The Magic Circle Review

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Games about games are usually terrible. They’re usually a collection of memetic in-jokes and corny parodies designed to cover up the inadequacies of uninspired third-person shooters and platformers, existing more as quick gags to punch up trailers and marketing materials rather than real tributes to the medium of games. Martin Scorsese’s 2011 film Hugo was a tribute to movies, but it wasn’t a collection of jokes about cinematography and editing, or barely subtle references to characters of great movies past. It was about people. It was about the relationship between people who love movies and the people who make them. The wonder and joy in how Hugo portrayed that relationship reminded me of my passion for games, and made me wish there were a game that so artfully explored its own medium.

The Magic Circle is a game about the relationship between the people who love games and the people who make them. But where Hugo was joy and wonder, the Magic Circle is fear and paranoia. It’s about the love of a medium turned to dangerous possession. It’s about the digital identities we create out of our own insecurities. It’s about the void that the act of creation fills in us. It’s about the control that we have inside digital worlds and the vertigo of having that control taken away.

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The Magic Circle Review

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood Review

42079_2_4Last year’s Wolfenstein: The New Order was an astoundingly pleasant surprise–a single-player only shooter that committed to creating an exciting campaign and compelling story. It mixed old-school, over the top action with sympathetic characters to create an experience that was plenty ridiculous, but one that had a lot of heart. Now developer MachineGames has elected to follow-up with a prequel in the form of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. This standalone downloadable offers much of the original game’s great action and creates some memorable moments of its own, but never manages to reach the heights of its predecessor.

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Wolfenstein: The Old Blood Review

Westerado: Double Barreled Review

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Adult Swim Games has become an astounding source of great indie games over the course of the past few years. Their selection of creative, unique flash games has slowly evolved into a selection of creative, unique standalone releases, and Westerado stands as a terrific example of that transformation. Originally released in 2013  as a free flash game, the game has been filled with additional content and given a full Steam release as Westerado: Double Barreled.

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Westerado: Double Barreled Review