Welcome back readers.

While we’re running a slightly smaller issue this week, we’ve still got seven polished and provocative selections for you to dig into. Let’s get right into it.

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

Box Offices and Block Busters

This week we’re opening with a pair of adaptation-focused pieces, with the Mario Movie newly released and The Last of Us TV series still fresh in memory.

“What specifically though, is the problem with TLOU? Time is not kind to narratives, especially in an emergent media like video games, and a decade does not show The Last of Us in the best possible light. If anything, it’s interesting to watch the narrative failures of the game be expanded on and twisted into a piece of prestige television.”

Not Forgotten

This next section is dedicated to underappreciated, under-released, and unreleased games, situated in their original production contexts to reveal new insights for players and designers today.

“To children, though, Wuzzo is something much rarer: an adult who needs their help. Many children love to help adults and get involved in adult life, but at the same time children are keenly aware they’re not really needed; the cake will get baked regardless of whether the child is there to stir the batter or not. As much as children might delight in besting their parents in kid-focused tasks like playing video games, they’re aware that in the adult domain it’s still adults who know all the rules. Wuzzo, though, is a hapless adult who absolutely can’t get anything done by himself. There’s no way he’ll make it on this vacation without help, so it is genuinely up to the children playing to guide him through this slice of life.”

Twisting Tropes

Games like any creative medium have accumulated (and inherited) a robust wheelhouse of narrative and thematic tropes, and some are showing their age. These next two selections are dedicated to unravelling a couple of these tropes.

“While this narrative doesn’t shy away from depicting her pain, there is tremendous kindness in how it asserts that things can get better, and through evocative imagery, nuanced characterization, and well-considered mechanics, its message comes across as more than just a rote platitude.”

Critical Chaser

This week we’ll close out with a meditation on portable play.

“Maybe it’s because it’s a game about movement. Skipping between the individual characters’ stories requires continent-hopping, back and forth over and over across the map. It’s not especially cohesive, but the constant shifting between locations lends the game an ongoing momentum.”


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