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PAX West 2016 – ‘1979 Revolution: Black Friday’

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PAX West 2016 is now behind us, but many memories are still to be shared from the gargantuan gaming convention. While performing a tour of duty around the show floor, I managed to secure an interview with Sam Burin and Navid Khonsari, a couple developers who were behind the creation of 1979 Revolution: Black Friday.

1979 Revolution: Black Friday is an interactive documentary regarding the Iranian Revolution of the late 1970s. During the game, the player follows the life of a photojournalist during the revolution and is forced to make difficult decisions in order to survive.

1979 Revolution: Black Friday is currently available on Steam, GoG, the App Store, and their website.

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Michael: So, first tell me about iNK Stories. How did the party get started, so to speak?

Sam: We’re based out of Brooklyn, NY. Our Studio’s mantra at the beginning was “stories dictates the medium.” The studio has been around for 10 years, and a large portion of those 10 years has been spent making documentaries and other transmedia art forms. Telling real-life interesting stories in new edgy ways using the means of storytelling, whether it is interactivity or VR or whatever the story dictating the form that we use to color. So 1979 Revolution was the next stage of that: to combine documentary with immersive interactive entertaining gameplay.

Michael: Give the short pitch of 1979 Revolution: Black Friday. You just asked me recently what I know about the game. I think I’ve got the basics. Story driven game about the Iranian Revolution. Give us the official pitch.

Sam: So 1979 Revolution: Black Friday is an action adventure game set in Iran during the Iranian Revolution of the late 1970s. In the game, you are playing as a young photojournalist named Reza who’s just come home from being abroad for a year in Germany. He’s Iranian, and he comes back home to find his country in a state of turmoil. His friends are on one side and his family is on another side; he’s being torn in different directions, and through Reza as a surrogate, you as a player are making a series of philosophical or moral choices playing the game. What kind of revolutionary am I going to be? Am I a pacifist? Am I Malcolm X? Am I Martin Luther King? Who do I align myself with? What is my philosophy of revolution? And you’re playing as a photojournalist; throughout the game, you’re taking a series of photos and you are documenting the events of the revolution and it is really the journey of the observer becoming a participant. It is the story of the Iranian Revolution from the eyes of the everyday Iranians who lived there.

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Michael: Do you think this game would have been viable 10 years ago? How do you think the prevalence of story-driven games such as Telltale’s games helped vault 1979 Revolution into the success it is going through currently?

Sam: I’ve been talking about this in the past day at PAX, and I think even 5 years ago we couldn’t have made this game, and I think it is a convergence of two things: the first, which you touched on, is obviously the tone and audience for gaming have changed drastically. Because of adventure games and because of the opening up of what it means to be a gamer and like games, that has opened itself beyond communities that previously existed. People crave experiences like this is what we’ve seen. Gaming press, consumers, people have been excited even because we announced the game. They just love the idea of a game like this and being able to experience this in a game form. And the other side of it, which is in the past five years as well, is that the technology has gotten good enough that a team like us, an independent studio, which is eight people to make a cinematic 3D game that’s fully motion captured, fully voice acted…all these real assets we put in the game..it’s still kind of insanity now but it would have been ludicrous 5 years ago. We made the game in the Unity engine and making it in Unity helped us so much, being able to develop the game and cut down. Even our roles. I’m a producer on the project but I was also responsible for the editing of the game. Helping with development and story outlining, so all of us wear 100 different hats during the production of the game, and that’s the nature of independent production, and that’s something you can do now that you couldn’t even do five years ago. It’s an exciting thing.

Michael: What makes developing a documentary-style game like 1979 Revolution different from developing a more traditional genre? How do you imagine it is different?

