The Angry River

The Angry River


I believe there is nothing wrong with blasting a young girl off a balcony because she is taking a photo of her fucking plastic coffee cup on the handrails set against the backdrop of a cloudy November morning. If anything should ever fall under the vague and vapid category of ‘common sense’, this would be it. There is simply nothing lost there. They will tell you about every single child desperately shoving a crayon up its nose, how it will become a world-famous brain surgeon and how this is evident by both the method and choice of colour he picked to lobotomise himself at an early age. The truth – and not the sad truth, since it really isn’t sad, mind you, except if you are into pedagogy, and if you are: fuck you – is that most people are wankers. If you think this is my entire character summed up in a nice court-proof statement to convince even the most extreme gun-wanking fascist of the guilt of a white man, then guess again. Continue reading

Preparing the Gallows for “Interactive Dramas”

Preparing the gallows for “Interactive Dramas”


Tea: Assam


This one is a bit overdue, isn’t it? I have often critiqued “interactive dramas”, like Telltale games, in my articles, but never quite taken the time to explain my immense disliking of them. Therefore, since it is far too warm outside for my taste and I just had a strong black tea, I will focus that energy and give my hatred written form and explain why exactly these “games” hardly qualify as such in my eyes. Also prepare for a lot of quotations marks, I am going to get as much mileage out of them as possible. Continue reading

Turning Words into Gameplay

Typoman Revised and Type:Rider


Tea: Sencha Ginger


Remember my visit to Gamescom 2016? I mentioned a game called Typoman, which I praised and could not wait to play. Recently, I finally had the pleasure of doing so and was immensely satisfied. I also played a game called Type:Rider which is overtly concerned with a similar theme, namely language and words, in this case the focus is more on the written word and its history, however. Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to talk a bit about both games and how one fails where the other succeeds.

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Far from any road

Far from any road


Beyond the curtains of my tiny room, I can see the town still enveloped in fog. Nobody is outside. Nobody is allowed outside. It was one of the first rules we set up after seven of us died during the first decent of fog. While I wait, I do what everybody would do. I read, I check my body for holes, I get bored, I repeat. Around noon the fog is finally gone and I can take my first step outside for the day. My joints still feel rusty which I should probably take care of at some point. Only slowly do the others emerge from their homes. Small eyes peeking out the door, reluctant hands grasping for something they hope is no longer there. I walk faster now, never leaving the wooden planks we call road. “Never step off as long as the ground is still wet after fog or rain or else you might lose a leg.” Another rule we made, not the second one, but among the first ten. I pick up a small part, an SD card if I am not mistaken. It must belong to Janice, she had a habit of losing it. Continue reading

Critic’s Choice Award

Critic’s Choice Award


The squeaking sound of rubber gloves danced on the keyboard as he carved word after word into the digital document. A cold dispassion filled both him and his writing as he tried to word disgust with a sense of elegance and chic. The premier had been far too crowded which had already rubbed him up the wrong way and the actual “experience” hadn’t been much better. Frustrated, he pounded the desk and regreted it seconds later. “Cliched and overacted” is what he would have written about this outburst. Continue reading

Atrocious Art Design – Darksiders Series

Atrocious Art Design – Darksiders Series


Tea: Vanilla Black Pepper Tea (goes together a lot better than you’d think)


Remember last week when I mentioned the amazing minimalistic art design in 999? Well, it was all a clairvoyant taste of this week’s article made possible by the release of Darksiders 3’s footage. You don’t believe me now, do you? You have every right, but as a matter of fact it is a welcome opportunity to talk about art design in games and the absolute abomination that is the Darksiders series in this regard. And I might as well kill any hype for Darksiders 3 in the same breath as it looks to be the worst offender yet.

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Handling Multiple Playthroughs – 999 Zero Escape

Handling Multiple Playthroughs – 999 Zero Escape


Tea: Assam


– Spoiler Warning for 999 –

The Zero Escape series is one of those always-on-your-list-but-never-quite-getting-around-to-actually-playing-them type of affairs. Recently, I finally played through the entirety of the first title 999 (9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors) and was left with a generally amazing feeling. One of the best parts, however, was the handling of multiple playthroughs, especially in a puzzle game, something seemingly dull the second time around. That is why today’s essay is about the construction of branching narratives within multiple playthroughs.

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Something resembling an update of sorts

Something resembling an update of sorts


Tea: Greek Herb Tea


Critical Teatime is almost 2 years old and do not worry, this is not a sentimental outburst of any kind. Rather, I have been thinking about my content, the content others produce, and how I want to position myself within this fought over space. Blog culture is an interesting one, but also a form that grows stale rather fast. To prevent myself from becoming formulaic, I want to shift the focus of my work. Continue reading

The Tragic Humanity of NieR Automata

The Tragic Humanity of NieR Automata


Tea: Assam


Of course, I have to write something about the masterpiece that is NieR Automata. That being said, you, you know what follows: Massive Spoilerwarning! If you have not finished the game, you are not allowed to read any further. If you do not plan on playing the game: Plan to play the game and leave now. Nobody who has not experienced Ending E should read any further. Now that this annoying little necessity is out of the way, I can fully turn my attention to the topic at hand: The concept of humanity in NieR Automata. Continue reading

Beware of Papercuts

Tearaway Unfolded

Tea: Chocolate Tea

With phantom thieves banging on my window to start playing their game already, I cut out some time to make a little bit of space for Tearaway Unfolded. In hindsight, I couldn’t even tell you why. Partially because it was free and the remaining portion is due to a podcast backlog I have to work through and this seemed like the kind of game to do that. So before I can finally enjoy approximately 100 hours of typical Japanese highschool life, take a quick dive into the paper crafted world of Tearaway and prepare for some nasty papercuts. Continue reading