I've been wanting to write about The Witness for several months now, but kept getting hung up on how to address the elephant in the room (or in this case, on the island): namely, how difficult the game is, both in the classic hard-to-solve sense and in how much it asks of players conceptually. There's no question the game's hundreds of puzzles are exceedingly difficult, and require an iron stoicism to complete without rage-Googling. But the second layer of difficulty runs deeper, and is more open to debate: assuming one plays the game "right", i.e. avoids any and all online discussions of the game (and only requires assistance from one's spouse or partner on—I don't know, let's say 10-20% of the puzzles), and somehow, through perseverance, luck, page after page of maniacal scribbling, and the aforementioned pre-internet Genuine Human Interaction factor, manages to complete the game—is it worth it?Read More
For such a new medium, mobile games have already gathered quite the set of negative connotations. At best, they’re regarded as the EPs of the gaming world, tiding players over until the LP comes out, or released simultaneously as bonus material (Fallout Shelter is an example of the former, the GTAV app of the latter). At worst, the commentariat derides new mobile ventures as a cynical cash-grab, particularly when they’re tied to a pre-existing series. Between the two extremes, they tend to be viewed as a necessary industry-wide evil to which even revered giants like Nintendo must pay tribute if they hope to survive.
The fundamental assumption is that within any given digital era, the scale of the PC and console games created will always exceed that of mobile. At a basic level, this is true: new games for open-world series like GTA,Dragon Age, and Fallout have been far too large to fit in any practical way on the mobile devices that existed when these titles were released.Read More