Heaven’s Vault Is Too a Game for Linguists

Heaven’s Vault Is Too a Game for Linguists

About a year ago, one of our beloved editors sent me a link to a Verge article about a cool new language-y game from the folks who did 80 Days. In the article, pull-quoted and all, the developers say that although the then-upcoming game, Heaven’s Vault, is full of linguistics and decoding, they don’t “think this is a game that linguists are necessarily going to like.” This rubbed me, an (admittedly ex-)linguist, the wrong way, but ultimately may have been a shrewd publicity move: I vowed then and there that I would play this game, and I would have opinions about it comma dammit. (more…)

Grief in Gris is Gentle, Immersive, and Limited

Grief in Gris is Gentle, Immersive, and Limited

Gris is beautiful, haunting, and sweet. It is a story about loss and the ensuing grief, and—more importantly, I think—about recovery. The game guides you gently through a beautiful, fantastic world, full of watercolor textures; simultaneously barren and full of quietly chittering wildlife. Gris holds itself at strange inflection points: it is somehow full of soft sharpnesses and comforting desolations. (more…)

Kingdom Hearts III: 64 Hours to Take Kairi’s Heart

Kingdom Hearts III: 64 Hours to Take Kairi’s Heart

We are in Pittsburgh, in January of 2018. I am employed in a job I desperately hate, and neck deep in a zine project I desperately love. We are gathered at Valhalla, my friend Xander’s aptly named house, and shouting our way through a five-person collaborative playthrough of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep while steadily crunching through packages of the worst Oreo flavors ever invented (Pop Rocks: badgood; Apple Pie: just bad; Nutella: strictly fine). As the night comes to an end, we make a pact: when Kingdom Hearts III comes out, we will gather—from wherever we are when that goddamn game comes out, in three more years, probably—and we will not stop until we have finished it. (more…)

December Roundtable: Coziness in Games

December Roundtable: Coziness in Games

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we’re beginning to wind down from the holiday seasons by curling up beneath warm blankets with a mug of hot chocolate, while the Southern Hemisphere is no doubt basking in the sun on a beach. Naturally, this got us thinking about coziness and the recent conversations the gaming industry has been having about how to capture it and what it can add to a game. Our own Maddi Butler wrote a piece on coziness in the Nancy Drew series, which served as a perfect jumping-off point for this discussion.

What does it mean to be cozy? Should games strive to make us feel that way? Let’s find out! (more…)

Games For Your Ears: Our Favorite Tabletop Podcasts and Let’s Plays

Games For Your Ears: Our Favorite Tabletop Podcasts and Let’s Plays

At Sidequest, we love games. We love games so much that when we’re not playing games, we’re probably watching or listening to people playing games. But which people? And what games? We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite actual-play tabletop podcasts and tabletop-related let’s plays for your perusal, and please, let us know your favorites in the comments! (more…)