Papers, Please Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Papers, Please RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network 7 Awesome Indie Games that Don't Have a Happy Ending https://www.gameskinny.com/7gma3/7-awesome-indie-games-that-dont-have-a-happy-ending https://www.gameskinny.com/7gma3/7-awesome-indie-games-that-dont-have-a-happy-ending Fri, 02 Feb 2018 05:19:22 -0500 Highties

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Stories have a way of teaching us about life. They teach us that not everything ends on a happy note. Sometimes the tragic and morally questionable aspects of a stories ending serve as a caution about how we live our lives and how to improve our own story. 

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Despite all that these games told great stories and I, for one, can't wait to see what else Indie developers will show us in the future. 

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Did you feel this list did a good job of showing some of the unhappy endings of Indies? Were you disappointed that certain games didn't make the list?Comment below what sad tales you would have put and what you felt about these endings.

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To the Moon 
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Price: $4.99-$9.99

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Buy it on: Steam, Android & Apple

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To the Moon is a 16-bit story-driven game about two doctors who travel through a dying man's memories to accomplish his last dream to go to the moon. You will experience some of life's saddest moments; love, hate and the joy that this dying man went through in his life. 

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When it comes to sad endings To the Moon holds that title proudly. In To the Moon you play as two doctors who were hired to send an old man to the moon, but to do so you need to figure out why he wants to go. You end up exploring the old mans entire life through his memories and ultimately find out why he wants to go into space. 

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Not only do you start thinking about the beauty of To the Moon, but also about the futility of life and the fickle nature of memories. The ending is joyful in its way, however it is a bittersweet feeling. The idea that it was so close to being satisfactory and so close to being a happy occasion.

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Silence: The Whispered World 2
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Price: $29.99

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Buy it on: PC & Xbox One

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Silence: The Whispered World 2 is a story-driven game that allows you to experience what life is about for two kids named Noah and his younger sister Renie. The danger of war and the choices you must make for your family are an integral part of this fantasy world called 'The Silence.'

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What would you do if your brother was in danger? What choices would you make in the name of family? In Silence: The Whispered World 2 you will experience a fantasy world unlike any that have come before it, however there's a catch. Toward the end of Silence: The Whispered World 2 you will have to make a difficult decision that will have massive consequences for your character and their family.   

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Undertale
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Price: From $9.99

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Buy it on: Steam, PS4 & PS Vita

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In Undertale you will play as a human who falls into an underground world full of monsters. But, are all these creatures monsters? Are they as wicked as they may seem? Either way you have to find your way out, or chance being forever trapped in darkness.  Will you choose to play as a pacifist, or maybe you will choose a darker path and take the monster out of the picture?   

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Undertale is considered one of the best Indie titles of recent years, mainly because its story and pacifist playthrough options. Most of the interactions in Undertale deal with a variety of emotions and make you question the choices you have made throughout the game. As a pacifist the ending can be pretty satisfying, but will leave an emotional imprint on your mind. However, if you decide to choose the genocidal path the ending can be gruesome and unforgiving to the main character. As for the rest of the underground world it is left in a state of disarray from what you have done.

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Papers, Please
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Price: $8.99

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Buy it on: Steam

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In Papers, Please you decide who crosses the border between Grestin and Arstotzka while implementing government laws and policies that will bring glory to the Arstotzkan government and keep your homeland safe. However, Arstotzka is not all it appears; behind simply controlling immigration at the borders there is government corruption and revolution at hand.

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Behind Papers, Please lies a truly depressing story about a man who has been chosen to work for the Arstotzkan government through a lottery and must work in order to keep his family alive. In Papers, Please you will work as an immigration inspector on the borders of the Arstotzkan side of Grestin. The game takes a twist when the government you are working for becomes more hostile towards immigrants. Slowly, more and more policies are implemented to prevent suspicious people gaining entry into Arstotzka.

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One example of the depth of the story in Papers, Please is when a revolutionary group tries to convert you to their cause. You will have to make a choice between the safety of government or the radical freedoms of a revolutionary movement. However, you're not alone. Your family depend on you and every action you take can affect them and the outcome of your story. 

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There are multiple endings in Papers, Please and over 20 involve sad outcomes for you and your family. The naunce and thought gone into Papers, Please cannot be understated and it is well worth checking out.

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Oxenfree
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Price: $19.99

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Buy it on: Steam

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Oxenfree is a supernatural thriller that follows a group of friends who go out to have a good time, however it doesn't all go to plan. You accidentally stumble on a rift between worlds that traps you and your friends on the island. Alex (the protagonist) must find a way for him and his friends to escape the dreaded island before it is too late. 

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Oxenfree contains supernatural elements that will chill you to the bone and by the end of the game you must face an almost impossible choice. Oxenfree has several endings depending on who you help and who you end up leaving behind, but every choice you make has a consequence. 

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Gone Home
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Price: $14.99

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Buy it on: Steam

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Gone Home is a mystery game reliant on puzzles which help the protagonist figure out what happened to their family. The disappearance of the protagonists family leaves him in disarray and he must figure out what has caused them to leave.

