Here is a simple fact about hacking: it’s not fun to watch. Movies and video games world over would like to convince you that this isn’t true, but the tedium prevails. Any writer on earth can make a character type something furiously into a keyboard and have something unexpected happen on the other end — but that’s not really the allure of hacking, is it?
Transistor starts boldly and isn’t afraid to let players figure out mechanics and story for themselves. That sense of mystery and discovery fills every moment of the second game from Supergiant Games, creators of the wonderfully unique Bastion. While it can be slightly intimidating at first, Transistor quickly becomes a very satisfying and unique game that shares many similarities with Bastion, but is never beholden to old ideas.
Looking Glass’ original Thief games helped to define a generation of stealth titles. After an extended absence, Garrett returns in a new iteration from Eidos Montreal. Thief’s primary gameplay motives should be pretty clear from the title alone, but it suffers from a severe lack of focus. Instead of centering on the tools of Garrett’s trade, Thief tries too hard to be something it’s not, which ultimately breaks the one thing it does well.
There may be no television property more ripe for a video game adaptation than Adventure Time. A lot of its stories are, by the creator’s admission, structured like mini-Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. It’s easy to imagine throwing the huge list of characters and the shockingly well-defined world they inhabit into an RPG, getting the writers to cook up anywhere from 20-40 hours of endearing plot, and finding a developer who could design a satisfyingly simple combat mechanic. Paper Mario comes to mind.
Adventure Time: Explore The Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW! (henceforth referred to as Explore The Dungeon) is not that game.
Telltale struck gold with the critical and commercial success of The Walking Dead last year. Now they’ve decided to bring a different comic book series to the adventure game genre with The Wolf Among Us. The first episode covers a lot of ground very quickly. It acts like a pilot episode of a serialized television show, establishing a complex world and characters with around two hours of content. It’s messy, but that doesn’t hinder the impact of its narrative.