Puzzle Games

The Underbelly of Aperture Revisited: Celebrating Portal 2

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by T.J. Denzer April 19, 2016 @ 1:00 PM
Valve Corporation
Imagine having to follow up a legendary piece of media with something better. Can you put yourself in a place where fans ask you to take the thing you made that revolutionized a genre and make a follow-up that’s not only on par, but continues to push the envelope? That’s where Portal 2 was as it entered the gaming community’s collective radar. The game had an enormously high bar to clear with the original Portal, which was renowned for its excellent design, ingenious mechanics, and bizarre and somber, yet cynically humorous themes. Fortunately for all of Valve and Portal’s many fans, Gabe Newell’s team was well up to the task and years later, we celebrate the amazing sequel that was Portal 2.

Stay in Line: Lemmings Turns 25

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by Jon Ledford February 15, 2016 @ 4:35 PM
DMA Design
Those adorable, anthropomorphic followers started walking in line and onto computer screens two and a half decades ago. It's time we celebrate an often overlooked classic in the puzzle-platformer hybrid genre. Lemmings has hit its big 25 year anniversary, so let's look back at the origins and impact these little guys had in video game history. AMA Design, previously known for their work on the '80s MS-DOS, Amiga, Atari, and Commodore 64 titles of Menace and Blood Money were starting to work on their next game, Walker. It was basically a big video game ripoff of Star Wars' AT-ST, but inadvertently spawned the development of a small character sprite.

Unravel Review (Xbox One)

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by Jason Fanelli February 8, 2016 @ 8:54 AM
Coldwood Interactive
From that love comes a touching story packed into a beautiful setting with a delightful main character in Yarny. The care and devotion of the team at Coldwood to the craft of game development is more than evident at every turn. This game is not without its frustrations, particularly in puzzles toward the end of the game, but the brief fleeting moments of anxiety are easily countered by the overall warmth that Unravel exudes. This is a game I'll play when I'm having a bad day and want to turn it around.