(Content warnings: My suicide attempts. Racism against black and Asian people. Animal cruelty. Police brutality. Fascism.) Continued. Around these parts it feels like the world never even started. That’s by design. Trust me, I’ve helped build these rows of tract housing at a remove from the cities. Not even suburbia, which is immediately adjoining a … Continue reading A Mind Forever Voyaging  →
The genre of the “detective game” predates the video game, but it suits the medium like two gears meshing. The narrative impetus to piece together discrete units of information in some systematized way or another suits the computer. Though the genre likely peaks here in the 1980s, it’s a perennial genre that never really goes … Continue reading Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?  →
So there I was, seven or eight layers deep in a dungeon, when I start losing hit points in all my party members every time I take a step. I’m not poisoned, that’s easy to tell… turns out I’ve been down there so long exploring that I’m starving. Oh shit! I check the map to … Continue reading Ultima 4  →
Despite being such a big nerd over music, I have barely discussed video game music outside of my post on Space Invaders . Nevertheless, throughout the early 1980s it steadily expanded from the beachhead, bringing video games from a medium where some or many games had no sound at all or only rudimentary sound effects, … Continue reading Super Mario Bros  →
On games of 1984: I covered five British games all in a row, four of which were science fiction, which was pretty much just a coincidence. The games independently caught my fancy and only when setting up my slate for 1984 did I realize what had happened. I definitely ended up overemphasizing the 80s British … Continue reading 1984 playlist →
If Tower Of Druaga  came out today, there is little doubt in my mind people would call it a Roguelite. By dint being a somewhat-clunky top-down dungeon crawler where to attack randomly-placed enemies you gotta walk right into them until they die, it feels a lot more Like Rogue  than, say, Spelunky , … Continue reading Tower Of Druaga  →
What can you say about Tetris ? Nothing. I know it’s different for everyone, but me, I think in full sentences. Even simple things, like hunger or pain or sensing temperature, are mediated through concrete and often surprisingly verbose language. It’s not that I can’t imagine sounds and images, they’re just not the primary conduit … Continue reading Tetris  →
The most infamous puzzle in King’s Quest  is the Rumpelstiltskin puzzle. Schematically, this puzzle is strikingly identical to the hideous Odysseus puzzle in Zork : Based only off knowing the general milieu of reference material (fairy tales here, Ancient Greek mythology there) and a loose aesthetic association (between Rumpelstiltskin and a hut made of … Continue reading King’s Quest  →
Here, we reach an important milestone for this blog: This is the first game I’ve written about that I’ve actually played before. When I was a kid (I think somewhere from age 10 to 13) I nearly completed this game, without even saving. When I was an even younger kid (think 4 to 7,) The … Continue reading Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy  →
Three off-the-beaten path early 1980s Art Game picks in, and a typology is beginning to emerge. Deus Ex Machina  is largely, through probably not intentionally, a different spin on Lifespan . What both share in common with The Prisoner , besides the obvious self-identification as art, is that their reflections on the medium has … Continue reading Deus Ex Machina  →
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