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Going home can form mixed emotions depending on an individuals situation, whether you feel jubilation or dread at the thought of returning home depends on your home life. In the case of Gone Home its a sorrowful affair for the protagonist. You come home to find everyone has left unexpectedly and with no explanation, therefore forcing you to explore your home to solve the mystery. Towards the end of Gone Home it is clear that everyone left for their own reasons and in time you understand that when you left your family moved on.

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The ending feels resolved, however you are left to wonder about the fate of some family members. It appears as though they may have left for good reasons, but there is a prevailing sense of dread throughout the entirety of the game.

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Night in the Woods
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Price: $19.99

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Buy it on: Steam

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Night in the Woods is an adventure game that allows you to explore a colorful world that is filled with interesting characters and conflicts that will require you to make friends with people throughout the town. 

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Night in the Woods centers around Mae Borowski: a college drop out who returns home and has to sort through issues that arise in her hometown. Throughout Night in the Woods the protagonist begins to form bonds and starts building close relations with many of the characters in the story, despite this towards the end of the game you end up feeling unsatisfied with the resolution. Especially since some of the issues are left unresolved, therefore creating a sense of indignance from the player. However, Mae does learn to face her problems and learns to move on from past events instead of focusing on them; which brings a somewhat neutral ending to a fantastic story and gaming experience. 

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Endings can be hard to handle. We spend so much time in these other worlds getting to know various characters and experiencing all the game has to offer only to be sent down a cycle of indignation. It's all over, your journey complete and you're left with a hole in your heart. 

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What's even harder to handle is when the worlds you have spent so much time in end on a sour or sad note. Several triple-A titles have included morose or melancholic endings that tug on our heartstrings. However, Indies are no stranger to these narrative archs, so we present our top 7 Indie titles that broke our hearts.  

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The 5 Most Stressful Video Game Moments https://www.gameskinny.com/yn8t7/the-5-most-stressful-video-game-moments https://www.gameskinny.com/yn8t7/the-5-most-stressful-video-game-moments Fri, 01 Sep 2017 09:44:54 -0400 Extra Wordinary

Games are a great form of entertainment. They allow us to relieve stress and forget about our daily struggles. In video games, we can be anything from superheroes to superdads. 

But along with making our fantasies come alive, games can also make our worst nightmares come true. In fact, some games are ruthless -- and will put the player under loads of pressure. Here are the five most stressful moments in video games.

Of course, there are spoilers to follow, so continue with caution. 

Annihilating People Using White Phosphorous in 'Spec Ops: The Line'

white phosphorous death

In Call of Duty, you are the hero. In Spec Ops: The Line, you are the monster. And in one of the most memorable scenes that demonstrates this, the player is forced to obliterate the enemy with white phosphorous. 

Without going into too much detail, white phosphorous burns the skin and lungs, while the smoke stings or burns the eyes -- and those aren't the only horrific things it does to the human body. In short, white phosphorous is a terrible weapon of war. 

And as we walk through the fields of fallen enemies in Spec Ops: The Line, not only do we realize the horrors we've committed, but we discover that along with the enemy, we've killed nearly 50 civilians in the process. 

There are many games like this which put the gamer under a lot of stress through their immersive narratives and gameplay, but nothing makes us feel more troubled than this horrific scene in Spec Ops: The Line.

Being Unable to Find Any Food in '7 Days to Die'

In 7 Days to Die -- and other survival games with hunger mechanics (e.g. Day Z, Project Zomboid, and Don't Starve) -- players are forced to ditch all other priorities and look for food.

In 7 Days to Die, being hungry means you'll die a slow, painful death -- as your health ticks down by the second. It'll force you to do whatever it takes to find that scrap of food that'll keep you going for a little longer. Sometimes, it'll even force you to eat whatever atrocities you can find: old ham sandwiches, moldy bread, zombie meat, or rotten flesh.

Being thirsty is even more stressful. While you'll live longer if you're just hungry, once you reach 0% thirst, you can die at any second. The game won't tell you when you'll die, just that you know it's coming soon and you'll do whatever it takes to prevent it (sometimes even drinking water from toilets).

Those who have been in this situation will know how stressful it is to watch your character's life tick away as you search every cabinet for food or water.

When You are Defusing a Bomb in 'CS:GO' and Hear Footsteps

While no-one knows exactly why the terrorists plant bombs in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (supposedly it's to destroy something important), the player knows that they are tasked with an important mission -- defuse the bomb. And in CS: GO, doing so can be very stressful. Here's why: 

  • It means you can't fire your weapon, making you defenseless
  • It limits your field of view because looking too far away from the bomb will stop the entire process
  • It means you might be blocked into a corner or stuck in a trap since crafty players like to place the bomb in awkward positions

Regardless, there are also several tricks the bomb defuser can do make things bit less stressful, such as pulling the pin of a grenade before starting to defuse the bomb. This allows the player to throw the grenade (usually a flash grenade) while defusing the bomb.