Sam: It’s a good question, because the nature of storytelling and the nature of developing a story..the first place most people start is with research; they’re reading, they’re looking at visual reference or watching movies develop the look and feel of the project, and for this because we were basing this on a real world experience and stuff that happened, we had this treasure trove of resources, like photos, videos, cassette tapes, letters, stories…we did over 70 interviews before we even started production of the game to develop the characters. The characters are an amalgamation of the different interviews we did and are a combination of a lot of different experiences that actually happened. So the great thing about real world storytelling..it is kind of ironic, but you almost have a story already because you already have an outline and you have all these resources you can take from and put into the game. And this was our mantra..to not even make this a fictional experience, but to make this “living the real.” Play the real, so to speak. In this world, we develop the story out of actual stories of people who experienced the revolution. So as opposed to a more fictional game mechanic, we were luckily able to walk into it with this huge pile of things. We had to figure out what we didn’t want to use in the game because we had so much we could use in the game, so that was the hard part.

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Michael: I know the Iranian Revolution is a topic that, let’s be honest, isn’t exactly covered very often in U.S. history classes. What have you been doing to raise awareness of the event to people who are less knowledgeable about this historical event?

Sam: It’s an interesting conundrum because the pitch of the game to some people sounds intriguing but to other people, it might sound equally off-putting; you might be thinking “Oh it’s an educational experience” or “history is boring.” Our primary mode of marketing was to show the entertainment factor of the game. This is primarily a story. At the core of any gaming experience, you want to tell the story of the characters and of the experience, and all the other stuff is window dressing and it’s additional stuff made in the world. It’s funny because we’re an indie studio, this is an original IP; we’re not making a game based on a TV show or movie or a book or whatever, so the revolution itself became our brand. Even the name 1979 Revolution gave people an idea that for most indie games don’t even have an idea of what this is, so it became our rallying cry, a title, a document of this event that you can play. So a big part of it has been showing people this game, seeing people discover it online, people finding out through the news, and finding it through friends playing the game. Luckily the game’s been out for about four months on Steam now and we’ve seen the continual momentum of people tweeting at us, emailing us being like “I just played it. Awesome game. Recommending it to my friends,” stuff like that. So as that continues, that indie game word of mouth is super important. We’ve been fortunate enough to have people [who are] advocates who are playing the game and telling other people about it and that’s a big help towards getting more people to discover it.

Michael: What was the motivation for making the protagonist a photojournalist instead of any other profession?

Sam: I think it ended up being a very smart choice on our part because the role of a journalist is, by nature, torn between two extremes which are that of the observer and that of the participant. So in this game, especially since it is the Iranian Revolution, we’re giving the game to a mostly Western Audience – our three largest countries buying the game are the U.S., the U.K., Germany, and Canada, [as well as] a bunch of countries in Europe scattered down the list – so the largest demographic playing this game is not Iranians but mostly people who have no experience of the revolution, no context to it, so making Reza as a character who is a fish out of water, for you as a player to discover this year and be brought into it, and have other characters talking about it and letting you discover it as someone who hasn’t been there for awhile was a good choice, and making you a photographer gives you the option to choose what your perspective on the revolution is going to be. It also gives a degree of tension in that you are removed from your friends or family a bit because you feel like you have to have a political point of view and obviously throughout the course of events throughout the game, you’re forced into making these tough choices to define what character you are going to be in the future.

Michael: If someone were to complete this game, and say “I really want to learn more about the Iranian Revolution and more about what happened, what the consequences were, how this shaped everything,” what would you direct them to in regards to the different source material to learn more?

At this point, Navid Khonsari, director of 1979 Revolution, appeared at the booth and jumped in to answer this question.

Navid: We did a fair amount of research that pulled a lot of stuff up. I think something that’s digestible and obviously that’s been quite successful is the two graphic novels by Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis 1 and 2. Actually, there’s a great book called All the Shah’s Men by Steven Kinzer which gives you a nice kind of insight, and actually, strangely enough, Guests of the Ayatollah by the guy who wrote Killing Pablo, Michael Bowden. Those are interesting because they are kind of on the fringe of what we do, which provides factual information but almost like an insight that allows you to be in the shoes of those who are experiencing it where this is going on around them.

Navid reintroduced himself and then provided some background about himself.

