I have a confession. I’ve never played a Metroid game. I know, I know: hand in my gaming card, how can I even pretend to have any credibility when it comes to reviewing video games, right? And it gets worse: even though I’ve played one or two entries in the Castlevania series, I haven’t even played Symphony of the Night, the one that lent its suffix to the Metroidvania genre that I’ve become so fond of.
The back button is the web’s ‘undo’, practically its killer feature second only to the hyperlink. It’s the availability and simplicity of the back button that allows link-following to be a cheap, non-destructive action. The back button encourages readers to browse more.
As an example, consider a page that contains a tabbed interface, in which a…
I’ve been working with version control systems for most of two decades now, so I really should know better. Since starting out with CVS, it’s been drilled in to me:
check in your source, the stuff you can’t recover if you lost it
There’s never an exception to this rule, and if you think there is, think again. I mean it: literally take the time to think about your exception properly, then realise why you should still version control that file.
This is a short tale of careless autocomplete, a quirk of Unix, and a hastily assembled .gitignore file. …
Opening links in a new window — or a new tab for the best part of twenty years — has always been a hot button issue. Many writers feel like it’s the sensible thing to do in order to ‘keep a reader on your page/site’, whilst usability practitioners despair at what they see as annoying and counterintuitive behaviour that ignores the user’s wishes. In Linking to a new tab vs. same tab, Jesse Summers argues that:
If a user clicks on a link, they shouldn’t be surprised by what happens.
and I mostly agree. There are noted exceptions but, generally…
The survival sub-genre has emerged into the limelight in recent years; it combines parts of several other genres, depending on which game you play. Typically, there are dire circumstances, scarce resources, and the need for the player to craft what they need from those resources in various clever ways. Games as far-ranging as the classic Oregon Trail all the way to this year’s Ground Zero fall into this category in some way, but they share a common DNA. Let’s look at several of these titles to see what elements connect them.
The Survivalists is, unsurprisingly, a survival game, but it’s…
Big Brother meets … Big Brother. In this pixellated tale of dystopian reality game show, you’re tasked with completing a series of platforming puzzles — by fair means or foul.
Mining the Orwell playbook is hardly an original concept, but it feels churlish to complain about that when the details are handled as well as they are in Ministry of Broadcast. Many individual touches combine to create a chilling atmosphere — literally, with the constant snowfall and icy sections present — and the foreboding music backs this up to create a genuinely unsettling game.
The overall task is to reunite…
Undoubtedly, it’s the visual style that initially attracted me to Spiritfarer. I’d been following this game’s development for some time, so I was delighted when it announced during Nintendo’s Indie World Showcase in August. The 2D hand-drawn, cartoon style is reminiscent — to my eye, at least — of Japanese animation studios such as Nippon Animation or Studio Ghibli.
Using JSON-LD for better SEO and other benefits
One high-profile usage is Google’s ‘review snippets’ — small pieces of additional information appearing alongside normal search results. For example, if you search for “interstellar”, you should see something similar to this:
Evergate is a precision puzzle platformer that I recently reviewed for Switch Player Magazine. I concluded that:
Evergate might not quite reach the giddy heights established by other recent releases, but it isn’t one to miss out on either. The graphics are familiar, but they are impeccably produced. The soundtrack is an absolute knockout. And, most important of all, intricate level design combined with playful mechanics and a vast array of challenges make Evergate an addictive, highly replayable delight.
Strategy survival game The Survivalists — follow-up to The Escapists —launched today on PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch, and iOS (phew!). Early responses were mixed with criticisms of the combat and controls, although some heaped praise on the graphics and monkey-based mechanics.
Indie Gamer Chick continued her series of NES reviews, currently covering Homebrew games — many of which are released on actual physical NES carts, would you believe? Project Blue looks like it’s the standout game.