In CS:GO, defusing the bomb only requires holding down the E button and waiting 10 seconds. In other games such as 'Dark RP,' when you try to hack a security lock, a menu pops up (filling the entire screen) and forces you to play logic mini-games. Not only do you have to be worried about your surroundings, but your focus must also be on solving the mini-games.

Startling the Witch in 'Left 4 Dead'

Startling the witch is a lot more stressful than startling a screaming zombie.

The Witch is a special infected in Left 4 Dead that can instantly incapacitate any player who startles her. She runs extremely fast and getting too close or shining a flashlight on her will cause her to startle.

Accidentally startling the witch is a death-sentence -- and even in groups, players tend to avoid her by sneaking past or waiting until she wanders away. If you startle her and you're alone, then you're probably dead meat.

When You Make a Mistake in 'Papers Please'

In Papers, Please, you play as a border-control guard where you must reject or accept immigrants into the state based on a certain criterion (which changes day by day). Each day, you must work against the clock in order to support your family who are starving and freezing. 

The more immigrants you correctly admit or reject, the more money you will make -- but you only have a certain time limit to do so each day. Making even a few errors will almost certainly result in financial problems including: inability to buy medicine for your sick family, not having enough warmth, and not having enough food. Things like these will eventually lead to the death of your son or wife.

Making too many mistakes will also result in you losing your job or being unable to pay your rent. In this game, you are put under a lot of pressure to perform at a high speed with minimal errors. You will certainly feel the stress building up with each mistake you make.

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Overall, games have a pretty diverse way of making us experience stress. Whether it be through making us realize the dark side of human nature (as in Spec Ops: The Line) or making us anticipate danger (as in CS:GO), many of these games show that stress is as much a part of video games as it is in daily life.

What have been the most stressful video game moments for you? We'd love to hear your stories! Share them in the comments below!  

 

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Steam Direct Will Unleash a Flood of Unplayable Drek https://www.gameskinny.com/frh10/steam-direct-will-unleash-a-flood-of-unplayable-drek https://www.gameskinny.com/frh10/steam-direct-will-unleash-a-flood-of-unplayable-drek Thu, 08 Jun 2017 16:53:00 -0400 Ty Arthur

When it comes to PC gaming, there's no question that Steam is the go-to platform. As much as I love GOG and those handfuls of other smaller platforms trying to get their piece of the pie, there's no arguing that at this particular point in time, PC gaming = Steam. When the physical editions of huge games like Fallout 4 literally just have a Steam code in the box, it's clear who wears the crown.

That dominance is a double-edged sword, however. Having the biggest selection of titles means you also have the most games that aren't worth playing. Steam Greenlight acted as a sort of gate to that, ensuring only games that people really wanted to play managed to make it onto our hallowed PC platform.

Greenlight: The Snoozing Guard

Some really unique entries in the gaming world arrived on our PCs because of Greenlight, from the dystopian Papers, Please to the unique slow-motion shooter Super Hot to the genre-bending RPG Evoland and even the occasional novelty game with questionable replay value like Who's Your Daddy.

Greenlight was started with an admirable goal -- letting the community decide what it wanted on the Steam platform, rather than a handful of Valve employees whose tastes may not match yours or mine.

Of course, it wasn't always a vigilant gatekeeper. There's already a multitude of unplayable nonsense on Steam:

  • Half-baked RPG Maker titles that are unfinished or stopped working halfway through
  • "Early Access" games that will never see full release and are just a source of continual income from the gullible who lay down $50 for an unfinished demo
  • A horde of visual novels that are barely games at all and range in quality from pretty good to "are you actually kidding me right now?"

That problem is about to get a lot, lot worse. In a surprise move, Steam Greenlight has now officially been disbanded.

No new games can be added to the program and voting is suspended. The couple of thousand games that were in the program will be decided on by Valve directly in the coming months.

In its place, we'll get the new Steam Direct program, launching on June 13. The goal with Direct is to make it more transparent as to how games get on the platform and to address problems like developers releasing bare-bones games in order to farm trading cards for profit. 

 What a weird world we live in where THESE create financial incentives

Steam Direct Opens The Floodgates

Unfortunately, it seems like this "solution" is going to create an issue that's even worse. While Greenlight at least kept some bad games from getting through, the new program will ensure nearly anyone can release nearly anything via Steam.

Here's how the statement from Valve describes the new program:

The goal with Steam Direct is to provide an understandable and predictable path for developers from anywhere in the world to bring their games to Steam. With that in mind, we're making the process as easy and streamlined as possible.

A new developer will simply need to fill out some digital paperwork, including entering bank and tax information, and going [sic] through a quick identity verification process.

After completing the paperwork, the developer will be asked to pay a $100 recoupable fee for each game they wish to release on Steam. This fee is returned in the payment period after the game has sold $1,000.

In other words, anybody with a Benjamin can now release a game via Steam. No more community gateway. No more having to get votes through the strength of your game's concept. Want to release Super Slow Motion Grapefruit Simulator? Cool, just hand over that hundo.

