Some of our team are getting ready to get fat on turkey and sneak off to play more indie games while our families watch American football. Meanwhile, those of us not in the States are just playing games and not worried about getting fat.

Dropsy Excels

Peter has a lot of positive things to say in our Dropsy review, “Often fun, sometimes emotional and occasionally terrifying, Dropsy is a game that I cannot help but recommend to all those looking for an enjoyable and original narrative-driven adventure.”

Full review by Peter Page

Cibele Disappoints

Niko says in our review of Cibele, “It has beautiful artistic design, but, set against such a tired, poorly delivered narrative, the quality of the visuals only further highlights the failure of the story. As a product, it fails to justify its price and as an experience it is too deeply flawed for me to recommend to anybody who isn’t a die hard Nina Freeman fan.”

Full review by Niko Berry

Umihara Kawase Has a Great Hook

Brian said lots of smart things in our Umihara Kawase review, “On the surface, Umihara’s design looks like a functionalist approach to Bionic Commando: it strips bare all that game’s extraneous features and leaves us with a pure test of skill. And sure, the game still holds up along those lines. Yet even with that knowledge, this isn’t what makes the game so compelling. The way the rod encourages me to experiment with the world and express myself; the calm, light hearted atmosphere that world projects. These are what make the game so fascinating for me.”

Full review by Brian Crimmins

There’s Value in Unfun Games Like Plug & Play!

Jose dug into the unpleasant oddities of Plug & Play, saying, “Plug & Play was the most awkward 15 minutes of my life. It’s a rude little game that never really explains anything and is perfectly content to leave you flailing around trying to figure out exactly what to do. It’s an uncomfortable and sometimes frustrating experience, yet I couldn’t stop thinking about it hours after it was over.”

Full article, Plug & Play and the value of Unfun Games by Jose San Mateo

Push Me Pull You looks horrifyingly awkward — and fun

Speaking of awkward, I can’t wait to play the creepy, disgusting, human cat-dog-like sport that is Push Me Pull You. It pains me that I still have to wait till the first quarter of 2016 to get all gross and tangled up with my friends while fighting over a ball. I mean, just look at this game in its wonderfully nasty trailer!

-M. Joshua Cauller

Emily is Away took me back to my teenage years…

If you were born in the late 80’s/early 90’s you probably remember AOL instant messenger. Before the modern luxuries of Facebook and Skype came along, AOL was all we had for chatting with friends after school. Emily Is Away is a short text adventure, taking place entirely within an imitation of AOL, following your relationship with a girl named Emily through five conversations, set between 2002 and 2006. I didn’t get the girl in the end, but there was a sort of tragic joy in watching as I made all the same mistakes I made as a teenager, all over again. I watched on helplessly, as in-game me grew apart from a close friend, as inevitably happens in the process of growing up. It was a nostalgia trip through a lot of things I didn’t necessarily want to remember, but I’m glad that I have. The game is out now on Steam, and is totally free, so if you have fond (or not so fond) memories of chatting on AOL as a teenager, you might well find Emily Is Away to be a humbling and heartfelt experience. Who knows, you might even get the girl in the end. If that’s even possible.

– Philip Aldous

Hotline Miami 2 Level Editor

As someone who absolutely adored Hotline Miami, I came to its sequel with a probably unreasonable amount of hype. In the time leading up to its release I had beaten the original twice, replayed certain levels of it to try and get A scores, played it at 2-3 conventions, bought two shirts emblazoned with its blood-and-neon aesthetic, and had put it high on my list of “indies that made me want to write about indies”. When the game actually came out it was as ballsy and divisive as I had hoped it would be – but it was also quite a bit more difficult, to the point that I was occasionally really frustrated by it. The same mechanics from the first one were there, but the actual levels were dauntingly designed. Now we’re finally getting a long-awaited feature that could help me out on that front and actually get me to pick the game up again for a while longer – a level editor. Color me bloody thrilled.

– Erin Hyles

This Week I Learned That Tales From The Borderlands is Freaking Hilarious

I haven’t had much experience with the Borderlands franchise. My exposure to it mostly came from occasionally glancing over my shoulder to watch my partner playing the bombastic, cell-shaded Borderlands 2. When Tales From The Borderlands came out, I didn’t think I’d bother playing it since I had no stake in that universe; I didn’t even know who or what a Handsome Jack was. After being told that the bar for entry is pretty low, I picked it up this week. I am so glad I did because it’s made me laugh harder than any game this year. It might even be the hardest I’ve laughed this year for any reason. I wouldn’t dare spoil it, but there’s a moment in episode three that sets up a very dramatic but overused scenario. It then rips out the rug from underneath you and subverts the trope in an immensely clever and original way. It’s genuinely funny. I was engrossed in the drama one moment and cried tears of laughter the next. Some people still debate whether Telltale’s creations are actually “games”, but if after a play session your cheeks actually hurt, they’re doing something right.

– Simon Rankin

About The Author

M. Joshua makes game trailers when not writing about games. He loves any game experience that engenders empathy to others, be it biographical, co-op, or games about valuing the well-being of your enemies. He loves getting humans together in his house for survival deathmatches.

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