Category Archives: Games

Video game, computer game, online game, card game, board game, and gaming criticism, news and views at Sketchy Details

Play It 2.02: Thomas Was Alone Part 1: Meet Thomas

Thomas Was Alone Part 1: Meet Thomas (Play It 2.02)

I’ve started my first official let’s play run over at Play It, my bimonthly video game show on Sketchy Details @YouTube. The game is Thomas Was Alone, because of course I’m going to let’s play a quirky indie platformer.

I cannot stress how much I love this game. If you don’t have it, you should get it. It’s easily one of the best indie platformers, right up there with Super Meat Boy and Fez. Only driven by a really beautiful, heart felt, funny, charming, and engaging story about rectanglular glitches randomly produced in a computer operating system.

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Infested Planet Preview

Infested Planet Preview

My new piece just went up over at Gizorama. I’ll be doing a full review of the upcoming RTS computer game Infested Planet in a couple weeks. These are my first impressions of the game. Spoiler alert: I was so happy to play a game where I can adjust the camera with ease during gameplay so my eyes can focus on what I need to focus on at any given time. That’s really rare.

Infested Planet Preview

Nevermind Featured

Crowdfund It: Nevermind

Nevermind is described by developer Erin Reynolds as a biofeedback horror adventure game. Meaning, the game is designed to respond to your heartbeat, increasing the difficulty when your stress levels start to rise. To survive, you have to learn to relax, literally.

Erin Reynolds is attempting to crowdfund Nevermind right now. Her team has a long way to go. As of writing, they have a little over $54,000 of a $250,000 development goal. I personally just pledged at the $25 tier, earning me a digital copy of the game and my name in the end credits if the campaign succeeds. Here’s why I supported the project.

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Play It: FlapMMO

Flappy BirdWhat happens when a bad game that’s selling very well suddenly gets pulled from the Android and iOS app stores? Infamy.

Flappy Bird is the now unattainable mobile game where you attempt to guide a bird through a series of sewer pipes by tapping on the screen. Last week, the game was pulled from sale for reasons. Either the creator grew tired of the backlash over the poorly designed and/or intentionally extremely difficult game or larger game companies threatened legal action for stealing artwork straight from their games (namely, Nintendo, cause those sewer pipes, grass, and ground design are the same as Super Mario Bros). Now, you can’t even submit a game with the word “Flappy” in the title because Apple will tell you you’re profiting off of another game’s notoriety. Google is also rejecting clones and games with “Flappy” in the title, but they aren’t saying why.

Fortunately, this is 2014. Game designers are very good at keeping things alive if they want to. Flappy Bird clones are all over the place. None are as clever as FlapMMO.

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Luigi's Mansion/Animal Crossing

When Luigi’s Mansion Went to Animal Crossing

My original Game of the Year list for 2013 had a lot more mobile gaming on it. Both Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon and Animal Crossing: New Leaf held on until the final round of cuts. It was my last minute push to play more PC games that bumped two stellar 3DS games from the list. Worse still, I never got around to writing about those games.

Thank goodness for StreetPass Princeton. This is gamer group in Princeton, NJ that does a whole lot of Nintendo-themed YouTube videos on their channel. I found their Luigi’s Mansion/Animal Crossing mash-up a few weeks ago and I’m obsessed. It’s so well done. Basically, they built representations of some of the best Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon levels in Animal Crossing: New Leaf.

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Pokemon Origins: A Bridge to the Past

Pokemon Blue

In America, the first Pokemon game was Blue or Red

It’s hard for me to believe that Pokemon has been around since 1996. The series received its US debut in 1998 and has been captivating children and adults ever since. I was even a little old for that first generation of fans in the US (September 1998 put me in 7th grade when the advertising skewed younger). Pokemon has been part of my life ever since. I played all the main games (and even some awesome side projects like Pokemon Snap! and Pokemon Pinball, the greatest handheld pinball game ever), watched the anime, and even dabbled in the TCG.

But now it’s 2014. The original fans have grown up and, surely, many have moved past this monster collection obsession. The new TV shows, games, and expanded universe (board games, toys, collectibles) bring in new young fans. It’s a testament to the strength of the series that it’s lasted this long.

Yet, these new children are entering a very different Pokemon world. Continue reading

Rust 101 (Play It 2.01)

Rust 101 (Play It 2.01)

Today’s the day, good people. Play It, my new YouTube video game series, debuts with a look at Rust. Rust is one of the most successful Steam Early Access games so far, selling over one million copies in less than two months. It can be intimidating to jump into an MMO world that populated. The violent PVP and killer blood red bears aren’t exactly welcoming.

Never fear. I take you through Rust 101 in the first episode of Play It, showing you how to gather resources, hunt food, and turn the game into The Sims when you build your very own mansion.

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2013 Artists of the Year

After 31ish days of recognizing the best entertainment media of 2013, it’s time to abandon medium specific honors and cross the streams. Artists of the Year is the top prize at The Sketchys. This is a recognition for the best media creators of the year. It is not a ranked list, but a celebration of artists to remind us all of the bar the new year has to climb.

A new year in media is not an excuse to accept inferior work. These artists prove that passionate creators can produce extraordinary work at any budget. Let’s look back one more time to propel us into a brand new year of media.

The 2013 Sketchys: Artists of the Year

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