Chip Chat #2: Hot Chips, Hotter Game

Chip Chat #2: Hot Chips, Hotter Game

Welcome to Chip Chat, a column where I eat as many novelty chip* flavors as humanly possible, then justify it by reviewing the chips and pairing them with a game I think they’re particularly suited for, like a garbage sommelier who specializes in junk food instead of wine. This is, I insist, not a thinly veiled excuse to buy novelty chip flavors—but if it was, that sure would be convenient, now wouldn’t it.

*That’s crisps, for the British readers among us.

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Death Is Only the Beginning: Mortality in the Roguelike

Death Is Only the Beginning: Mortality in the Roguelike

There are few sensations more familiar to seasoned gamers than death. Since death is a common consequence for failure in play, we consider death and its attendant rebirth a necessary part of the play process. Some of us even revel in our constant flirtation with death: at its peak in 2014, an average of forty-two Dark Souls II player characters died every second. It is through death that we learn how to play games successfully, but many games treat death as a simple rewind: when you fail, your character dies and reappears at a predetermined point in the narrative prior to the death, with no indication that the death ever occurred. Thus, while games are in many ways primed to open a discussion of mortality, most prefer to pretend mortality is a non-issue.
Roguelikes, as a genre, deal very explicitly with death as a central mechanic. There are no save points in most roguelikes, so death puts you back at the very beginning of the game, with your progress and some or all of your upgrades erased. But as with gaming writ large, many roguelikes treat death as a simple mechanic to indicate failure, and neglect its narrative opportunity. But two recent roguelikes have taken the conceit of cyclical, death-based play and baked it into their stories. And from these, a bigger conversation about our attitudes about mortality was born. (more…)

The Definitive Ranking of Game Fashion Icons, Part I

The Definitive Ranking of Game Fashion Icons, Part I

We play games. We eat games. We also dress games, because gaming is absolutely packed with fashion icons. This month, we’re taking stock of some of gaming’s sharpest dressers.

Read our arguments as to why our choices are the greatest fashionistas in gaming history, and, if you’re a Patreon supporter at the $5+ level, vote in our poll to determine which character will be the subject of a Patreon-exclusive art piece! If you support at the $10+ level, you can nominate your own fashion icon to join the fray. And if you don’t support us on Patreon, you simply get to enjoy the height of sartorial insight from us, your favorite game critics. (more…)

Sneak Peek: Postgame.6 – Every Woman in Greek Mythology is Justified (Hadescast!)

Sneak Peek: Postgame.6 – Every Woman in Greek Mythology is Justified (Hadescast!)

Welcome to Postgame, Sidequest’s monthly Patreon-exclusive podcast, where the editors lay down hot takes on cold games. We’ll be posting short excerpts from the podcast to the site as we release new episodes—if they grab you, consider tossing us a couple bucks a month to hear the full episodes! (more…)