Gone Home

Designer: Steve Gaynor

Developer(s): FullBright, Majesco Entertainment

Engine: Unity

Platforms: PS4, Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Xbox One

Gone Home is perfectly set-up to be a first person exploratory horror. As you return from a year long trip overseas, you find an empty house where you expect your parents and your 18 year-old sister to be waiting for you. As the storm rages on outside and the light in the foyer flickers on ominously, you try to piece together what has happened. See, perfect. Instead and to the dismay of many, Gone Home presents us with a coming-of-age story told through clues found within the empty house.

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Super Meat Boy: The Hero, the Princess and the Run & Jump

 

If you wanted to play a great modern 2D Platformer, then Super Meat Boy is a recommended one. It’s setup is classic and recognizable, the hero Meat Boy must save Bandage Girl from Dr. Fetus. It may seem tired, which is the reason I wasn’t really interested in the game. But, the game play is amazing, super challenging to maneuver and causes a little stress sweating.

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Night in the Woods

Publisher: Finji

Designer: Alec Holowka

Engine: Unity

Developer (s): Alec Holowka, Infinite Falls

Night in the Woods is a mystery/ adventure game following Mae Borowski, a disgruntled 20 year old as she returns home to her parents in Possum Springs, an old mining town. Maes intentions are to return to her previous “aimless” lifestyle: talking to her friends, band practice, doing crimes etc. But she soon notices that while she hasn’t changed, despite leaving and going to college (which she dropped out of), her friends and family have and so has the town. I would say this game is more of a graphic novel with a lot of focus on Maes own insecurities and mental health.

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The Stanley Parable

Developer(s): Davey Wreden; Galactic Cafe

Designer(s): William Pugh; Davey Wreden

Writer (s): Davey Wreden; William Pugh

Narrator: Kevan Brighting

Composer(s): Blake Robinson; Yiannis Ioannides; Christiaan Bakker

Engine: Source

 

Original Release: 27th July, 2011

“Nihilistic Daydream” is probably what describes The Stanley Parable the best. We follow our faceless office worker “Stanley” and the Narrator as Stanley discovers everybody in his office building has mysteriously disappeared. The Narrator explains Stanley’s day to day life, he goes to work and presses buttons as he is told to. The Narrator explains that Stanley is perfectly fine doing exactly as he is told. This is a game of choice, the narrator taunts the player, stating they don’t have free choice over their actions or thoughts.

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Undertale: Friendship is Magic

Developer: Toby Fox

Engine: Gamemaker: Studio

Release Date: 15 September 2015

Undertale is a role playing video game created on Gamemaker: Studio, the same engine I am using for my game. It uses a birds-eye or top-down perspective, which gives a nice depth to the game and plays a big part in the puzzles throughout the game. Despite having relatively simple style and game play, this makes it easily accessible and puts more value on the story line.

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Papers, Please

Welcome to Arstotzka!

A Communist state that has ended its six year war with a neighboring country Kolechia, somewhere around 1981-1982. You have been chosen to be the Inspector at the new border checkpoint opening up in Grestin, a border town that is the centre of the volatile relationship between Kolechians and Arstotzkians. West Grestin is Kolechian and East Grestin is Arstotzkian. There are other countries too, Antegria, Impor, Obristan, Republia and United Federation.

This is the set-up for the game and, you might be excited for a game that ominously mirrors, perhaps, Berlin in 1961. This is also a well-timed game: it was released in August 2013- coinciding with the trade blockade against Ukraine in retaliation for the possible signing of an association agreement with the EU and as social and political unrest has begun creating barriers in our current society.

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Metroid: Zero Mission

 

Metroid: Zero Fusion is the revamped version of the original Metroid Game from 1986. The game mechanics and use of visual space is completely upgraded, while also keeping the nostalgia of the original. I played this is 2005, a year after the release on GameBoy Advance. Since we are revisiting 2D Platformers for our Game Design assignment, I thought this particular game would be interesting, for its design but also for its history.

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The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season Review

The Walking Dead, one of my favourite HBO TV series released an interactive survival horror video game developed and published by Telltale Games in 2012. This game is based on the original graphic novels by Robert Kirkman and it hints to the TV Series main storyline. The game is played in five episodes and is the story of Lee Everett, a criminal who was on his way to jail as the outbreak hit.

The game has a strong narrative, which you follow playing as Lee as he interacts which other survivors; families, orphans and lone wolves. The Walking Dead hits the player hard where one would not expect unless you had read the comics or watched the series – it confronts with moral and ethical decisions that are made in a split second and then makes the player responsible for those decisions. If you are playing for gore and blood, then look elsewhere. Sure, it has its moments of horror because that is the genre, but that is not the focus of the game nor is it the highlight.

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