Held at the Cafe Club Fais Do-Do in the City of Angels, IndieCade 2014 was another resounding success.  Todd Martens’ Los Angeles Times article framed the event nicely, saying that IndieCade proudly hosted bold, experimental new games amidst opposition in the form of #GamerGate.

The award winners, which can be found in full on the IndieCade website, are as follows:

With more than 150 games being shown to the public, the festival served as a central hub to discuss the changing landscapes within gaming culture.

Did you attend? Share your stories and thoughts with us in the comments below!

by Harry Rabinowitz

Read about last week’s gaming happenings from the best in the East!

Russ Frushtick makes his debut on The New York Times with his piece on the 10 player arcade game Killer Queen.

Over on Kotaku, Evan Narcisse gave his review of the completely over the top action-spectacle Bayonetta 2.

Ebenezer Samuel reviewed an action game of a completely different sort, Disney Infinite 2.0, over at The New York Daily News.

Chelsea Stark and Jeff Bakalar both took a look at Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and both came to similar conclusions.  It’s a pre-sequel.  You can find Chelsea’s review on Mashable and Jeff’s review on CNET.

Samit Sarkar talked with Remember Me developer Dontnod Entertainment about their upcoming episodic adventure game, Life is Strange.

Anthony John Agnello bring us his impressions of the Resident Evil: Revelations 2 demo, straight from the New York Comic Con.

And for another bonus this week, Jason Schreier has been busy over on Kotaku, writing about the strange “Limbo” that occurs for game devs at Ubisoft when between games as well as tackling the next-gen 1080p kerfuffle.

With “review season” under way, Circle members have been playing games.  A lot of games! Here are some of our members’ stories in this week’s Roundup!

Jeremy Voss started playing Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor.  About an hour in, he gives us his initial thoughts on his blog Shouts From The Couch.

Chris Plante has been into Shadow of Mordor as well, only when he plays, it makes him feel like a terror-inducing mass murderer.  That hasn’t stopped him from playing though…

If fantasy isn’t your fancy, Dualshockers’ Jorge Jimenez reviewed FIFA 15. He also recorded a video play-session where he attempts to become the greatest athlete ever.

And if you’re looking for something a little…stranger, Alex Navarro reviewed D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die over on Giant Bomb.

Jason Schreier checked on the progress of Nintendo’s recent entry into the world of DLC and how it has affected the company’s recent games.

Over on Gamespot, Nick Capozzoli reviewed Spacecom, the abstract, minimalistic strategy game about one-on-one galactic battle.

And as an added bonus for this week, Evan Narcisse played a Suda51 game called Ranko Tsukigime’s Longest Day.  According to Narcisse, playing it is “probably the most otaku thing you’ll do all year.”




Here, we spotlight the movements, mods, and works of art within gaming culture for your ultimate enjoyment. The weekly post is your central point to see just how video games influence the world around us.

Also featured in this week’s Roundup, Joystiq’s Anthony John Agnello sat down with three professional artists to examine backgrounds from this collection of famous Street Fighter and King of Fighters backdrops.  Painter-lecturer Jessica Anne Clark explained the use of perspective and narrative in some boards, painter-illustrator Coreen Steinbach explored the background as a player-energizer, and MFA Jon Gourley highlighted the cultural imagery within the backdrops. The gifs and discussion from experts far outside the field of videogames are a treat.

Kill Screen’s Clayton Purdom took notice of Battle Chef Brigade, a game that aims to capture the drama, excitement, and challenge of a fantasy cooking competition. Purdom discussed the game’s major influence: Iron Chef, another extravagant competition.  Trinket Studios‘ (Tom Eastman, Eric Huang, and Ben Perez) fusion of two artforms: cooking and game-making, is somewhat inspiring.  Their Kickstarter reached its funding goal with 27 days to go.

Greg Carter and Cory Dydell are always making humorous and blunt commentary on the latest happenings in gaming culture.  This week, the pair’s comic strip notices the abundance of very specifically named groups and labels emerging these days.

We’re just getting warmed up! If you see anything that you feel is culturally relevant, artistic in merit, or just all-around cool for gamers — please don’t hesitate to leave a note for us in the comments section.

The Roundup: The Circle Speaks

New games, old games, future games, canceled games, indie games, game patches and all things game in this week’s Roundup!

Jill Scharr was at the No Quarter showcase last Friday playing five very unique indie games.  Evan Narcisse was also in attendance, writing extensively on Slam City Oracles.

