Resident Evil 7

I gave an IGDA talk a few years ago about the horror genre’s roots in Adventure games.  You can draw a line of influence, I argued, from Colossal Cave Adventure and King’s Quest all the way through modern titles like Slender and Amnesia: The Dark Descent.  This line, which crosses through all of the survival horror classics, is best understood […]

Back in 1995

“These days, though, you have to be pretty technical before you can even aspire to crudeness.” — William Gibson, Johnny Mnemonic If you’re an indie developer, making a pixel art game is pretty attractive.  First and foremost, it’s pretty cheap and easy to develop, at least in terms of art production.  A one-man-band dev can put together […]

Good Games of 2015

I played some good games in 2015.  Here’s a couple of the best. Life is Strange Life is Strange is, hands down, my game of the year.  The premise is easily explained (My So-Called Life + mysteries + time travel), but the feeling of playing this game is nearly impossible to put into words.  I write a lot […]

Outlast

There’s a lot to like about Outlast. It’s a non-combat stealth horror game made by a small team of veterans that sports super high production value but keeps things simple. The sound quality is fantastic and the graphics are nice and it manages to be pretty scary now and then. It’s got a great mechanic […]

The Interaction Feint

Fatal Frame 4, which I keep coming back to every few months but never seem to complete, has a neat item pickup mechanic. Your character, a young woman trapped in a dilapidated hospital on a forbidden island full of moon ghosts, slowly extends her hand to reach for an item when you hit the A […]

Curse: The Eye of Isis

Hey, I finished another horror game! Crazy, right? This time it is Curse: The Eye of Isis, a throughly mediocre game that nonetheless has some interesting ideas (that don’t work out, of course). This was one of the most pleasant bad games that I’ve played in a while because it’s not particularly buggy and I […]

Virtual Reality Horror is Amazingly Great

I played Alien: Isolation at the Oculus booth at E3 last week. Alien is a high-end experiment in the genre I’ve been calling “exploratory first-person horror” for the last few years. Mechanically, it’s a lot like Slender or the hiding bits of Amnesia: you are running around a dark space ship with an obfuscated radar, […]

More Indie Horror Games to Back

It’s been a busy summer for indie horror game announcements. There are so many horror games in development, looking for funding, or recently shipped that you might think the world has gone insane. Actually, I think the real reason is that we suddenly have platforms where niche communities (like this one) can vote with their […]

The Problem with Dark Souls

It took me a long time, but I finally figured out why I can’t play Dark Souls. I tried to play it–put a good 15 hours into it, which is longer than it takes me to complete most of the games I play. I even played a bit of Demon Souls before that, so I […]