 Yes, this is the face you should be making about Steam Direct

So long as it launches and doesn't install malware, any game at all is now in. We are about to see a storm of low quality, buggy, unfinished games from both unscrupulous developers looking to make a quick buck and kids who just picked up a book on programming.

Now, there is a slight catch there -- developers who have never released anything through Steam before will have to wait 30 days while their game and history is checked out, which means at the very least, there will be a delay before every RPG Maker project in history is suddenly available for purchase.

During that 30 days, Steam will "review the developer's information and confirm that we know who we're doing business with." Based on the description in the full press release here, it's unclear under what circumstances, if any, that a game would be denied during that review process, however.

Why Is This A Bad Thing?

"Well, so what?" you may ask -- why shouldn't every budding indie dev get to have their games on Steam? Two immediate problems come to mind.

First, there's the Steam sales issue. The Steam summer and winter sales are huge events where thousands of games have their prices slashed. Do you really want Stick Shift taking up one of those sales slots that could go to an actual game that you'll enjoy playing?

Next, we've got to think of signal to noise ratio. How many buggy games not worth a single dollar are already clogging up your recommendations or have to be scrolled through when browsing by genre? 

The problem here with game oversaturation is discoverability: there are already more games on Steam than one person could ever possibly beat in their entire natural lifespan.

 Good luck finding something worth playing in there!

Further muddying the waters doesn't help gamers find what they want, and it doesn't help developers make money when there are fewer and fewer ways to get noticed in an unending sea of games.

Completely removing any sort of quality gate is a phenomenally bad idea all around -- it's bad for Steam since it will undoubtedly increase refunds, bad for gamers who want to find games worth playing, and bad for developers who actually put work into their games and don't get noticed.

What do you think of Steam Greenlight getting replaced with Steam Direct? Are you looking forward to checking out more indie titles, or do you think it will result in more low-quality titles not worth playing mucking up your searches?

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3 Quick, Casual Indie Games You Can Play Between College Classes https://www.gameskinny.com/igaa5/3-quick-casual-indie-games-you-can-play-between-college-classes https://www.gameskinny.com/igaa5/3-quick-casual-indie-games-you-can-play-between-college-classes Fri, 02 Jun 2017 10:13:02 -0400 Angelica Dimson

Any gamer who's gone through college knows that when you're hitting the books, gaming time can be pretty sparse. As someone who enjoys immersive story RPGs, college takes over those monster battles and epic adventures, then replaces them with reports, projects, exams, and the occasional part-time job.

In order to maintain some semblance of sanity, small and quick games became my go-to breaks. And they're a great way to scratch the gaming itch without dedicating time you don't have to a more immersive experience. If you're a struggling student gamer who needs to get in some quick playtime between classes, here are a few casual indie games that are definitely worth checking out.

Papers, Please

Papers Please, Gameplay

Papers, Please is a fun little puzzle indie game that takes place in a dystopian future. As developer 3909, puts it Paper, Please is "a dystopian document thriller".

While everything seems perfectly normal in your menial government job as a checkpoint inspector, there is a lot of political intrigue that changes your job and slowly builds the world around you -- such as what documents are needed to enter the country, and whether or not someone is carrying contraband. The game goes on for 30-day shifts. And almost every day, there is something new that changes the game to which you must adapt accordingly. 

It's perfect for short play breaks, and you're bound to see something a little bit different every time you pick it up.

Orcs Must Die 2

Orcs Must Die 2

For those who like MOBAs or tower defense games, Orcs Must Die! 2 is a fun level by level mix of those things -- sans mass multiplayer. When defending the realm from (you guessed it) Orcs, you can play with another college friend to procrastinate or suit up for quick matches in between classes.

As with most tower defense games, you get new items the more you play. What I liked was the new and interesting environments per level and the new items playable characters could use.

OMD2 involved a lot of tactical strategy and survival, and there's a lot to keep up with so that you get an intense play experience in a short amount of time. (For example, I would sometimes be watching the traps more than my own health.) Each wave felt fast-paced as swarms of monsters came at you, and your budget of gold would barely let you scrape by.

Night in The Woods

Night In The Woods Gameplay

For the RPG gamer in me, Night in the Woods was a welcome surprise. Despite the characters being anthropomorphic animals, they felt very relatable and dealt with real-life scenarios.

For example, two of the main character's friends are a homosexual couple growing up in a small town. Their dialogue really showed how difficult it was being in that small town with that rural mindset.

The story also had a lot of twist and turns -- but what really kept me playing was the relationships between characters. While this might seem like a time crunch sort of game, it really wasn't. I would start a day with Mae, the main character, and then end it within an hour, where I could save. 

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Those are just a few suggestions for indie games that are worth playing if college is taking up all your time. They aren't too short, and you can play for hours at a time if that's what you want to do. But they also don't demand so much of your time that it would interfere with your schoolwork. 

What are your favorite indie games to play while you're trying to unwind between demanding college courses? Let me know in the comments!

