Posts by Tevis Thompson

  • Candy Crush Saga

    The Year of the Crush: How the Radically Unfair Candy Crush Saga Took Over Our Lives

    In her extraordinary novel The Flamethrowers, Rachel Kushner’s protagonist, Reno, describes chance like this: “Chance, to me, had a kind of absolute logic to it. I revered it more than I did actual logic, the kind that was built from solid materials, from reason and from fact. Anything could be reasoned into being, or reasoned […]

  • Limbo

    Death of the Avatar: Rayman Fiesta Run, Dumb Ways to Die, and Limbo

    Browse the charts of the most popular and highest-grossing mobile games and you’ll see an odd, half-endearing snapshot of humanity in its downtime — its virtual casinos, its clashing clans, its toy worlds and endless runners, its hunting and plague and pet dress-up simulators, its ceaseless Candy Crush. If these mobile games reflect something of […]

  • Terraria

    You Can Dig It: Minecraft Pocket Edition, Terraria, and SteamWorld Dig

    You’d think by now video games would have more verbs. We have blockbusters where a single button will make you, alternately, dodge a bullet, scale a cliff, garrote a guard, and generally perform all manner of badassery. Or multiple buttons might be strung together to form a quick-time event, a kind of Simon Says for […]

  • The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD

    The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD: Reprinting the Legend

    Wind Waker ends bravely. For a series that is predicated on the eternal return of evil as well as its defeat, whose plot is always a restoration project for the old order, this is saying something. You don’t play a Legend of Zelda game to find out what happens; you play to actually make it […]

  • Kingdom Rush Frontiers - IRONHIDE GAME STUDIO

    Barbarians at the Gate: Plants vs. Zombies 2, Kingdom Rush Frontiers, and Rymdkapsel

    One of the most basic pleasures of video games is pandemonium. Players of Grand Theft Auto can attest to the joys of an unscripted five-star police chase through oncoming traffic. First-person shooter fans know that delicious moment of anticipation right before you are seen by the enemy and the whole clockwork world throws a fit. […]

  • The Walking Dead: 400 Days

    Half-Lives: The Walking Dead: 400 Days, Sorcery!, and Depression Quest

    It’s tricky, the way we tell our video game stories. We say: I routed the Covenant, or I defeated Sephiroth, or I beat Mother Brain. We talk about Master Chief or Cloud or Samus, too, but not as the ones who actually performed these feats. With other media, we don’t claim as much credit. We […]

  • Zen Bound 2

    Waiting Games: Slowing Down for Quell Memento, Color Zen, Stickets, and Zen Bound 2

    So many mobile games seem designed around dead time. The commute, the checkout line, the bathroom. The times between, when we’re not sure what to do with ourselves. These games let us get in, get out, get our fix, a temporary MacGuffin to focus our restless minds. Perhaps that’s why waiting for more lives in […]

  • Donkey Kong Country Returns 2

    Impossible Landscapes: Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D, Thomas Was Alone, and Robot Unicorn Attack 2

    Why do we still play 2-D platformers? Especially when so many other venerable video-game genres have fallen out of favor and become dependent on old-school curators? The platformer is, after all, a modest genre. Even its best games seem to spring more from expert craftsmanship and considered design rather than some deep well of artistic […]

  • Fire Emblem: Awakening

    A Late Encounter With the Enemy: Etrian Odyssey IV, Fire Emblem: Awakening, and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

    I used to love Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs). Phantasy Star II on the Sega Genesis was the first to completely possess me. Soon after, there was Lunar: The Silver Star, the Evangelion-inspired Xenogears, Final Fantasy IV and VI and VII. These were demanding games, consuming games, games that usually required a minimum 40-hour workweek to […]

  • Little Inferno

    The Endless Shopper: Burning Money in Temple Run 2, Candy Crush Saga, and Little Inferno

    Perhaps the endless runner is the video-game genre for our times. We have to run just to keep up. We don’t know what we’re running toward, or from — we only know we are running. Genre classics like Canabalt and Jetpack Joyride and Punch Quest, with their jumping, jetting, and punching, actually suggest that it’s […]

Load More Results