Navid: I grew up in Iran so there are a lot of elements to this game that are personal to me. The home movies, for example, is stuff that my grandfather shot so it was nice to get that into the whole experience.

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Michael: Can you elaborate on that a bit more? How were you able to implement stuff from your own experiences into the game?

Navid: I think the seed that led for us to create this experience is that when it comes to history and politics, people just want to draw black and white lines, and I was 10 years old and I experienced this first hand and all I saw was initially emotion; people thinking they could change the world, and that emotion eventually turning to chaos as violence ensued and my own personal experience as a child that we brought to this, which is totally free of politics but true to the wave of what took place, and then elements like the photos that you’ll see in here, home movies, and the house, the relationship with the parents…those are all really a combination of my own experiences and experiences of not just family members but the people that we interviewed and I do think that in any medium, when you put a bit of yourself into it, you take that risk, you put yourself on that thin wire, and you put it in there, it could go horribly wrong but almost always people embrace and be respectful and love you because they appreciate the fact that you are actually putting something personally out there.

 

1979 Revolution: Black Friday is currently available on Steam, GoG, the App Store, and their website.

At some point, Michael found video games, and has never looked back. Video games are something Michael knows well, and he was told to stick by things that he knows well. Michael also knows writing, podcasting, and analysis quite well, so we really have a lovely storm going on here.

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Game Reviews

‘Super Mario 3D All-Stars’ Defines Three Incredible Generations

Super Mario 3D All-Stars is the best bang for your buck compilation that the Super Mario Bros. franchise and the Nintendo Switch currently has to offer.

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Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Super Mario 3D All-Stars Review

Developer: Nintendo | Publisher: Nintendo | Genre: Platformer, Action | Platforms: Nintendo Switch | Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch


After nearly half a year of rumors, it was no surprise that Nintendo was going to jump up super high with another compilation title on their red plumber’s next special numbered anniversary. It’s absolutely undeniable to say that Super Mario 3D All-Stars is the best bang for your buck compilation that the Super Mario Bros. franchise and the Nintendo Switch currently have to offer. However, there are still a few pesky problems that persist through its leaking warp pipes. Nonetheless, what you are getting here is three updated masterclass retro classics that I probably don’t have to sell you on.

Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy are not only some of the most critically acclaimed titles on their respective systems, but they’re also among the most influential games ever made. Having all these platformers on one modern console handheld hybrid system sounds certainly promising, but how do they hold up in comparison to other games out on the market today? Is this really the best way to play these three classics? Have they been obliterated by time? Of course they all still hold up exceptionally well, but there are some upsetting answers to be found. Veterans and newcomers of Mario’s three-dimensional adventures will be rather pleased though by what is being offered in Super Mario 3D All-Stars.

3D All-Stars is a great best-hits package that can sometimes skimp out on features and upgrades, but it’s simply exceptional nonetheless.

Taking it all the way back to the past, 1996’s Super Mario 64 still holds a candle to many of today’s modern platformers as it flaunts its rebellious spirit through open environments and selective mission paths. The Nintendo 64’s shining star is just as good as you’ve heard or remember it to be. Despite some of its troublesome camera rotation and weird analog movement, the first three-dimensional Super Mario title still lives up to that high standard you would expect from a Nintendo release. Even after all these years, Super Mario 64 still comes out on top as the king of its generation.

There are plenty of cleaned-up trimmings, including new textures and user interface icons sprinkled here and there that benefit the original game’s noticeably aging areas throughout it’s latest rerelease. In comparison to its bundled successors, however, Super Mario 64 received the short end of the enhanced stick. While I certainly won’t say that Super Mario 64 was utterly cheated out on receiving the gleaming treatment it deserves, in comparison to something like Rare’s remasters of Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie, Bethesda’s recent DOOM 64 port, or even just the other games within 3D All-Stars for that matter, Nintendo’s fifth-generation golden goose has disappointingly been adapted to Switch, to say the least.

