[Cleaning the Backlog] Abzu
Of course, the audio-visual ensemble is what actually matters in this game. But one can wonder—how far can we go with amplifying the audio-visual component while weakening the gameplay and storytelling aspects and still consider an overall experience a game? Where is the line between a game and a spectacle? Well, this is it. Abzu…
[Cleaning the Backlog] A Plague Tale: Innocence
A Plague Tale: Innocence is an excellent example of the schematic simplicity of decent storytelling in a videogame. You need a central theme enforced by plot and mechanics and an overall focus on this theme. The rest is a technical matter. Of course, the devil lies in the details, and additional layers are necessary to…
[Cleaning the Backlog] Beneath a Steel Sky
Beneath a Steel Sky is Revolution Software’s Ride the Lighting—a masterpiece in the shadow of the pop icon. I haven’t played Broken Sword for quite a long time, and my memories may be blurry, but I consider Beneath a Steel Sky a much better game overall. The reason is perhaps a bit ethereal, for it…
Little Big Adventure: Return to the Planet Twinsun
Earlier this year, I noticed something had changed in my GOG collection. Actually, it changed over a year ago, and I missed it completely. Little Big Adventure games received a “Classic version” addendum to their title, along with several technical modernizations, like controller support. Fate was calling me back to the planet Twinsun, and I…
Mass Alienation and Social Atomization in Bloober Team’s Observer
There are several ways you can summarize the plot of the Bloober Team’s Observer. For example, you can say that this is a game about a futuristic cop, played by Rutger Hauer, who chases after a murderous monster in the cyberpunk dystopian setting. This way, Observer reminds us of Split Second—a 1992 sci-fi action flick—not explicitly smart or insightful…
Neofeud: Pastiche and Critique
Initially, I intended to write a short review of Neofeud and explain how it touched me with its admirable intentions despite several evident flaws in its design. Then I’ve played a bit more and figured that there is something more interesting going on under the covers. Finally, the game’s ending left me with a rather…
Atlantis Trilogy: The Remarkability of Unremarkable
Cryo Interactive was a very prolific developer and publisher. During twelve years of its activity, this French company has managed to release so many games, that there is a separate Wikipedia page, listing the most of them. Although you may find quite a variety of game genres in that list, Cryo is mostly remembered for its…
Cyberia: Weird. Short. Unique.
Cyberia was never the harbinger of cinema and videogames synergy, nor it’s not even a significant or meaningful title for its own medium. It’s just a short, flawed, but quite an enjoyable game. And a pretty unique one, actually. Ambitious and humble simultaneously. That’s why it should be remembered.