Welcome back readers.

Thanks once again to Julián Ramírez for providing the fish pic this week!

You’ve got about a week left to pick up the Palestinian Relief Bundle over on Itch. They’ve more than doubled the amount they’ve raised since we plugged the fundraiser last week, so let’s keep the momentum going, yeah?

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


Let’s start things off this week with a pair of critical examinations of new games.

“Loss has never been a neutral expression. Even when my grandmother died, we were asked to attend her wake and burial in our brightest purples. Surgent Studios’ debut game Tales of Kenzera: ZAU is the first time that I’ve played through a pain that wasn’t numb. Instead, it was vibrant and expressive. There was rage, sadness, guilt, fear, and even at times, joy.”


Now let’s focus on games slightly off the beaten path–niche works and bootlegs–as our next two highlighted writers explore their artistic value.

“The Caligula Effect’s best aspect is how it approaches this infiniteness of the self. We see it through the eyes of the protagonist, someone who lives out this dual-life between their Mobius persona, their Lucid persona and the Player persona, as someone who’s commanded to respond through dialog options. This trinity is what makes the character episodes work as well as they do, because the player is primed to see the world through the lens of the world responding through what the party members want out of their lives. There’s a kindness in the episodes that feels human, realer than real. An understanding of the dynamics of people within spaces like the internet that I think is really effective..”

Bad Place

Climate change and surveillance guide this next section on dark worlds–sometimes absurdly so.

“It isn’t a gotcha about the joys of maliciously invading someone’s privacy, but a creeping horror that when doing so is frictionless and mundane it can almost be mistaken for connecting with another person. With the access we have to information about other people’s lives, it’s enough to make you paranoid.”

Party Chat

This section is all about relationships–good, not-so-good, and hard-won.

“There are so many occasions in Infinite Wealth where characters turn directly to face the camera and pontificate about their perspective on life, whether Kiryu’s brushstroke metaphor or otherwise. These moments are clearly the developers passing along their philosophical tomes to me, the player. Even when I trip and stumble, like in my fleeting retreat back into alcoholism, Infinite Wealth’s characters serve to remind me to get back up and keep going. And when getting back up seems too difficult, like moving forward is impossible, Infinite Wealth’s supporting cast claps me on the back and reminds me to ask for help. If even the Dragon of Dojima has to learn this lesson, who am I to pretend that I’m above such humility?”

Critical Chaser

; )

“If you’ve only played games that are about fulfilling player gratification and meeting your every need, Dark Souls will lay your ass out. It’s a lesson in being humble. So is The Tortured Poets Department. It’s an album that asks fans to consider that their parasocial relationship with Swift may not be for her benefit.”


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

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