Not only is the game not in widescreen like the other titles, but the framerate is still capped at 30 frames per second. Nintendo has created an authentic experience for those looking for the same adventure players witnessed when this groundbreaking masterpiece initially hit the public, but that does not mean these features could not have been optional. Considering Super Mario Galaxy is running at 1080p, sixty frames per second, surely Nintendo could have gotten the more primitive Nintendo 64 title up to that pristine quality.

Revisiting 2002’s summer vacation to Isle Delfino was a tear-worthy experience for me that one could say was fludding with nostalgia. I am not going to lie, Super Mario Sunshine was one of the very first console games I ever owned and it is still one of, if not my all-time favorite titles out there. However, ignoring my deep-rooted connection with the GameCube, objectively speaking Sunshine may perhaps be the Mario game that benefits the most from this compilation. Not only does the game look fantastic in widescreen format and high definition like the other games, but that extra field of view increases Delfino’s sense of scale and vision. It is truly incredible how well some of Nintendo’s earliest library of sixth-generation titles hold up visually despite being almost twenty years old.

The biggest concern longtime fans of Super Mario Sunshine will have going into this collection is how the control scheme would function. As someone who has played through the GameCube release dozens of times, I can happily confirm that Nintendo has done a fine job porting the game over to Switch. For those who are unaware, Sunshine originally allowed you to dictate the amount of water pressure F.L.U.D.D. would power out depending on how far you held the right trigger in. Due to the Switch’s lack of back analog triggers, replicating the original game’s experience was going to be difficult from the get-go. Nintendo’s solution was to make the character operate entirely on full power mode. This may sound like a major change, but in reality, the old control scheme was merely a feature that was fun to mess around with rather than a game-changing aspect. Outside of the late game’s irritating casino pachislot before the King Boo boss fight, there is no other area affected by the alteration.

While Nintendo’s newest GameCube emulation is surely impressive, it may not be entirely flawless for every perfectionist’s liking. Sunshine does indeed contain some minor faults that can likely be fixed in a future patch if Nintendo ever so chooses to release one. There are two notable quirks that will bother longtime fans although it should be mentioned that these are incredibly nitpicky changes in the grand scheme of things. For one, I noticed that a specific sound effect heard multiple times before timed missions had been changed to an oddly annoying censored beep- way to make El Piantissimo and Blooper racing bother more newcomers. Secondly, during some of the Fluddless missions focused on platforming, textured blocks that players are not supposed to see can appear that indicate an object’s trajectory.

Speaking of trajectories, its time to talk about the outer space adventure veterans probably have the most questions about. To bring this library to a close, we have 2007’s astronomical hit Super Mario Galaxy– the most critically praised game in this entire package, with the highest Metacritic and OpenCritic scores out of these three monoliths. Super Mario Galaxy is definitely the closest game to hit the modern standard of Mario’s latest globe-trotting adventures. When it comes to gorgeously designed landscapes and compact areas to explore, there are times where Galaxy could quite honestly stand toe to toe with Super Mario Odyssey from a distance. On top of this, we have what is arguably the most heartfelt Mario story to date as its beautifully constructed narrative never pulls any punches with its wholesome story entirely told through chapters of short text and subcontext.

Galaxy heavily utilized the Wii remote and nunchuck, but Nintendo is offering players with quite a few ways to now enjoy the title. Both Pro-Controller and Joy-Con proclaimers can breath easy because Galaxy supports both formats. While they may not be as pinpoint accurate as they previously were, the latest control schemes are exceptional. When playing with either of these controller options, you will have to utilize either motion or gyro to move the Luma cursor used to collect star bits, stop enemies, or solve various puzzles. Since the Switch lacks the intricately designed motion controls of the Wii, the developers have smartly mapped the right trigger to reset the cursor to the center of the screen.