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Fake News and Nuclear Launches: Darkly Satirical Games for Even Darker Times https://www.gameskinny.com/bwl2l/fake-news-and-nuclear-launches-darkly-satirical-games-for-even-darker-times https://www.gameskinny.com/bwl2l/fake-news-and-nuclear-launches-darkly-satirical-games-for-even-darker-times Tue, 04 Apr 2017 12:00:01 -0400 Ty Arthur

Somehow without even realizing it, reality seems to have slipped into Community's darkest timeline. Every day the news becomes more ludicrous to the point that satire sites no longer feel needed. The world is being run by reality show rejects, another world war seems around the corner, and every morning around 5:00 AM like clockwork the leader of the free world throws a childish Twitter tantrum while taking his morning deuce.

Prince, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Carrie Fischer... a wealth of music and screen talent saw the writing on the wall and collectively said "screw it, we're out" before the year even started in earnest. Horrible dystopian fiction seems more benign and less threatening by comparison to actual everyday life. 

As Obsidian's latest classic cRPG Tyranny put it, "sometimes evil wins." Art imitates life, so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that there are plenty of satirical games making light of the darkness, from a disturbingly real fake news simulator to a game whose only winning move is to simply not play at all. 

Fake It To Make It

Hilarious at the beginning and then more and more worrying the longer you play, this "social impact" web browser game, Fake It To Make It, is all about creating fake news to earn clicks and ad revenue. The goal of the game is to create a fake and lazy site, make it seem legit, and then decide how to spend money on planting articles, monetizing by stealing personal info, or even planting malware.

When planting articles you have to make sure you are triggering a strong emotion, and always weigh the headline's believability to the drama factor. As the game's tutorial explains: "Fake news takes less time to create, and it often spreads better than real news, since you aren’t as constrained by facts."

Happiness doesn't create a sense of urgency, so to rake in the cash, it's better to stoke anger and fear, and prey on people's preconceived notions with things they want to believe, whether those things are true or not. It's basically the content of Facebook during the 2016 U.S. presidential election distilled into game form.

Religion and politics are the big ones, but you can get folks sharing articles if you make them scream "won't somebody please just think of the children!" or convince them a celebrity has died. If you feel like creating your own fake news empire, you can play Fake It To Make It right here.

 When will the sheeples wake up? With just 10 more shares this petition can change the world!

Defcon

The game's tag line is literally "everybody dies," so you know you're in for a good time with Defcon, which is clearly inspired by the '80s flick Wargames

Ever wanted to be the guy in the bunker with his finger on the trigger? That's what you get to do in Defcon, as negotiations have broken down and everyone around the world is getting nuke happy.

A strategy game that smiles in the face of the apocalypse, there's really only one way any given round can end: a fun radiation cloud enveloping the globe.

It's OK, we killed more of them than they killed of us.

Papers, Please

Report to the Ministry Of Admission immediately and take up your new role as arbitrator of who gets to enter communist Arstotzka, and who gets sent packing back across the other side of the wall -- this is Papers, Please.

Your choices will have very serious real world impacts on people's lives, and you will get things wrong, resulting in deaths and worse. I imagine certain members of our government probably play this as light hearted weeknight entertainment...

I'm afraid your papers are not in order, sir...

Cyberpunk 2077

So this one's actually a bit of a question mark as to how biting the satire will be and just what sort of dystopia is on display, since we don't have a ton of details yet on CD Projekt Red's next big entry.

When it arrives (probably somewhere around the same year as its namesake) its a pretty good bet we'll be seeing some social and political commentary in the story.

 America looks a little different in 2077

Bioshock Infinite

Although an exceedingly dark game, Bioshock Infinite features a ton of humor and sub-text just beneath the surface, like an organization that worships John Wilkes Booth as a savior. George Washington robots prowl the flying city and patriotism and religious fervor taken to their extremes result in a truly deadly place to visit.

The game sort of reached legendary status when a Tea Party group took the image below -- not realizing it was from a game mocking their political leanings -- and used it as their Facebook banner. Woops.

Political and religious commentary aside though, this may very well be the finest game to have been released on the 360, with its innovative FPS concepts and mind-bending story that has you hopping dimensions and constantly guessing as to just who you really are.

 Someone saw this and thought "hell yeah!" 

Costume Quest 2

Those darn kids and their time-travelling, dimension-hopping antics from the first game accidentally led to the rise of an evil dentist tyrant -- who has outlawed all candy -- in part 2 of this adorable RPG series.

It's the classic dystopian megalomaniac, but with an exceedingly silly twist. If you want your bleak future a little more funny and filled with wonder, this is the one to play.

 True Evil!

What did you think of our picks, and what satirical games would you recommend for those down in the dumps over our current dark times?

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Top 3 Politically Motivated Simulation Games on Steam https://www.gameskinny.com/2h2q6/top-3-politically-motivated-simulation-games-on-steam https://www.gameskinny.com/2h2q6/top-3-politically-motivated-simulation-games-on-steam Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:00:01 -0500 Michael Llewellyn

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Gaming as an entertainment medium like any other, is often a reflection of our time. With what seems like every news, entertainment and social media outlet being full of political opinion, we're also starting to see videogames reflect and convey political messages of their own.