Blizzard cancels project Titan, their rumored next MMO game.  Jason Schreier talks anonymously to those involved in the project, detailing what Titan looked like during development.

Over on Mashable, Chelsea Stark gave a smashing review of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS.

Frustrated at legendary engrams turning into worthless loot?  Adam Rosenberg has some good news for you in the form of Bungie’s upcoming loot-focused Destiny patch.

Polygon’s Samit Sarkar talks Battlefield Hardline, the game aiming to learn from the troubled launch of its predecessor Battlefield 4.

Anthony John Agnello interviewed three professional artists to examine famous animated fighting game backgrounds from games like Street Fighter II and King of Fighters ’94.






by Kevin L. Clark

Here, we spotlight the movements, mods, and works of art within gaming culture for your ultimate enjoyment. The weekly post will be your central point to see just how video games influence the world around us.

Andy Baio, the visionary behind Kickstarter, XOXO, Playfic, and Supercut, launched his own project that he had been dreaming about for years. Entitled Kind of Bloop, Baio created an 8-bit tribute to one of the greatest jazz musicians ever to grace the face of God’s green Earth — Miles Davis. Melding the sounds of Davis’s Kind of Blue with chiptune music, Andy Baio presented a culturally relevant and artistic expression with Kind of Bloop, an 8-bit homage to one of Davis’s most impactful work. Download by clicking here.

Forbes‘ Jason Evangelho wasn’t necessarily on-the-fence about the new streaming juggernaut known as Twitch. So, when he wrote about his playtime with Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes for Fatal Hero’s channel, one couldn’t really pinpoint what to expect. The game is ideal for streamers and if you haven’t read Harry Rabinowitz‘s piece about streamingDisney Infinity is a game that will fit in quite nicely with those looking to participate in the creation / adventure lane. For Jason, though, he managed to learn a few takeaways that you’d be interested in reading especially if you plan on making your own Twitch channel soon.

Two high schoolers who attended the 2014 Girls Who Code summer program managed to make throwing tampons look cooler than how it sounds. Andy Gonzales and Sophie Houser, the two New York students behind the game, cleverly replaced guns with the rapid-firing feminine hygiene products in an attempt to make a statement about the gender gap in the tech industry. They also managed to make talking about one’s period much easier to do through a pixelated avatar who must defeat as many enemies as possible while conserving ammo. If you haven’t already seen the press about this game from Time and Jezebel, feast your corneas on Tampon Run.

We’re just getting warmed up! If you see anything that you feel is culturally relevant, artistic in merit, or just all-around cool for gamers — please don’t hesitate to leave a note for us in the comments section.

by Harry Rabinowitz

Lethal League’s design oozes spectatability.  Yes, I am aware that spectatability is not a word.

But the game, more so than any other game I’ve played, seems to be designed with an audience in mind.  Similar to games like Divekick, Samurai Gunn, and Towerfall, Lethal League falls into an emerging genre I like to call the “one-hit fighter.”  As the name implies, these are fighting games where one hit means the end of a round. Lethal League, as described by its developer Reptile Games, “is a competitive projectile fighting game.”  But unlike many of its fighting game brethren, Lethal League can be watched and, more importantly, enjoyed by people who are not experienced with the game.

What gives Lethal League its allure is its simplicity, both in its gameplay and in its viewing. From the moment a match starts, everyone is focused on one thing: the glowing ball, floating center stage.  The objective of the game?  Hit that ball.  Hit it fast and hit it hard.

To get an idea of what I mean, here is a brief video of me playing against the computer.

The game is, put simply, explosive.  When getting hit means losing a round, there is never a dull viewing moment, especially when the ball reaches blindingly fast speeds.  Tension runs high when you see someone slam the ball downwards and it stops, being held there for a few good seconds, building to a new, insane speed, before being let go to wreak havoc.  The crowd has a chance to collectively hold its breath together with the players.  The combination of high speed and nearly paused gameplay makes Lethal League incredible to watch.  And I have no doubt that it was designed this was very intentionally.

With the explosion of game spectatorship, many designers, particularly those designing fighting games and MOBAs, are beginning to think about how much fun their game is to watch as well as to play.  This is not something that happened overnight or after Amazon acquired Twitch.  When the 2012 League of Legends Season 2 World Championship broke 1.1 million concurrent online viewers, everyone took notice.  A year later, the issue of spectatability was a key question during the memorable New York eSports Summit.

On the next page, Harry discusses how Lethal League and other titles can be made palpable for spectated watching…

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