Hello and welcome back to the Weekly 5. Here’s some more hot links fresh off our computer screens and on to yours.
Tomb Raider Review – Todd
Here’s a really nice review of the new Tomb Raider game written by Maddy Myers. As Todd wrote, “it takes a strong, player-centric review of the experience of the game, rather than a list of its pros, cons, and stats.” It really is an excellent read, and a great example of how games criticism can be done right.
Cart Life Review – Rik
Keeping with game criticism, here is a great review of the indie darling Cart Life written by Chris Dahlen. In it, Dahlen points out that the game is powerful, in part because it operates on two levels, writing “Cart Life deftly plays on its dual nature as a retail sim with an extensively-scripted story. Again and again, the game will pull you into one mindset with its style of play, and then take advantage of your mindset by hitting you with a different kind of experience, right when you’re not ready.”
The fires of the “are games art” debate got stoked again recently by Dr. Brian Moriarty, who continues to insist that games, at present, are not. Paolo Pedercini from Molleindustria wrote an excellent summary of the arguments to this point, and of course he adds his own analysis of the discourse.
Allan Calhamer Passes Away at 81 – Mikael
Calhamer, the inventor of the board game Diplomacy passed away at the age of 81 on the 25th of February. Diplomacy is regarded as a tremendously influential game in many game development circles, and many members of the staff here at the Lab have memorable experiences of the game. The New York Times wrote an excellent obituary talking about Calhamer and the game for which he was most known.
I can’t put down Backflip Madness. It is, well, madness. It’s this fabulous iOS game in which you control a rag-doll gymnast, trying to flex and extend his legs, tuck, roll, and straighten, all to execute totally awesome backflips and land on your feet. Luke Plunkett over at Kotaku smartly compares it to QWOP which probably explains why I like it so much.