The only aspect of Super Mario Galaxy that can often become problematic is when the game is being played in handheld mode, but this really only applies to specific sections of the game. In regards to on the go action, the game’s motion controls have been optimized for the touch screen, however, anyone who has played the Wii release can probably tell why this would not always work efficiently. When it comes to specifically collecting star bits, Galaxy can be a nightmare to try and multitask as you have to either pull your hand away from moving the left stick or inputting basic action commands like jumping. Menus and motion puzzles work great in handheld mode and can even be easier to play at times, but it is odd that the docked and tabletop control schemes can not be used with attached Joy-Cons.

Outside of the core three titles, Nintendo has opted out of including any special modes or features, unlike some of their various other notable anniversary titles such as Kirby’s Dream Collection or even the original Super Mario All-Stars rerelease on Wii. Without the additional extra content that properly commemorates the history of the Super Mario Bros. series, this anniversary can feel dishearteningly shallow as it looks more like a hangout than a massive birthday on the surface. Aside from including each game’s incredible soundtracks that double down as a way to always mix up your main menu experience, there are no art pages, interviews, design documents, or anything significant to glance at in this collection when it comes to additional trincites to awe at.

At the bare minimum, Nintendo could have at least included each title’s original manual for players to browse through, but even that is absent here. Even Super Mario Maker’s physical release came with a special booklet for fans to peruse five years ago. The games are obviously what matters most, but for something made to celebrate such a noteworthy milestone, audiences will definitely be expecting more from a character as iconic as Mario. The Super Mario Bros. franchise has such a fascinating history with a literal ocean of trivia and art worth exploring that you can find across several official artbooks, social media platform pages, and wikis. It is truly a shame that Nintendo did not go the extra mile to include any of this when commemorating 35 years of their mascot, but once again, the games at the spotlight are what truly matters most.

Despite its minor emulation issues and missing opportunities, 3D All-Stars manages to defy three incredible generations in one worthwhile package.

With its outstanding lineup of three masterclass generation-defining titles, Super Mario 3D All-Stars exceeds in a value rightfully way above its retail price tag as it bundles together three incredible journies into one package. Whether it is your first time getting to know Mario’s fantastical world or you are coming back to relive your childhood memories, this is a special title that offers some of the finest platforming adventures the red plumber has embarked on. Outside of the fact that it is literally a limited-time release, Nintendo’s latest anniversary best-hits extravaganza is well worth running out to purchase. If you have not played Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, or Super Mario Galaxy, you owe it to yourself to experience every one of these games.

Super Mario 3D All-Stars is indeed lacking in bonus content to make this truly feel like a shebang worth celebrating, but its three games keep the entire party from ever being less than exceptional. All three games included still remain tremendously entertaining as they prove to excel upon the passage of time. Perhaps it is not the grand superstar it could have potentially been, but it will put a huge smile on any veteran or newcomer’s face as they explore Peach’s castle grounds, take on a thwarted island vacation, or skyrocket into the cosmos that have brought decades of enjoyment to audiences of all ages. Collect your coins and get it while you can or begin plotting a Bowser-like scheme to score a copy in the distant future.

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Games

PAX Online: ‘Unpacking’ and ‘Infernax’

Our PAX Online coverage continues with a game the calm and relaxing Unpacking and the not-so calm and relaxing Infernax.

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Unpacking and Infernax

Our PAX Online coverage continues with a game that takes a hated activity and somehow makes it relaxing and another game that will leave you clenching your buttocks.

Unpacking

Unpacking game

Platforms: PC
Release: 2021

As someone who is coming fresh off of moving just a little over a month ago, you couldn’t have blamed me for being a little skeptical going into what was dubbed a “zen puzzle” game based on the final stretch of the process. Unpacking is just that, though. It’s a calming, almost therapeutic exercise that happened to serve as a wonderful way for me to unwind at the end of a day.

Unpacking is exactly what it says on the tin. There are no scores, no timers, no leaderboards, just you, and a few boxes with various items in them that need to be placed somewhere. The demo starts with a single bedroom in 1997. There’s nothing in the game that tells you where something should go, only your own taste and intuition; a locked diary would probably go in a desk-drawer while a soccer trophy would probably be displayed on a shelf.