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Perhaps more than ever, videogames have the ability to speak to a larger and more mainstream audience. Creating videogames has allowed some developers to have a voice in a more unique and creative way. With games like Papers, Please and Orwell being able to force the player to question themselves on an emotional level, it speaks volumes for videogames as an intelligent medium for political thought.

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Do you play games that are politically motivated? Let me know in the comments below.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/41f838bb31e913461b16c27bf5607d4e.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/41f838bb31e913461b16c27bf5607d4e.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10414","description":"
Papers, Please
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Available for purchase on Steam

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Papers, Please is a game by indie developer Lucas Pope that will challenge you, not only in video game terms, but morally as a human being too. You'll have to make decisions and cruel judgements based on the fact that you're "just following orders" from your superiors. As a result the tension this game creates is almost overwhelming at times.

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With Donald Trump and Britain's leave campaigners ambitions to build walls and ban immigration, the political message in this incredibly bleak and dark game is more relevant than ever.

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/6c4e70067a77c0a93d4563179e26a021.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/6c4e70067a77c0a93d4563179e26a021.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10415","description":"
The Political Machine 2016
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Available for purchase on Steam

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Being a political sim doesn't have to be all doom and gloom. Sometimes satire will draw in fans as much as a medium that tries to make a serious statement. A simulation in gaming is a simplification of a far more complex system, and satirical caricatures can be seen as another simplification through the use of irony and sarcasm. Combining the two in gaming can often work brilliantly.

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With the publicity fueled media storm that was the US electoral campaign still very fresh in our minds, The Political Machine 2016 is still very relevant with its humorous take on sweet talking, back tracking or paying your way to votes.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/749ba4736bc19a65f516031c4acee923.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/749ba4736bc19a65f516031c4acee923.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10410","description":"
Orwell
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Available for purchase on Steam.

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Orwell is a 5 part episodic visual adventure game based on the George Orwell novel 1984. Orwell is the name given to a government internet surveillance system and it is your job to analyse the digital footprint of the citizens that "The Party" has labelled a potential threat.

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Orwell is a voyeuristic conspiracy thriller where you will watch a group of political activists and determine who is responsible for a bomb attack. It's a unique approach to storytelling that's full of twists and turns as its plot unfolds.

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With Edward Snowden leaking classified NSA files on surveillance programs, the UK passing the current "Snoopers Charter" bill, and paranoia at an all time high Orwell is a perfect representation of the current political affairs in our times.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/m/combine-images-36d6a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/m/combine-images-36d6a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"151160","description":"

With the news of Donald Trump's recent exploits, or the United Kingdom's Brexit, dominating almost every aspect of the media in today's political climate -- and with video games reaching more audiences than ever before -- it shouldn't be surprising that gaming has become a modern day medium for current political comment.

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Whether the genre of the Political Sim in videogames is trying to convey a serious message, or if it chooses the satirical route, modern day gaming is the perfect way to give voice to political opinion by using  the playful interactivity of gaming to reach a much wider audience.

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Without further ado here are three politically motivated videogames that I think stand out on Steam.

"}]]]>
9 Everyday Jobs Made Ridiculous in Video Games https://www.gameskinny.com/oahrl/9-everyday-jobs-made-ridiculous-in-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/oahrl/9-everyday-jobs-made-ridiculous-in-video-games Mon, 12 Sep 2016 10:00:01 -0400 Greyson Ditzler

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And That's The List!

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Thank you all very much for reading this far, we hope you enjoyed it. If you have a career-oriented game that you felt should have been on the list, or could help to fill out a potential future list, feel free to tell us in the comments! We know there were a fair few other games we could have mentioned, but we couldn't fit them all into one list, so recommend some more and we may do a follow-up in the future!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/a/c/e/ace-attorney-banner-aa655.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/a/c/e/ace-attorney-banner-aa655.jpg","type":"slide","id":"133146","description":"

Attorney (Ace Attorney Series)

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If you knew anything at all about Ace Attorney coming into this list then you knew it would be on here. The series is perhaps most well known for it's over-the-top and beyond unbelievable characters, plot twists, and it's depiction of an insanely corrupted court system full of liars, bluffers, and complete idiots. 

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Phoenix Wright, the series most frequently recurring protagonist, may be a morally upright human being and straight edged defense attorney, but the same cannot be said for most of his rival prosecutors, or the chronic liar witnesses he is forced to grill in court. 

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Phoenix Wright, the series most frequently recurring protagonist, may be a morally upright human being and straight edged defense attorney, but the same cannot be said for most of his rival prosecutors, or the chronic liar witnesses he is forced to grill in court. A court case that could be called mundane in the world of Ace Attorney would contain more fabricated evidence, eccentric and uncooperative witnesses, corrupt officials, and lies than some of the most cartoonish recorded in human history. 

