Monthly Archives: March 2016

Clyde’s Adventure Platform categoryPuzzle category

Title screen from Clyde's Adventure

Poor Clyde can’t catch a break. All he wants to do is collect gems, but some malevolent force keeps trapping him behind walls and making the floor disappear.

Your enjoyment of Clyde’s Adventure will vary with how much abuse you will accept. Clyde’s quest for treasure looks simple, plays more simply, and deals in a secret cruelty to the player that, while stimulating, might not be for everyone. Clyde’s Adventure » Read more

Backpacker: The Lost Florence Gold Mine Adventure category

Title sceren from Backpacker: The Lost Florence Gold Mine

Early in Backpacker: The Lost Florence Gold Mine, our hero, the unfortunately named Chuck McBlade, stops at the Payette Inn for a meal. He doesn’t just buy lunch: he talks with the wait staff, reads the entire menu aloud, and grouses about the prices. Then, when his food arrives, we watch McBlade eat the whole thing. The scene moves mesmerizingly slowly, violating so many unspoken rules about too much detail in writing. The moment is jarring, not because it’s bad but because it runs against our expectations.

That leisurely, meandering pace distinguishes Backpacker. The game pays tribute to nature, hiking, and rural life, and its slowness feels like an exhale, a purposeful step back from problems to appreciate the world’s richness. Backpacker: The Lost Florence Gold Mine » Read more

Defcon 5 Shooter categorySimulation category

Title screen from Defcon 5

Sometimes, a game is inseparable from where it occurs, at least on a symbolic level. Defcon 5 links its location and gameplay even more tightly, using physical space to unite a tense military defense simulation with the action of a first-person shooter.

Defcon 5‘s shortcomings mostly result from the game’s specific implementation of its ideas. Millennium Interactive’s experiment suffers greatly from pacing issues, but its central concept of housing disparate genre elements in the walls of a single explorable area is strong enough to show promise between those faults. Defcon 5 » Read more

Some rewrites, updates, and other housekeeping Blog category

Screenshot from Ultimate Writing & Creativity Center

The Obscuritory is always a work in progress. Occasionally, I’ll revisit earlier posts and content to improve what I’ve written before as I become better (hopefully!) at criticism. Sometimes these are smaller tweaks, but once in a while, I’ll do major article overhauls.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve significantly reworked a few older posts – ones with a great deal of significance to this blog and to myself – that I feel I didn’t do justice to the first time around. So much interesting thematic and atmospheric work happens in these games that I either didn’t articulate well or completely missed. I attempted to keep the original text where possible, but much of it still received major revision. The major changes have been to..

(Some comments on those articles might not make sense anymore with the changes to the content. So it goes!)

Additionally, I’ve been continually revising the Resources page with new suggestions. I recently reorganized a few of the pages within there into an accessible tabbed format, so hopefully it’s easier to browse on a number of levels.

I’ll be back to new posts shortly; this was an itch I needed to scratch for a bit.