This is an article I wrote for First Person Scholar, a really awesome website that does work in the space between academic journals and popular games criticism. It’s about a game that’s very close to my heart for how it’s helped me work through anxiety and depression.
About an hour into Night in the Woods, a modern adventure game from a small team called Infinite Fall, Mae Borowski reuintes with her high school bandmates for practice. Since she’d left for college, their drummer—Casey—had disappeared, and their guitarist and singer, Gregg and Angus, had recruited another old classmate named Bea to take both […]Read more "You Might Have Missed: Night in the Woods"
From one angle, Team Salvato’s (free) visual novel Doki Doki Literature Club looks like an attempt to capture a bit of Undertale‘s signature metafictional magic. A game that begins as a piece in a well-defined genre ends up being anything but—picking apart both the mechanical and narrative tropes that a player might expect from, respectively, a visual […]Read more "How Doki Doki Literature Club Paints an (Almost) Authentic Picture of Depression"
Hollow Knight expands from the journeys of a wanderer through a vast, decaying kingdom—beginning with a simple descent into the Forgotten Crossroads and ending with something much like deicide. And in between, a retelling of the Prometheus myth takes shape—the story of a clever, ancient being usurping its creator and granting its subjects a new form of enlightenment.Read more "Dream No More: How Hollow Knight’s Story Mirrors the Myth of Prometheus"
My favorite moment in Hollow Knight came about a quarter of the way through my forty hour playthrough, when I descended through the Fungal Wastes and found myself in a giant pit at the center of a hidden village. Three mantises—for Hollow Knight’s kingdom of Hallownest is a land of insects and bugs—sat on tall wooden […]Read more "You Might Have Missed: Hollow Knight"
A game’s qualifications for this loosely-defined series of mine usually begin and end with my belief that not enough people have played it. And while Rune Factory 2 is far from an indie game, I doubt the cross-section of audiences that enjoy both intensive dungeon crawling and Harvest Moon-style farming-and-relationship simulators is all that large. […]Read more "You Might Have Missed: Rune Factory 2"
If you’re at all a follower of indie games, you’ve probably at least heard of Bastion—the isometric, hack-and-slash RPG from Supergiant Games that quickly after its release in 2011 went on to become one of the most popular and acclaimed indie games of all time. While known for many things, Bastion’s most distinctive component (for most gamers, at […]Read more "Bastion: Thermodynamics, Entropy, and the Physics of Fantasy"