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Not to mention that the courtroom conduct in Ace Attorney couldn't so much be called a "kangaroo court" as an "australian outback court". Weapons are brought into and used in the courtroom during the trials constantly, the defense and prosecution interrupt each other all the time, and testimonies get revised about three or four times per witness every hour on the hour.

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Ace Attorney is absolutely crazy... but it's not completely unrealistic. It is mostly unrealistic in it's depiction of the legal world and the life of an attorney, but what they sacrifice in realism they make up for by telling more creative stories under less limitations than a completely true-to-life legal drama would be under.

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Realism isn't everything. Sometimes, it can make a game better. But then there are other cases, such as Ace Attorney's, where realism takes a vacation, and everything is better for it.

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Surgeon (Trauma Center Series)

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The Trauma Center series has a fairly complex plot, and a tone very reminiscent of many serious soap operas, which is what makes some of it's more outlandishly overblown moments all the more hilarious.

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Most of your time spent in the average Trauma Center game is spent treating patients "under the knife" who are critically sick or injured. But sometimes you aren't treating the sick and wounded. Sometimes you're slowing down time in order to jab the the patient with painkillers about five times. Sometimes you're instantly healing patients with a literal "healing touch". For a great length of the first game in the series Trauma Center: Under the Knife, you are fighting off a man-made disease called GUILT. Yes, GUILT. 

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On one very special occasion, you even get to disable a bomb. Just what the doctor ordered.

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Paper Boy (Paper Boy)

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I feel that this one needs little explanation. The multi-platform retro classic Paper Boy is about as true to running a real newspaper delivery route that they might as well have set it in space for how down-to-Earth it is.

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The only thing that is realistic about Paper Boy is the fact that you have to throw newspapers to peoples front doors while on your bicycle, pedaling through a suburban neighborhood. Every single other thing about the game, however, is completely insane. One minute you'll be passing by gravestones on the front lawn of house only to get flung around by a miniature tornado, whereupon you slam right into an angry dog, and collect yourself just in time to run into the literal actual Grim Reaper.

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The most unrealistic thing about Paper Boy, however, is that you can turn a house that doesn't subscribe to the newspaper into a house that does subscribe--by breaking their window with a newspaper. What even.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/t/battle-chef-banner-49aab.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/b/a/t/battle-chef-banner-49aab.png","type":"slide","id":"133147","description":"

Chef (Battle Chef Brigade

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Continuing on with the theme of the service industry, we have Battle Chef Brigade. Of all the games where you can become a professional chef, the upcoming Battle Chef Brigade has the most creative, as well as the most fantastically impossible take on it.

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Using a combination of fantasy weapons and magical spells, you must control one of four different warrior chefs, as they hunt down dragons and winged eyeballs (as well as chickens it's not all crazy). They must then cook their findings into something delicious that caters for the mixed council of human, elf, and orc judges, by playing a match-three puzzle game.

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Realistic? No. Fun and unique? Yes.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/l/hall-banner-97e4f.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/h/a/l/hall-banner-97e4f.png","type":"slide","id":"133155","description":"

Bartender (VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action

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Sometimes you just need to go somewhere where everybody knows your name.VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action is just about as engaging as it is hard to spell; Very. But it's also more science-fiction than it is bartending school.

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It has you serving drinks brewed behind the bar from the ground up from the basic chemical components of alcohol to upper-class talking dogs and cyborg cat women among other people. You can make as many mistakes as you want while making drinks, making the most you can lose a tip from your client, which I'm sure is the biggest problem at most bars in the modern space future.The most realistic thing about the bartending aspect of the game is the fact that the drinks can cost hundreds of dollars each.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/a/real-mighty-switch-force-banner-b3e13.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/a/real-mighty-switch-force-banner-b3e13.jpg","type":"slide","id":"133152","description":"

Firefighter & Police Officer (Mighty Switch Force Series)

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The Mighty Switch Force games, while very fun and challenging puzzle games, aren't exactly accurate depictions of what it's like to work for the emergency services.

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In the first Mighty Switch Force game, you play as cybernetic police officer Patricia Wagon (get it Patty Wagon hahaha) as she rounds up a group of escaped criminals. You do this by activating the siren on your helmet, which allows you to briefly pause time itself, and change the physical properties and visibility of certain blocks in the surrounding area. You also get around quickly by shooting yourself in all directions by entering purple blocks when they are not solid, and then forcing them to come into full existence around you, forcing them to act like canons.   

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All of this done in the pursuit of a group of freshly escaped convicts, who are all perfectly healthy, but make no attempt to run from the officer in uniform running towards them with a gun in her hand. Yeah, I'm gonna say that's a little bit out there.

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Mighty Switch Force 2 was pretty similar, new puzzles with an identical goal of collecting five people per level, but this time with a new mechanic based around Patricia being a firefighter. The biggest standout difference this time around being that you could now kick babies to save them. Kick. Babies. I think that's about all I need to say. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokemon-snap-banner-3afb6.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokemon-snap-banner-3afb6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"133159","description":"

Professional Photographer (Pokémon Snap)

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Pokémon Snap is a classic on the Nintendo 64 for many people, and while it is a pretty well-structured and novel game about photographing Pokemon in the wild, it's not quite accurate to the daily workings of a field photographer. Sure, the camera work and expeditions to different regions for different kinds of animals is somewhat realistic, but there are a few sketchy methods being employed by Professor Oak in this project.

