LucasArts Time Machine: The Curse Of Monkey Island

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And so, after a rather longer period than I anticipated, we come back to the beginning. This whole series was prompted by my booting up Curse Of Monkey Island back in October of last year, and wondering: why was Curse the last high-profile 2D point and click adventure game that LucasArts made? Was the genre an evolutionary dead-end? Was the lure of 3D graphics — which were exploding in 1997 thanks to the Voodoo accelerator card — too strong to resist? And considering Curse in particular, I wanted to get a bit more context on just why LucasArts had abandoned their previously wildly-successful genre at precisely the moment they’d managed to usher it to its apotheosis — because Curse is absolutely fantastic.

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Thoughts: Pathfinder – Wrath of the Righteous

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Pathfinder: Wrath Of The Righteous is the most ambitious game I’ve played so far this year.

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Thoughts: Deathloop

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I must admit, it’s something of a minor miracle that I enjoyed Deathloop as much as I did given the amount of complaining I’m about to do.

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Thoughts: Jupiter Hell

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Jupiter Hell is the game that has convinced me the conventional, “classic”, roguelike genre is dead to me.

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Thoughts: Mini Motorways

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It is not remotely surprising to me that Mini Motorways was immediately snapped up by Apple for a couple of years’ exclusivity on Apple Arcade. The game is an extraordinary aesthetic achievement — a perfect blend of rounded edges, pastel colours, minimalist interface and intuitive touch-centric controls that seems to have been laser-targeted at Apple’s UX designers with the intention of sending them into paroxysms of orgasmic joy. I have no doubt that when an iOS developer goes to sleep at night, they dream of things that look very much like Mini Motorways — and not without good reason, either, since Mini Motorways is in many ways the Holy Grail of UX design. I have worked in several organisations that would kill to be able to express the core purpose of their product as simply and as naturally as Mini Motorways does. It’s a pleasure to look at, a pleasure to interact with, and a pleasure to play.

For the first hour or so, anyway.

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