Skip to main content

What we've been playing

A few of the games that have us hooked at the moment.

9th June, 2023

Hello! Welcome back to our regular feature where we write a little bit about some of the games we've found ourselves playing over the last few days. This time: building, teleporting, editing.

If you fancy catching up on some of the older editions of What We've Been Playing, here's our archive.

Super Fantasy Kingdom, PC

Super Fantasy Kingdom.Watch on YouTube

Super Fantasy Kingdom's demo is a wonderfully tense experience. It's a city builder, but it's also a wave-based survival game - likened by many to Vampire Survivors. That sounds like chaos, and it isn't. But it is extremely stressful.

At the bottom of the map you reconstruct a village, placing buildings that process materials and using the materials to unlock and place new buildings where the whole thing repeats. Buildings need workers and workers need homes. Placing roads gives you new plots of land to build on. It's a series of virtuous circles, and learning the points at which these circles intersect is part of the fun.

Above all that, though, is a wilderness where enemies spawn, rushing to attack your village and being held off by the defensive units you've placed there. The game measures out its pace in days and nights, and at the end of every night you're told how many baddies your defenders killed and how many times your front line was breached.

This is building up, I assume, to the point at which you lose everything. Gah! I've had a couple of lucky escapes so far, but I know that there will come a time where the village I'm building is over-run and it's back to the start. I'm going to be willing to restart pretty quickly, I think, which suggests that Super Fantasy Kingdom is onto something here.


Porter, Web

Porter is a browser game on in which you can jump and teleport. Frequently, you must jump and teleport. Jump to get to the right height, teleport to a gap that you can only reach because you jumped, and then teleport again because the gap you ported into leaves you falling towards spikes.

It's as clever as it's demanding, thankfully, and there's a real joy to be had in looking at a new puzzle level and trying to pick your way through it with your mind before you venture out for real. As with so many web games on Itch, it's pretty astonishing to see such ingenious designs refined and distilled. This is a whole afternoon of fun if you want it. Just don't forget to jump. And teleport.

Chris Donlan

Immortality, PC

Immortality trailer.Watch on YouTube


Well, congratulations, I guess, Immortality; you're the first game to truly make me question, however briefly, whether I might in fact have slipped out of step with reality. The bad night's sleep probably didn't help, nor did Gemma Files' lovely short story about a golden era Hollywood ingenue with something needful, possibly malevolent inside her, which I'd coincidentally just read that afternoon. But when I was settled down for what I assumed would be a gentle evening of cinematic excess, I was not prepared for Immortality's fuckery.

There I was, merrily spooling through the oeuvre of fictional actress Marissa Marcel, soaking up the gorgeously observed period detail as the decades whizzed by, when there she was. Someone who didn't seem to fit, casting a split-second glance straight out of the screen. It felt wrong, but not in a way I'm sure I could vocalise, so I shook it off and fired up a clip I'd seen countless times before, casually spooling around for another avenue of investigation.

And then I froze; there she was again, precisely - and unequivocally this time - where she hadn't been before, suddenly materialising between blinks, between frames, a new face in an imperceptibly vacated space, nonchalantly continuing as if that's how things had always been. I gasped, paused, rewound, hit play, and old reality quietly, immediately reasserted itself - she'd gone again. "Oh no," I thought as my brain suddenly had an awful lot of questions for my eyes, "That's quite enough of that for one evening."

Matt Wales

Read this next