As I slowly unearthed items one-by-one, I gradually got a feel for what the room’s new inhabitant was most likely like. The endless supply of stuffed animals implied someone of younger age while the numerous art supplies indicated someone inclined to right brain thinking. It’s rather engaging to learn about this person’s life purely by their belongings.

Every item taken out was like a delightful surprise and would sometimes even make me feel a little sentimental such as when I took out a small device that was clearly a Tamagotchi. More importantly, Unpacking nails that sinking feeling of when you feel like you’ve used all your available space but still have boxes left. Reaching the point of just throwing stuff wherever it fits is such an immediately relatable feeling that I was almost offended. And that was only for a single bedroom!

Unpacking game

The demo’s second stage was a little more involved with a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen in the year of 2004. The hilarious moments of finding a boot in your kitchenware box or a bra with your toiletries also felt like a call-out to my own hodge-podge packing methods. It’s something I can’t help but let out an exasperated chuckle at.

It was also neat to see how this person has grown since their earlier abode. Much fewer stuffed animals but more art supplies and a brand new computer imply this character is maybe entering the working adult world. I’ve never actually seen this character, but I can’t help but feel a connection to them already, and that was only after two moves. The full game will have eight total moves to follow them through and I am genuinely curious to see how our nameless and faceless protagonist grows throughout them.

Now if only unpacking in real life could be this soothing.

Infernax

Infernax

Platforms: PC
Release: TBA

Some players may recognize Berzerk Studio for their excellent 2018 bullet-hell, rhythm game Just Shapes & Beats. Coming hot of the heels of that hit they immediately pivoted in the new direction with Infernax, a delightfully edgy 8-bit adventure platformer that takes cues from old-school Castlevania titles.

Our hero returns to his land after a successful crusade only to find it overrun by horrible monstrosities in every which direction. With nothing but mace in hand, he sets out on a quest anew to rid the land of the undead filth. Immediately apparent upon starting is just how tightly the game controls; anyone fond of earlier NES titles will feel right at home with Infernax. I quickly got a handle on my exact attack reach down to the pixel and began mowing down the zombies in front of me. It emphasized how much joy a game is possible of eliciting from simply a jump and attack button.

Getting to that proficiency is important too because the game doesn’t waste any time in taking off the training wheels! Even the base enemies shaved off half my HP if I got careless and that difficulty ramped up at a rapid rate as new enemy types were introduced at a decent clip such as flying evil eyes and jumping rodents. Not only do these foes burst into tasty experience points and gold to be spent on upgrades, but also into extremely satisfying fountains of blood.

Infernax isn’t particularly shy about turning up the gore factor, but it’s still impressive by just how creative they get with it using simple pixel art. Nowhere is this more apparent than when you are killed. Every single enemy type has a unique kill animation when they deal the final blow to our hero. From the chump ass pillbugs to the big bad bosses, all of them mutilate you in a different way and it’s honestly morbidly mesmerizing to witness. It made me want to suicide against every enemy I came across just so I could see what creative way they took my life.

Infernax

Depending on your playstyle you might not want to do this, though, as Infernax features two different ways to respawn when you die. Hardcore respawn sends you all the way back to your last save point, just like in those classic NES titles. Casual respawn lets you restart right where you left off with no loss in progress, but choosing to do so locks you out from Hardcore the rest of the game. It’s a sort of mark of shame that I was glad to wear during the demo after I came up against the final boss and promptly got my ass handed to me. It sounds a little cheeky on paper but is actually very consistent with the game’s overtly edgy tone.

Infernax feels like a game that was lost to time during the NES era and is just now being rediscovered. Those looking for for a game that harkens back to the simplicity of the olden days need not look any further.

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Games

Indie Games Spotlight – Going Full Circle

We’re featuring five exciting indie games in our latest spotlight, including the internship roguelike Going Under and the cozy puzzles of Lonesome Village.

