Tagged With itchio


I love simulation games of all kinds. Give me Dwarf Fortress, SimCity 3000, or The Sims and I can get lost in them for days. Sometimes, I don’t have days in which to get lost in a game. Simmiland scratches my simulation itch without taking too much time away from my life.


I collect games like I do books: stacking them on shelves or in boxes, never quite finding the time to finish them but always enjoying simply having them around. Owning physical games provides a sense of history and future possibility and makes me feel like I have some sort of handle on this unwieldy hobby I've constructed a large part of my life around.

But as that habit evolved beyond the physical into the digital, I've found myself increasingly overwhelmed.


Edutainment games like Number Munchers or Big Thinkers! always felt like they had a sinister side. There's something weird about someone emphatically telling you how cool learning is. As I perfunctorily did maths equations in games like these I always kind of felt like I was being brainwashed. Baldi's Basics, a hilarious horror-parody of edutainment games, embraces that.


2017 has been so relentless in the release of top-tier games that it's hard to justify spending time with stuff that is merely "good". Why settle for anything less than "great"? Despite the incredible competition facing it, Butterfly Soup, a game about queer Asian women who play baseball, still shot right into my top five games of the year so far.


In Mushroom Heroes, I'm looking at a fast-moving platform over a bed of spikes. Timing my jump is one thing, but figuring out which character should jump first is another. There could be a monster on the other side of the ledge, and there's only one person who uses arrows. There might be blocks to push around, requiring a different character. I won't know until I cross. These are the kind of chances you take when playing Mushroom Heroes, a platformer that lets you play as three adorable mushroom men.


JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is one of the most influential mangas of all time. References to it show up in dozens of anime, and Hirohiko Araki, the manga's author, has even shown his work in the Louvre. Despite all these accolades, you've never been able to kiss any of the characters, until now.


Glitched out texts, lush water colours and abandoned towns: Yurei Station, a visual novel that came out a few weeks ago on itch.io, uses these elements to create a horror game that lingers with you long after you're done with it.