QUOTE | “I’ve talked to one Valve rep, and I’m like, ‘I want to put this kind of content on Steam,’ and the Valve rep responded, ‘Yeah, that seems okay, I’ll let you know if we change our mind.’ Which doesn’t provide any certainty. It puts developers in a weird position because we have to guess how Valve’s mind will…
In From Ivan, choosing the right greeting card could change your life.
I collect games like I do books: stacking them on shelves or in boxes, never quite finding the time to finish them but always enjoying simply having them around. Owning physical games provides a sense of history and future possibility and makes me feel like I have some sort of handle on this unwieldy hobby I’ve…
I love going on dates. What’s not to like about nice food, a good movie, and someone cute to get to know? Check Please casts my assessment of dates into doubt. Billed as a “physics based dating sim,” the game is as painfully awkward and hilarious as your worst date ever.
Kindness Coins is a dating sim, released on itch.io in 2013, that asks the question: What is it like to be on the receiving end of the protagonist’s flirting in a dating game?
Edutainment games like Number Munchers or Big Thinkers! always felt like they had a sinister side. There’s something weird about someone emphatically telling you how cool learning is. As I perfunctorily did math equations in games like these I always kind of felt like I was being brainwashed. Baldi’s Basics, a…
What do you do when your body is telling you to have sex—but you’ll die if you do? It’s probably not a relationship problem that many people have dealt with, but it’s the central conundrum in the game Don’t Make Love.
Lost Wage Rampage is a new riot grrl driving game about stealing what you’re owed and destroying everything else.
Normal Human Face Simulator is a free game about tearing off your opponent’s flesh with your teeth, a perfectly normal thing to do.
Like falling into an old habit, I come back. Not because I need you. Not because I want you, even. But because I can’t pull myself together and let go of what’s easy and safe.
Doki Doki Literature Club is a free visual novel that presents itself as a totally normal game, where you’ll meet some cute girls at an after school club. There’s more than meets the eye to this one, though.
2017 has been so relentless in the release of top-tier games that it’s hard to justify spending time with stuff that is merely “good.” Why settle for anything less than “great”? Despite the incredible competition facing it, Butterfly Soup, a game about queer Asian women who play baseball, still shot right into my top…
In Mushroom Heroes, I’m looking at a fast-moving platform over a bed of spikes. Timing my jump is one thing, but figuring out which character should jump first is another. There could be a monster on the other side of the ledge, and there’s only one person who uses arrows. There might be blocks to push around,…
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is one of the most influential mangas of all time. References to it show up in dozens of anime, and Hirohiko Araki, the manga’s author, has even shown his work in the Louvre. Despite all these accolades, you’ve never been able to kiss any of the characters, until now.
Hospice is a moving autobiographical game about losing someone you love.
Localhost is a disquieting adventure game where you interrogate some artificial intelligence, think about death and lie to your boss.
With its lush art and lovely music, visual novel He Beat Her sounds like an easy sell. The way it handles its subject matter, however, lacks the nuance it deserves.
Recently, a user of independent digital game store Itch.io was thrilled to find a copy of Rimworld for 75 percent off. He snapped it up immediately. Problem: Rimworld isn’t available for purchase on Itch.io. At least, not legally.
Glitched out texts, lush water colors and abandoned towns: Yurei Station, a visual novel that came out a few weeks ago on itch.io, uses these elements to create a horror game that lingers with you long after you’re done with it.