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Journey of the Broken Circle

Indie Games Spotlight is Goomba Stomp’s biweekly column where we highlight some of the most exciting new and upcoming independent games. Summer may have come to a close, but that hasn’t stopped big announcements from rolling in. With events like PAX Online and the recent PlayStation 5 Showcase flooding the web with announcements, trailers, and gameplay footage, there’s been a constant deluge of news to keep up with. With so much coming on the horizon, we’re spotlighting five exciting indies that you’ll be able to play sooner rather than later. Whether you’re in the mood for a brutally addictive action game or a cozy adventure and social sim, there’s bound to be a game that speaks to you in this spotlight.

Moving Up Professionally in Going Under

Work is its own payment in Going Under. In this action game from developer Aggro Crab, you’re put in the shoes of an unpaid intern who must explore the endless ruins of failed tech startups while fighting off the monsters that spawn within them. It’s hard work to do without a single paycheck—but hey, at least you’re gaining valuable experience!

As a former unpaid intern myself, the writing in Going Under certainly resonates with me and it’s sure to strike a chord with anyone who’s ever felt underappreciated or overworked. Its vibrant and colorful 3D graphics, as well as its satirical story, only make it all the more enticing. It really should offer a great working experience when it hits all consoles and PC via Steam on September 24.

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Fill in the Gaps in Journey of the Broken Circle

Something’s missing in Journey of the Broken Circle. Like its name would suggest, this puzzle platformer follows a Pacman-like circle with a hole to fill. It wanders through a world that is whimsical and existential at once, searching for a companion to fill its gaps. As the circle rolls through ethereal environments, it encounters different shapes to use that allow for new gameplay mechanics.

Journey of the Broken Circle might be about an abstract shape, but in its quest to become whole, it strives to capture the human experience. It promises to be an intimate experience that clocks in at about five hours to complete. If you’re interested in getting this ball rolling, it’s already available now on Switch and Steam.

Prepare to Get GORSD

There’s a delicate balance between unsettling the player without being outright scary. GORSD treads the line here as a one-hit-kill shooter that stars humans encased in the skins of octopuses, dragons with human faces, and nightmarish environments. Something feels off about GORSD, but that’s exactly what makes it so interesting.

Brought to life with detailed pixel art, GORSD supports up to four players who can face off in chaotic matches in varied arenas. It also features a full-fledged single-player campaign with a vast overworld with dozens of unique stages. Its concept is inspired by its developers’ native Southeast Asian cultures, making for a unique gameplay and aesthetic experience. If you’re ready to dive in and see it for yourself, it’s available now on all consoles and PC via Steam.

Get Ready For a Foregone Conclusion

Saying Foregone is a 2D Dark Souls would be cliché, but accurate nonetheless. It’s a hardcore action game where you’ll fight against insurmountable odds to prevent monsters from overrunning the world. It has a brutally addictive gameplay loop—its difficulty may be excruciating, but because it offers a wide assortment of abilities to leverage, it’s immensely euphoric once you overcome the challenges before you.

This beautiful 3D/pixelated hybrid action game has been available on PC in early access since February, but at long last, it’s seeing its full console release in October. It’s been a promising title ever since its pre-release days, and now that it’s finally seeing its complete iteration, there’s never been a better time to dive in and give it a shot. It’s hitting all platforms on October 5, so there’s not long to wait!

Finding Good Company in a Lonesome Village

Mix Zelda with Animal Crossing and you might get something like Lonesome Village. This newly-revealed puzzle adventure game features Zelda-like adventure in a hand-drawn world populated by animal characters. Players control a wandering coyote who stumbles upon a strange village and decides to investigate its mysterious happenings by interacting with villagers, solving puzzles, and exploring its dungeons.

It’s more than a simple adventure game. In addition to puzzle-solving, you’ll interact with Lonesome Village’s eclectic cast of characters to forge relationships and unravel brooding mysteries. It’s showing plenty of potential with its cozy gameplay loop, and if you want to give it a shot, check out its official demo from its Kickstarter page! It’s already been fully funded in less than 24 hours, but if you want to help the developers out even further, consider contributing to their campaign.

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