Do you remember your first adventures in Minecraft? I do. I was mostly confused. For much of its history, Minecraft hasn't done much to help you understand how to play it, how to craft things, what these crafted things do, and why you'd want them. It doesn't tell you about the alternate dimensions that you can visit, or about how you get to them. It doesn't tell you why should should play or what you're aiming for.
City 17 to city infinity.
Looking for the ludic equivalent to The Julie Dolphin.
The measure of any piece of hardware is whether it can run Doom. And it turns out that pretty much any modern computer can, whether it's a MacBook Pro's Touch Bar, the programmable display in a key on the Optimus Maximum keyboard or a Vtech InnoTab.
In the dank underbelly of Riften, through the sewers that service the town and into the dripping cistern that the Thieves Guild calls home, is a man called Rune. He rises at 8am, stands about for most of the day until 10pm, and then goes to practise with his dagger on a dummy for a few hours until bedtime.
In a wood in the south of The Witcher 3's Toussaint lies a cemetery called Mere-Lachaiselongue. Perhaps you've been there, and perhaps you took the time to read the the inscriptions on its tumbling gravestones. If you did, they might have given you pause. They don't really fit in Toussaint, or, indeed, in White Orchard or anywhere else.
Doom's campaign was a wonderful surprise, and a progressive and worthy follow-up to a true classic. The multiplayer? Not so much. Sure, it's fun enough, and as Jon Denton said the other day, it features some smart design. But few would argue that Doom's multiplayer holds a candle to its campaign, despite it being a major focus in promotion on the run-up to release.
To me, the best puzzle games feel like they've been discovered, not designed. Like they've always been there, waiting for someone to come along and uncover them. In the world of puzzle games, developers like Drop7 co-creator Frank Lantz are scientists or explorers, unearthing perfect gems which shine with a complexity that unfurls from a set of simple rules which, once you've grasped them, feel like natural laws. Sokobond is one of these puzzle games - and fittingly, when you start playing it, it feels like a game you've discovered, too.