The 20 games you shouldn’t miss in 2014

By Brandon Boyer

Over the past year I played hundreds of amazing games across a wide spectrum of team sizes, budgets and ambitions. These exemplify the best that 2014 had to offer: interesting places to explore, important achievements, or just nice ideas executed simply. I hope you'll find them as surprising and delightful as I did. Read the rest

Creator of “Choose Your Own Adventure” books that influenced games, online culture has died

By Xeni Jardin

R.A Montgomery, co-author of children’s book series “Choose Your Own Adventure,” died on Nov. 9 in Vermont. He was 78. Read the rest

Humble Indie Bundle 2 adds games from first bundle

By Brandon Boyer

Cory mentioned this campaign when it first launched, but the team behind the charity-driven Humble Indie Bundle 2 — which lets you pay what you like for five top-tier indie games — have now added all six games from this year’s previous Indie Bundle, if you donate more than the overall average amount.... Read the rest Read the rest

Brandon named Independent Games Festival chairman

By Brandon Boyer

I’m not the greatest at this whole self-promotion gig, but a quick update to note that it’s just been announced that I’ll be joining the 2011 Independent Games Festival as its new chairman, taking over for Simon Carless, who’s done a fantastic job of making the festival the premiere place to showcase the home-grown talent that’s changing the way we think about games, year after year.... Read the rest Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: Quarrel‘s magic wool, Monkey Island in Crysis, the best of BlipFest

By Brandon Boyer

Topping our list of anticipated Xbox Live Arcade games but still off too many radars elsewhere, Offworld returns from a day at Scotland-based Denki with a behind the scenes look at the making of their upcoming word-battler Quarrel... Read the rest (above), from its cardboard and tiddly-wink origins to the ‘magic wool’ now running underneath. Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: Elite turns 25, Left 4 Teletubbies, Indies Invade Austin

By Brandon Boyer

With the launch of Retro Remakes on Offworld... Read the rest, we started a straw poll to ask: what’s the one remake you’d most like to see appear on consoles or handhelds, with the results to be tabulated and published at the end of the week. Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: Nintendo’s holiday lineup, Marian moves, Angry Dad the Game

By Brandon Boyer

Recently on Offworld we took an in-depth look at the games coming to both Wii and DS throughout the beginning of 2010 that you should be paying attention to (above), including new versions of Maxis’s Spore... Read the rest — which has just received a new, surprisingly full featured Flash version of its Creature Creator utility for your web perusal, in anticipation of the upcoming games. Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: New Indie Hotness, the sniper and the spy, Tetris in 3D

By Brandon Boyer

With Austin’s Game Developers Conference fully underway, Offworld‘s got updates on a few of the Indie Games Summit sessions nearest and dearest to its heart, with my own ‘New Indie Hotness’ show and tell (above), where I ran live demos of seven of the best up and coming indies you need to play (with the help of a special guest star), and a look behind the smash success of Colin Northway’s Flash construction kit Fantastic Contraption... Read the rest. Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: Beatles go 8-bit, Dreamcast gets a new game, let concept artists rule

By Brandon Boyer

Is the games industry missing an opportunity to let concept artists rule the roost? In his latest Ragdoll Metaphysics column, Jim Rossignol points to both success stories and missed opportunities where letting artists spearhead the game either did bring or should have brought the game closer to art, and calls for a new industry arms race to create the best “watercolour FPS games, painterly RTS games, and oil-painting strategies.” Elsewhere, 09/09/09 was a double-header day in games: less celebrated for the 10th anniversary of the cut-down-in-its-prime Dreamcast, which Sega celebrated by announcing a return to Sonic the Hedgehog’s roots with a new hi-def 2D game due in 2010, while a group of indies announced Rush Rush Rally Racing... Read the rest, the first new Western-made game for the console in many years. Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: Catan on iPhone, Canabalt on iPhone, cigar-chomping he-Links

By Brandon Boyer

Recently on Offworld, German developer Exozet revealed not only the first screenshot for the upcoming official iPhone version of Catan... Read the rest, but also opened a limited number of beta applications to the public, meaning you might be getting your hands on the game much earlier than expected. Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: Comic jumping, three for the Wii, Metroid in Lego

By Brandon Boyer

Even with yesterday’s holiday, we still caught up on some of the weekend’s biggest news from PAX or otherwise, as Twisted Pixel — the indie dev behind the recent fantastic one-button Xbox Live Arcade platformer Splosion Man — unveils Comic Jumper... Read the rest, a superhero run and gun that will change its style as you, well, jump between comics from PowerPuff to Sin City. Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: Vectorpark on iPhone, PAX info influx, sex lives of Famicom programmers

