Category Archives: Video Games

Cooking Mama (Breaking Bad Remix)

So you know the game Cooking Mama, right? No? Well, whatever. You’re on a computer. Google it.  (Ok, ok. Things got a little testy there. I’m sorry. Here you go.)

Anyway, someone had the awesome idea to make a Breaking Bad remix version where you cook meth instead of wonderfully detailed dishes like Minced Pork Steak or Shrimp Gyoza. It may or may not give you too many hints on how to actually cook meth, but hey – it’s still a fun distraction that you can play here.

And as far as Breaking Bad goes, how about that new season? Wait, what? You still haven’t caught up on all the episodes? Uggh! Fine.

Photos of Spiderman

Alot of people give Spiderman credit for his hero work, but he’s highly underrated in the field of journalism. In this game, though, you finally get to further his career at the Daily Bugle, and live out the much more fulfilling side of his life (I say this without bias, of course – ahem). A Where’s Waldo type game, you’re tasked with finding  Spiderman whose hidden in a crowd of Spiderman aficionados and snapping a picture. It’s a fun game with a light sense of humor that does right by its source.

You can play it here.

8-Bit Olympics Montage

Hey, you know the Olympics, right? It’s this global competition where all these countries spend millions to compete in athletic events for Coca Cola products. Olympic time is good time because Olympic time means athletically themed video game time (kind of)! And hey, what better intermission for those Track & Field sessions than an 8-bit Olympic montage? It’s the kind of montage the real networks use, and it will be the perfect way to give you time to nurse those fingers all bloody from button mashing.

60 Second Burger Run

In 60 Second Burger Run, you play as a morbidly obese man who just realized his favorite Burger Shop closes forever in 60 seconds. In a war against time and physical capacities, you must dive through spikes, crumbling towers, and the likes to reach the burger shop in less than 60 seconds. You could, technically, beat the game in a minute if you were fast enough, but the amount of tricks, traps, and pranks you’ll experience will keep you from reaching your goal during your first…or first hundred playthroughs. It’s a highly addicting game that shoots you back to the beginning almost instantaneously after the game over screen, and it’s one you may end up playing much longer than you expected.

You can play the game for free here or download it here.

Slender

Slender, created by Parsec Productions, is a first person horror game where your only goal is to find 8 manuscripts about the Slender Man. Known urban legend. the Slender Man is a mythical creature with a tall, thin body and a blank face. He can shorten and lengthen his limbs at will, and has powers that can induce paranoia, insomnia, and coughing fits. He can teleport at will, and generally resides in forests shrouded in blackness. “Not much is known, as no specific information has been found about origins,” explains one fan site that details the legend, “but his objective and habitat are made very clear. He has the need to kidnap children.”

The less you know about this game until you play it, the better. (Also, do yourself a favor and avoid watching any of the reaction videos until you’ve gone through a few playthroughs.)

You can download the game for free off the developer’s site here or from a fan site here.

Superbrothers – Sword & Sworcery EP

Superbrothers – Sword & Sworcery EP is a point-and-click adventure game mashed with an atmospheric album that uses unconventional storytelling, pixelated graphics, humor, poetry, a killer soundtrack, and philosophical puzzles to bring together a rare, transcendental experience in gaming.

Superbrothers – Sword & Sworcery EP is about a lone warrior who unlocks an ancient evil in the pursuit of treasure and must forsake everything to defeat it. Ok, so it’s not the most original premise, but this isn’t a game that needs a detailed plot to work.  It takes the triple AAA approach to video game writing and puts it in a small, indie package that deconstructs its approach with hyper-sensory visuals and perfect sound design.

The music for Sword & Sworcery EP was done by artist Jim Gunthrie (who also did the soundtrack for “Indie Game: The Movie”). It’s a soundtrack that’s moody and meditative, but never dark, and it’s one of the best I’ve heard for a game in a long time. (Despite this, it’s unfortunately not one I would listen to on its own. Jim Gunthrie’s music is still pretty cool, though.)

On the downside, there is a heavy social network element tied to the gameplay that allows you to tweet your progress, and there are several moments in the game that promise more rewards for using it. I never noticed anything different with it, though, and it just seems like a cheap way to market the game. Without spoiling it, there’s also a couple puzzles that involve “meta-gaming” and are a pain to deal with.

