Do do DOOT DO DOO DO doot dodo. What is this ear piercing atrocity? It’s the glorious sound of an entire Zoo trying to squeeze out of your compressed phone speaker. Zoo Keeper has been around for a little while and saw moderate success on the Nintendo DS over a decade ago when the system launched. Since then there was a 3DS title that only released in Japan, and a phone game (iOS and Android) that has been quietly gaining momentum for the last 6 years. I recently downloaded Zoo Keeper Battle on my phone and was surprised to see 2 million people in the rankings. After losing some games I then realised there’s more than 3 million ranks… how low can I go? Anyway, this game is free and perhaps even better than the original DS game, with significantly more events and customisation.
From independent Taiwanese developer Sigono, the pair of games OPUS are linked by their common themes and aesthetic rather than their gameplay or story. Both games share themes of loneliness and hope, with characters isolated in the distant future, determined to complete a seemingly impossible task that was thrust upon them. Despite these similarities, both games can stand alone, they don’t refer to each other, and are a testament to the diversity of unique gaming experiences we’re so lucky to enjoy today.
Forty years ago, revolution swept Iran. The western backed autocrat, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi was ousted from power by a popular coalition of forces and an Islamic republic, led by Allah’s apparent representative Ruhollah Khomeini, was established. 1979 Revolution: Black Friday tells the story of Black Friday, a turning point of the revolution, through the lens of fictional photo journalist Reza Shirazi. It’s less a traditional video game and more a kind of edutainment interactive historical drama, with developer iNK Stories borrowing heavily from the Telltale Games formula to immerse the player in the chaos of revolution.
The release of Super Mario Run on iPhone has sent shockwaves through the mobile gaming community. Lattes have been spilled all over the world and sideways caps have been adjusted forward, as hipsters are faced with the social dilemma of paying money for a videogame.
Once a year there is a tradition among gamers to sit in their house alone until midnight. No contact with the outside world is allowed, and you must deprive yourself of nutrients for the whole day before exploring a magical world at night and finding your true purpose.
Wait no, that’s just a normal week. One of these Thursday night journeys led me to Year Walk on my Wii U, as I walked all the way to the end of the eShop.
Inspired by the Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days, 80 Days is a choose-your-own-adventure game. You play as Jean Passepartout, the recently employed valet of English gentlemen Phileas Fogg who wagered that he could travel around the world in 80 days. As Passepartout, it’s up to you to pack Fogg’s bags, plan his itinerary and manage his belongings throughout the journey. Developed by British studio inkle and written by Meg Jayanth, 80 Days drenches Verne’s novel in feminist steampunk with a twist of romantic orientalism. Originally published on iPhone, 80 Days was ported to Andriod in late 2014 and eventually arrived on PC/Mac in mid 2015, this review was played on desktop version. 80 Days’s excellent writing, vibrant art and unique gameplay combine to deliver a polished game that comes highly recommended. Continue reading “80 Days”→