By Brandon Boyer

Recently on Offworld, this weekend’s Penny Arcade Expo opening has brought with it a tidal wave of new game details and announcements: Ubisoft crosses Splinter Cell with Keyboard Cat, Grasshopper’s No More Heroes 2 goes 8-bit (on purpose), 2K reveals BioShock 2‘s multiplayer in motion, Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert’s DeathSpank gets its debut trailer, and Valve show off Left 4 Dead 2... Read the rest‘s undead clown-inhabited Dark Carnival. Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: from girl geek to Godwin’s Law, Spelunky goes console, Bonk returns

By Brandon Boyer

Quick — how many games in the industry’s long history can you name with a female lead? In her latest One More Go column, Margaret Robertson says the fact that we “run out of entries for the Great Gaming Leading Lady Pantheon before we run out of fingers is just plain odd” and asks, “Are we really saying that we can’t find a viable way to make games that turn 51% of the world’s population into heroes a goer?” Elsewhere on Offworld: huge indie news, as Derek Yu’s procedurally-generated rogue-like platformer masterpiece Spelunky is announced for Xbox Live Arcade, and LostWinds — the gorgeously gentle WiiWare debut game from Elite creators Frontier — prepares for the Winter of the Melodias... Read the rest, its season-shifting sequel. Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: stunt-man simulators, return of the M.U.L.E., Wii Opera set free

By Brandon Boyer

Officially now back at my Offworld post (following a long break away to the Bay Area, that, most excitingly, saw me complete the first leg of the journey through the infinitely fascinating reality game The Jejune Institute), we return with some catching-up coverage that includes breakneck stunt-man simulator Canabalt... Read the rest — a five-day stripped-down Experimental Gameplay entry from Adam Saltsman — a game whose one-button simplicity completely belies its action/sci-fi flick inspired roof-top leaping thrills. Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: meet the Metroid makers, the average gamer makeup, crawling DS dungeons

By Brandon Boyer

With Nintendo’s Metroid Prime Trilogy — all three Metroid Prime... Read the rest games collected on a single disc and updated with Wii controls — just released this week, we spent the day with Austin-native developer Retro Studios to learn how the classic franchise fell into their laps, the process of re-interpreting it in first person, and how to read Nintendo’s haiku-like approach to game development. Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: Valve talks Left 4 Dead, Metroid goes metal, Elvis goes techno on DS

By Brandon Boyer

Could the Left 4 Dead and Half-Life universes ever converge into one uber-Valve-geography? In Jim Rossignol’s latest Ragdoll Metaphysics column, Left 4 Dead writer Chet Faliszek has said the idea’s at least been internally bandied about, as part of a wide, wide ranging interview that also covers the mixed messages and missed opportunities that spawned the Left 4 Dead 2... Read the rest boycott, and why AI constructs make him depressed. Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: PS3 slims, Plants Vs. Zombies the shirt, Miles Davis in 8-bits

By Brandon Boyer

The biggest news recently on Offworld... Read the rest will have been Sony’s announcement of a new $299 Slim-model PS3 (though with the caveat that it no longer supports Linux), and the additional follow up news of its ‘minis’ line of smaller, affordable PSP games (many taken directly from the App Store itself, no matter how hard the company denies it’s not competing with Apple) will probably provide us with an entire new virtual platform to cover in the coming months. Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: inside the games factory, the job-quitting game, Pong in the streets

By Brandon Boyer

If you’ve been long-suffering under the assumption that games are created in a mashup of impalpable art and science, our latest high-res gallery on Offworld will prove you wrong, as we go inside the factory workshops where your favorite games were built (above), from the smelting of Sonic‘s rings, the chiseling of the 1-Up mushroom, and the rubber-pressed rebounding blocks of Arkanoid... Read the rest. Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: a more social Nintendo, more DS blood diamonds, time ufck’d pathos puzzling

By Brandon Boyer

Recently on Offworld we’ve had a good slate of indie devs giving us a deeper look into some of the games already high on our most-wanted lists: chief among them is Castle Crashers devs The Behemoth officially beginning to reveal the mechanics of their cutely chaotic party/arena game still known as Game 3... Read the rest, and art game champ Jason Rohrer showing off a paper prototype of his Angolan conflict diamond-based DS multiplayer game. Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: spinning & sleuthing in Spider, web-based meta-gaming, AI-controlled Mario

By Brandon Boyer

It seems as though as the App Store game entries grows exponentially, our true, heartfelt suggestions have dropped off inversely, but recently on Offworld we made one of our strongest, most unreserved recommendations yet with Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, the debut game from the former Thief/Splinter Cell... Read the rest devs at Tiger Style. Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: Kochalka on Game Boy, conflict diamonds on DS, knock-off Pokemon

By Brandon Boyer

Recently on Offworld, American Elf artist James Kochalka dropped in to let us preview Robot Shark, one of the songs off his latest album Digital Elf, created entirely with Nanoloop on his Game Boy Advance, and we discovered that Jason Rohrer, creator of reigning memento mori art-game-champ Passage... Read the rest, was creating a two player DS strategy game based on the illicit blood diamond trade in Angola (!). Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: an ode to the jetpack, rusted steampunk adventures, Tetris bejeweled

