Jon Gracey's

Posts Tagged ‘videogames’

Games That Rocked…Viv Egan’s World – #54: Plague Inc.

In Android, iOS on January 28, 2014 at 7:37 am

Title: Plague Inc.

Format: iOS, Android

Released: 26th May, 2012

Plague-Inc Logo

I don’t believe you can tempt fate. That is to say, I don’t believe that saying or thinking something bad will make it more likely to happen. For instance, if I tell Jon that I hope he dies, or if I instruct him to kill himself (something I do frequently), I don’t believe that I’ve brought the universe’s attention to his mortality, and that he’ll suddenly be struck down (more’s the pity).

But this stoicism was sorely tested on the evening/early hours of May 6th 2013, during which a hell was rained down upon me unlike any I’ve ever known. And it felt like a terrible penance for playing one, truly addictive, game. That game was Plague Inc.

Let me explain. Read the rest of this entry »

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Games That Rocked…Benita de Wit’s World – #53: Theme Park

In Amiga, DS, Mac, Mega Drive, PC, PlayStation, PS3, Saturn, SNES on January 24, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Title: Theme Park

Format: Amiga, Mega Drive, PlayStation, Saturn, SNES, Mac, PC, DS, PS3

Released: 1994

Theme Park Box Art

Hello Internet.

I’d like to tell you a story. A story about a child who spent a lot of time alone on the computer. A story about creativity.

As a kid I loved building games (that is to say, games where you build. I didn’t build games, great as that would’ve been). I loved to spend hours making something original, whether from paper or pixels.

I grew up in a bit of a gaming family and enjoyed a thorough videogame education. SimTower, Age of Empires and World of Warcraft were favourites of mine as they all had wonderful elements of customisation, where you could play the game in your own weird way. Being an odd child I took the most joy in making odd things happen. I loved allowing a 100-storey building to become roach-infested, building a civilisation of monks who converted entire enemy armies to a peaceful way of life or riding my frostsaber across the plains as a male night elf in a wedding dress. Read the rest of this entry »

Games That Rocked My World – #52: Papers, Please

In Mac, PC on January 17, 2014 at 2:35 am

Title: Papers, Please
Format: PC, Mac
Released: August 8th, 2013

Papers, Please Logo

“Travel broadens the mind”, they say. When it comes to Papers, Please, ‘they’ are goddamn right.

I’ll back up.

Papers, Please casts you as a border patrol officer for the fictional eastern European country of Arstotzka. Your job? To check people’s passport and immigration documents before they enter the country.

Papers-Please-October-Lottery

“Oh sweet, Jon – a game about paperwork?! Sign me up! While you’re at it, let me do all your tax returns whilst simultaneously potty training your infant!”

First up, don’t be a cunt. C’mon.

Secondly, Papers, Please is one of the most immersive, engaging and nail-biting games I have ever played. Read the rest of this entry »

Games That Rocked My World – #51: Botanicula

In Mac, PC on January 10, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Title: Botanicula
Format: PC, Mac
Released: 7th May, 2012

Botanicula Main Image

Sometimes, when the cold is creeping in and the skies are grey, you just want to play something green and warm. Something lovely. Something that has care, craft and love oozing out of every pore. (ergh) Sometimes, you want to play Botanicula, the Toy Story of lo-fi Czech adventure games. (obviously)

As I write now, I’m 3 days into a fairly pathetic cold. It’s one of those colds that leaves you light-headed, a little feeble, but essentially just a bit tired and hungry. It’s a great way to be: thoughts float about a bit more freely like gentle spores ready to fertilise, and although your head’s a bit tender, sitting around playing games and watching TV is a perfectly acceptable way to spend a weekday. So after playing through Papers, Please again, (article coming next week) finding myself comfortably ensconced in a den of tissues (STOP IT) and cups of tea, I moved onto Botanicula, by Amanita Design. Read the rest of this entry »

Games That Rocked My World – #50: High School Story

In iOS on January 3, 2014 at 12:41 am

Happy 50th article, Games That Rocked! Here’s a rant.

—–

Title: High School Story
Format: iOS
Released: 2013

HSS Front Cover

This is a hard one to write. Up until this point, Games That Rocked My World has largely been about celebrating games that have affected our lives in a positive way – from showing us new worlds to helping us jazz up our own miserable existences. But then I realised: one’s world can be rocked in a bad way. Good. Because I really want to talk to you about High School Story.

Full disclosure. If any of the following should sound bitter, allow me to preface: I recently spent my 28th birthday visiting a friend out of town. It cost me time and money to go and visit, neither of which I have much to spare at present. He forgot to wish me happy birthday. He also recommended I play High School Story. Read the rest of this entry »

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