Superbrothers – Sword & Sworcery EP was originally released last year on iPhone & iPad, and was just recently ported to PC.  Like Braid, Limbo, and other games like it – Superbrothers’ Sword & Sworcery EP represents a trend in video games that prides a quality experience over cheap gimmicks and artificial extenders, and strives to bring the format into the well-established notions of art. This is not a game you should pass on.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Developer: Superbrothers
Platform: iPhone, iPad, PC
Reviewed on: PC

Spelunky

The summer, with its lack of major releases, is a good time to play fun, experimental games that require a lot of skill, but not a lot of time. Spelunky, originally released on the PC in 2008, just came out on XBLA, and it’s a blast. Spelunky is an adventure platformer that requires you to grab treasure, fight enemies, and dig through a labyrinth of randomized levels. It’s a tough game that kicks you back to the very start with each death, but with very little of your success relying on luck, it’s a challenge that’s fun to face time and time again with each playthrough. Although in practice the game is short and can probably be beaten in an hour once you’ve mastered the levels, it will take hours and hours to do it.

The new version is currently only available on XBox Live Arcade, but you can download the original PC version (which may or may not be better than the XBLA release) for free from the game’s website here.

The Great Gatsby Videogame

Yep, someone made a Great Gatsby NES game and it’s awesome. So yeah, maybe it doesn’t have Leonardo Dicaprio and cheap 3D effects or the subtle racism of the literary classic, but I mean it has retro graphics and sounds. That’s pretty cool, right? I imagine an ideal future where kids can play the video game of a classic book instead of reading the cliff notes or watching the movie. I mean, more people finding less reasons to read will probably make a dumber world for our future generations, but still.

Anyway, you can play/download this for free off the game’s website here.

Now if someone just made a “Lord of the Flies” game, I could finally seek vengeance against those who wronged Piggy…

Keyboard Drumset Fucking Werewolf

KeyboardDrumsetFuckingWerewolf (*gaaaaasp, inhale*) is a short flash game made by the two-man development crew, CATUSQUID. While it’s more of an interactive music video for the band GBSR – it’s a fast paced, colorfully stylized mini-game assault that’s a lot of fun to experience. You can probably beat the game in 20 minutes, but it shows the kind of fun and spastic creativity that is sorely lacking from most mainstream developers today.

You can download it for free here.

Fez

Over four years in the making on a development cycle that almost saw the game scrapped completely on more than one occasion, Fez is finally out and it has every potential to become a classic. Putting a clever twist on the classic 2D platformer formula, Fez shifts its world into entirely new perspectives by giving you the ability to rotate the screen left or right 90 degrees allowing you to jump, climb, and reach areas that otherwise might not be available from any other point of view. It’s a mind trip that plays itself out in consistently clever and new ways.

Fez’s goal is to collect 30 gold cubes and 30 anti-matter cubes. While the gold cubes in the game are usually found in pretty standard places, the anti-matter cubes require solving a convoluted series of puzzles whose solutions are not readily apparent. Obtaining the anti-matter cubes requires more thought and intuition than most current games will ever ask of a player, and it’s this old school frame of design that will most likely turn a lot of people off from ever playing it. As much as I loved this, getting 100% required me to look at a guide religiously on more than one occasion. There were times when the puzzles were too difficult and convoluted (I’ve seen multiple accounts of people filling entire notebooks with clues to figure them out), but it’s still nice to see a challenge of this level in games again.

There are only a couple ways to die in Fez, and there are no “real” enemies to fight. Some of the platforming is tricky, but I never ran into anything that was too difficult. The soundtrack is never distracting and its calming ambiance is the perfect stimulant to spend hours pouring over the same areas over again and again looking for that last secret. This is a game that’s completely committed to exploration and discovery.

Fez has a lot of elements that shouldn’t work, but do. It will only appeal to a very select group of people, but a game like this isn’t looking for wide appeal. It’s a game with a retro aesthetic that simultaneously manages to redefine what games can be. You should definitely play it.

Rating: 9 out of 10

Developer: Polytron Corporation
Platform: XBLA, PC, MAC, PS3, PS4
Reviewed on: XBLA

(You can see the development of this game in the documentary, “Indie Game: The Movie“)