31 October 2012

[SquareGo] Review: DeadEnd Cerebral Vortex

DeadEnd Cerebral Vortex is a first-person labyrinth exploration game by Membranos that tasks the player with venturing into the illusory world of their subconscious mind in order to recover fragments of their soul.

The player wanders through twenty levels, picking up “Soul Cubes” that represent part of their soul. Gathering enough Soul Cubes in one area and making it to the Exit unlocks the next level, and this is the player’s sole objective; there are no enemies to fight, no sidequests to undertake, just the maze to explore.

Read the rest of the review over at SquareGo! >>

17 October 2012

[SquareGo] Review: SCP-087-B

SCP-087-B follows a recent trend of short indie horror games that are so focused on their primary goal – TERROR – that they easily rival titles from big-name studios trying to elicit the same reaction. SCP-087-B is no exception.

Read the full review over at SquareGo or click below to read more!

13 October 2012

[SquareGo] Review: Slender: the Eight Pages

The unknown and the unexpected are the bread and butter of the horror genre – and an indie PC game quietly released in June 2012 fits the bill, coming as it did from the relatively unknown developer Mark J. Hadley of Parsec Productions, and unexpectedly becoming one of the most terrifying games of the year.

Read the rest of the review over at SquareGo or click below to read more!

8 October 2012

Minecraft Monday #7: New Platform, New County!

Minecraft Monday is a feature on Hyp/Arc that documents playthroughs of the hit indie game Minecraft, as well as discussing news and updates regarding the game and the cult phenomenon surrounding it.

Previously on Minecraft Monday, we left behind the Little Town of Remedy in Alexander County and went on a summer hiatus. Now, Minecraft Monday is back - I'm here to show you guys around Kentigern County, my Minecraft world for the Xbox 360 platform!

Since May this year - when Mojang and 4J Studios released a version of the hit indie game Minecraft onto the Xbox 360 platform - I've been building a new Minecraft world called Kentigern County. Since it's on the console version of Minecraft rather than the PC, Kentigern County is a lot smaller than Alexander County, and it's lacking a lot of features since the Xbox 360 version is a fair few builds behind the PC version. One of the things I've been missing most is villages - as you might expect, given that my previous playthrough of Minecraft focused exclusively on my escapades building and living in a village called Remedy.

I adore the villages in Minecraft - any kind of structure, in fact, such as the abandoned mineshafts, strongholds, Nether Fortresses, Desert Temples and Jungle Temples that have been added into the recent PC updates. I play on single player a lot of the time, so for me, stumbling across a village in the middle of nowhere, or spotting the wooden arches of an abandoned mineshaft from the top of a ravine are little hints of a greater narrative - they suggest that I'm not the first person to have explored, and built, and destroyed, that there were people (if not whole societies, whole civilisations) before I appeared in the now-empty world. It infuses the world with so much more significance and storytelling potential when you're crafting your very first wood-and-earth hut on top of a vast underground network of railways, or when you're traversing a vast desert plateau and spot the silhouette of a temple offering shelter just before nightfall.

Of course, the idea that there were people before us in the Minecraft world isn't true: all of the structures in the game are pre-generated by the game itself. It doesn't need to be true, though: that's the beauty of fiction. We need only act like the stories we're telling are true, and a world of significance opens up to us. Narrative magick.

As I mentioned, villages don't appear in the Xbox version as of yet. However, since the appearance of villages is due in the next Minecraft update, I figured it was high time to show off my alternative before it was rendered obsolete:

Welcome to Western Rise, the first village of Kentigern County.