By Brandon Boyer

Recently on Offworld, our Ragdoll Metaphysics columnist Jim Rossignol takes us through an illustrated history of one of videogames’ best mechanical conceits: the jetpack. From The Stamper Brothers’ original JetPac, to Exile, to Tribes, Jetpack Brontosaurus (above) and beyond, he looks at how the ‘pack has let us “explore strange new worlds where the sky is not the limit, and where the vertical axis is as just as essential as the horizons that lay all around us.” Elsewhere we marveled at the intricate rusted ironworks designs in the latest video of Amanita’s upcoming adventure game Machinarium, saw Minotaur China Shop (and Jetpack Brontosaurus, coincidentally) creators Flashbang poke gentle fun at Braid creator Jon Blow, and found a wonderful series of T-shirts based on the glitched-out boot-up sequences of arcade games. And for our ‘one shot’s of the day, two more fantastic pieces from artists appearing in the upcoming Autumn Society games/art gallery show: Zelda... Read the rest‘s Link aims for the eye, and the Swarovski crystal-studded queen Tetrisina. Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: lusty zombies galore, new game from Braid dev, AI controlled Mario

By Brandon Boyer

Recently on Offworld, Valve announced another infected incidence with Crash Course (above), a new downloadable campaign for the original Left 4 Dead due in September that will bridge the No Mercy and Death Toll episodes with an entirely new location, and PopCap continued to perfect their chesty/lusty zombie parody with a new set of Evony... Read the rest-busting banner ads. Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: word play, Deadmau5 meets Zelda, Langdell v. Mobigame

By Brandon Boyer

Recently on Offworld we played with words in two ways: first, by downloading our latest iPhone obsession, NewToy’s Friends With Words, as svelte and streamlined as an online-multiplayer Scrabble-alike we’ve played, and as perfect (read: dangerously addictive) as the original Scrabulous... Read the rest proved when it first dominated Facebook. Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: a double dose of Indie Spirit, glitched-out planetscapes, brave invaders

By Brandon Boyer

Recently on Offworld we saw heartening tales of Indie Spirit leading to two cross-promotional cross-overs: Crackerblocks’ Enviro-bear — ursine motorist star of the indie PC favorite and recently-launched iPhone port of the same name — coming as an unlockable character to Mountain Sheep’s just-launched iPhone shooter Minigore (above), and bunny battleships coming to Positech’s Gratuitous Space Battles to help promote Wolfire’s leporine/lupine battler Overgrowth... Read the rest. Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: sex and death at Nintendo, zombie concubines, Facebook on DS

By Brandon Boyer

In the history of the company, there’s only been one Nintendo-published game that has been overtly about “fighting and fucking”: GameCube game Animal Leader (Cubivore in the states), and it’s the subject of Margaret Robertson’s latest One More Go column, where she peers into Nintendo’s heart of darkness and prods at some of the company’s more whitewashed ugly truths (see: the true relationship between Mario Bros... Read the rest‘ Bowser and Peach). Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: the 16-bit arthouse, chiptunes dance parties, real-life Wasteland clutter

By Brandon Boyer

Recently on Offworld we went deep into the virtual arthouse, as McSweeney’s DVD offshoot Wolphin screens a faux-16-bit short, Ledo & Ix, we discovered a quarter-square-mile Second Life art/vinyl toy gallery that never was (above), and we watched the first video of Fig.... Read the rest Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: Time Donkeys, Sackboy Marvels, Dali games

By Brandon Boyer

Recently on Offworld, it was a day of tributes: fans of cult hit RPG series Earthbound celebrated its 20th anniversary, home-crafters celebrated Hand Circus’s iPhone platformer Rolando 2, and renowned papercrafter master Matt Hawkins celebrated the pursuits of Pac-Man... Read the rest for an upcoming gallery show. Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: Scott Pilgrim the game, Netflix streaming roundup, the essence of Noby

By Brandon Boyer

The most exciting development to come out of Comic-Con this year? Creator Bryan Lee O’Malley dropping news that Ubisoft Montreal is currently developing a PS3/Xbox 360 downloadable game based on his comic series Scott Pilgrim (above), to be released alongside Edgar Wright’s film adaptation — news of a magnitude that almost nearly canceled out the disappointment of EA’s contest calling for systematic and institutionalized harassment of SDCC booth babes for prizes.... Read the rest Read the rest

Recently on Offworld: Left 4 Dead again, Catan on iPhone, One Man Rock Band

By Brandon Boyer

Recently on Offworld we saw a bit more news trickle out of the ongoing Comic-Con, most notably new media and information on Left 4 Dead 2... Read the rest, with a gallery of new screenshots, on-the-floor video of its bayou-terror in action, and a new boss monster, whose get-up serves as a strict warning to everyone: when you dress yourself in the morning, please take note that this outfit could possibly be the one in which you spend eternity as a reanimated corpse. Read the rest