Welcome back readers.

Halloween the calendar holiday may nominally be over for the year, but like any enthusiastic spooky month reveller keen to get their money’s worth out of all the costume pieces they gleaned from the Value Village racks, we see no reason not to indulge in the macabre a little while longer. Read on. . . if you dare.

This Week in Videogame Blogging is a roundup highlighting the most important critical writing on games from the past seven days.

Trope or Treat

Let’s start this issue off with a look at some of the spanners in the horror genre’s toolbox.

“What makes them monstrous? It’s the rats, of course, the rats in numbers. The horror in the Plague Tale series is mathematical as much as it’s aesthetic or narrative. It comes from accumulation, from the buckling of visual form and structure under the weight of squirming pixels.”

Tunnel Visions

Let’s zoom in now on a particular game that has been making the rounds recently. I have a feeling Scorn will be with us for a while as it continues to inspire banger pieces like these.

“The fleshy quality of Scorn’s infrastructure makes its world almost seem inevitable, evolved and grown, rather than built. In this end, empire is inarguable; one being is doomed to dominate another. That domination will bloom into a monument of its own. Scorn’s logic of matter, where all things are flesh, leads to this kind of conclusion. It’s far from the spiritual life of christianity or the material glory of Carl Sagan’s “star stuff.” Still, even the promise of “star stuff” ties you to gunpowder as much as rocket fuel.”

Star Successors

It’s the end of daylight savings this weekend, so let us now wind the clock back to the late 90s and an odd pairing of games, neither of which is strictly horror, though both do intersect with different avenues of the uncanny.

Sacred Pools is a lost relic from a long-gone era of Sega. It is a look into an alternate universe where the company put out games for adults — and on the PlayStation!”

Bad Future

In this next section, two authors unpack how colonial positionalities influence and undermine game design at all levels.

“Ultimately, I dream of a world that’s bigger than Vicky 3 will currently let me build. i don’t want anarchy and communism that only considers white europeans and ignores historical contexts of the nations and groups we’re leading when we play. that’s not solidarity.”

Modern Paradigms

Two pieces now on the ideas and anxieties of modern living refracted through the worlds of recent games.

“I think of Sable’s premise again. Even though I chose to end the game, I wasn’t quite ready. I thought I was – I chose my mask – but I wasn’t. And that’s true every night in real life.”

Critical Chaser

Some Travelogue to close out the week.

“The biggest threat in Malton isn’t zombies, it’s entropy.”


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Have you read, seen, heard or otherwise experienced something new that made you think about games differently? Send it in!