Game Write is a recurring series dedicated to the fiction of game industry veterans. From the best-selling titles of Drew Karpyshyn and Austin Grossman, to the obscure classics of Jane Jensen and Sheldon Pacotti, this series hopes to unearth both the gems and the fluff we tend to leave buried in the credits. In this entry, we review Jason M. Hough & K.C. Alexander’s Mass Effect: Nexus Uprising, a tie-in novel to the newest — and possibly last — Mass Effect game set in the Andromeda galaxy. An immediate prequel to the game, it’s meant to shed light on the near-destruction of the Nexus and its crew, which almost put quashed the Andromeda Initiative’s utopian vision before it could start.
Game Write is a recurring series dedicated to the fiction of game industry veterans. From the best-selling titles of Drew Karpyshyn and Austin Grossman, to the obscure classics of Jane Jensen and Sheldon Pacotti, this series hopes to unearth both the gems and the trash we tend to leave buried in the credits. In this entry, we review N.K. Jemisin & Mac Walters’ Mass Effect: Initiation, a tie-in novel to the newest — and possibly last — Mass Effect game set in the Andromeda galaxy. A welcome, exciting addition to the series, it provides some valuable background information on the mysterious Andromeda Initiative, as well Cora Harper, one of Andromeda‘s more underdeveloped heroes.
“Yoshi & Gon” is my first and only piece of fanfiction. It blends aspects from Super Mario Bros., Gon (obvs.), the Toho Godzilla series, Sonic the Hedgehog, Flipper, and two ’90s PC games: Quake and Diablo.
It’s pretty darn wild. See if you can spot all the references!
Developer Obsidian Entertainment was born of former PC RPG giant Black Isle Studios’ closure, and with the name Chris Avellone affixed as lead designer and writer there was an expectation that we’d be seeing something transcending the low standard of video games — even if, or in spite of, their use of the Star Wars license to do so, a license that was at the time stuck on a loop of self-created cliches and stilted creativity, and would continue to be stuck in a loop until the 2016 release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
2016 saw a plethora of great games released. The indie scene is so massive at this point, that it’s impossible to keep up with the many high-quality games produced by small teams with no way to get their games out there except by word of mouth. Releases like 20XX, Firewatch, Stardew Valley, Pony Island, ABZÛ, Oxenfree, INSIDE, Orwell, Salt and Sanctuary, Devil Daggers, and the Witness all did pretty darn well for themselves — and that’s a lot of hours to devote to the year’s indie games — but what about the smaller titles? The titles obscured under Steam’s monstrous library of junk and more junk?
Below constitute my take-away for the year’s hidden gems: The neglected masterpieces (or fascinating ideas) that flew under most players’ radars. I expect most of these to, at the very least, show up as games #480-493 on many players’ wishlists and backlogs.
There are only so many ways we can make a best-of list for a fixed event. The Sega Genesis / Mega Drive only lasted X years, and only sported Y games worth talking about. Y, it can be argued, tends to hover suspiciously close to the length of such lists, making the order ragged and repetitive. With a handicap of exclusives-only (or, at the very least, platform-dominance), this should be even more difficult.
Without breaking believability or succumbing to hipster philosophizing, we’ve lovingly crafted a list of the 25 best 16-bit Sega games to sweep players off their feet, with a preference to both hopeful originality and exclusivity. Let’s see how we did.
Apple’s line of Apple II — or apple ][ — computers were the vehicle of choice in America for teaching typing and computer technology to Generations X and Y. From 1980 to the late ’90s — long after the models went out of date, thanks to the embarrassment that is public school funding in the U.S. — these archaic, clacking beasts filled lab after lab of our elementary and middle schools (often with 200-pound Xerox machines providing the ambiance).
We primarily remember the apple ][ in our classrooms for teaching us to type with clever software like MasterType (1981) and Home Row! (1987); or, if we finished our lessons early, edutaining us with games like Rocky’s Boots (1982) and Lewis and Clark Stayed Home (1991).