing the concept even further. Notable examples in my mind are FlapMMO and Delirious Bird, both of which introduce interesting new elements to the recipe. However, one Flappy Bird clone caught my attention and refused to leave my psyche for days. I present to you, Maverick Bird. Leave it to the VVVVVV and Super Hexagon mastermind Terry Cavanagh to take the challenging yet ultimately benign original and make it into a psychedelic neon nightmare. Continue reading
LAN-parties have a very special place in my heart, right next to pancakes and maple syrup; the so-called finer things in life. Disregarding the absurdity of grown men dragging black and grey 30-pound computer boxes with external monitors around in this age of mobile devices, there is something extraordinary about LAN-parties. It’s that peculiar sensation of sitting in the middle of a stuffy small room filled with people and machines, while you are all together somehow still having fun playing video games. It’s that childlike joy of being exited about playing PC games for a whole weekend, because it is something people in their mid-20’s don’t really have time to do anymore. LAN-parties are… special occasions. What used to fulfill a technical need now fulfills a social need.
To document this hobby of mine, I decided that I would write a bit about my very favorite games to play on LAN, starting with the open source shooter Sauerbraten. Continue reading
As anyone who has ever fished around in the murky depths of mobile app stores in search for gaming knows, finding something worthwhile to play on your smartphone is surprisingly difficult. Most mobile games are absolute garbage, abusive attention traps designed around nickle-and-diming your money away with absurdly offensive microtransaction-based features. It is ironic then that the game I’m a about to talk about is both absurd and abusive, but at least it’s not trying to get to your wallet. No, Super Hexagon is after your sanity. It’s a game that bores its cruel barbed drill right into your cognitive center, forcing you to submit yourself to it’s peculiar brand of hypnotic masochism. Playing Super Hexagon is probably bad for you, but it’s also one of the best gaming experiences I’ve encountered on my Android phone. Keep reading. Continue reading