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Putting aside the fact that the player character Todd Snap is equipped with a hover buggy that allows him to do everything from raft on rivers to exploring the clouds. but the methods used by this so-called professional are both unconventional, and sometimes unethical. Everything from knocking Pokemon into lave with synthetic apples to tossing noxious gas-filled Pester Balls at them until they pass out, nothing is off the table for Snap when he needs a photo and needs it bad.

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Professor Oak's research might be inhumane. Not quite sure about that.

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Plumber (Classic Mario Bros.)

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Let's start out with the prequel to one of the most well-know classics, and perhaps the best sewer level ever in video games, the original arcade Mario Bros. It's been said for years that the Mario Brothers are plumbers, ever since their first official title in 1983, but never in any canonical title in the Mario series have we ever seen either of these two do anything that has to do with proper plumbing.

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Yeah, we know it's low-hanging fruit to mock Mario and Luigi for not acting like real plumbers, but it would be good for their namesake if they snaked a drain or unclogged a toilet here and there. Because when it comes to their few actual plumbing related exploits, their sewer-based assignments are far from ordinary.

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In the original arcade Mario Bros. Mario and Luigi must jump on and kick turtles and crabs while avoiding fire, jumping straight up into incomplete and highly flexible walkway foundation, and collecting golden coins... while never actually cleaning anything. Again, Mario games have never been all that realistic, nor do they need to be, but if they think this is plumbing, then they need go back to school. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/a/p/papers-please-banner-46309.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/a/p/papers-please-banner-46309.jpg","type":"slide","id":"133142","description":"

Since their inception, video games have been an outlet for entertainment, and usually escapism. Most video games are far from realistic, and allow the player to vicariously live out a wide array of fantasies, whether it be becoming an experienced solider in a war for the future or some brightly colored humanoid animal attempting to save the world and their loved one.

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But it didn't take too long for some semblance of realism and relatability in the medium, and soon some video games began to depict the very jobs and daily grinds that they were made to help people escape from. But thankfully, loads of games that are meant to let a player walk in the shoes of a particular profession have been great, although in most cases, this usually comes at the cost of more than a cup-and-a-half of realism. 

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Just to be clear, not every game needs to be completely realistic, and many games often benefit from being less realistic. However, in this particular case, I thought that it would be an entertaining and reflective little exercise to look back at some of the games where you play as a character who is meant to have a common everyday job, but through the magic of video games, has the realistic aspects of that job put through the wringer a few times.

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The basic premise of this list is simple: We aren't going to look at examples of video games that portray an occupation in a down-to-earth way like Papers, Please or Euro Truck Simulator. Rather, we are going to look at some of the most over the top and "game-ified" representations of legitimate career paths that the industry has ever chundered up. 

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Alright, it's time to punch that clock!

"}]]]>
300 minutes or less: Fifteen short games worth your time https://www.gameskinny.com/3jcfu/300-minutes-or-less-fifteen-short-games-worth-your-time https://www.gameskinny.com/3jcfu/300-minutes-or-less-fifteen-short-games-worth-your-time Tue, 03 May 2016 05:50:54 -0400 Scott Simpson

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And so that concludes the list of short games worth your time. Hopefully you've seen some of your favorites or found a few new games to add to your wishlist.

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Did I miss out any great, short games? Think a game on the list didn't deserve its place? Don't be shy about it, let us know in the comments below!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/f9f831b2120f1c88df48cb36522a2a38.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/f9f831b2120f1c88df48cb36522a2a38.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"8009","description":"
The Fall
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Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U
Approximate time to finish the main game
: 4 hours

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The Fall is a somewhat strange mix of styles, best described as a side-scrolling point and click puzzle platformer. You have a gun too, and at times you'll need to use it, but it never becomes a central component to the game. Most of the time you'll be using it as a light source rather than a weapon. Although the controls are a tad clunky, they get the job done and don't hamper the experience.

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Where the game really shines is in its story-telling and the daunting atmosphere in which it is set. The Fall tackles the subject of A.I. with a level of intelligence rarely seen in any medium, which is complimented perfectly by the dark, immersive, sci-fi atmosphere of the game. Combine that with clever writing, fantastic character development and some classic, adventure game puzzle solving, and you've got yourself a winner.

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As the first part of an intended trilogy, and after the fantastic way it ends, I'm excited to see where developer Over The Moon go with the forthcoming episodes.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/98daa619efdce4be79e0ea1712fabbdb.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/98daa619efdce4be79e0ea1712fabbdb.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"8135","description":"
Attack Of The Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale
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Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
Approximate time to finish the main game
: 3 hours

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If I was asked to describe Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale in a single word, I would say "pleasant." A simple word for a simple game. There's nothing challenging or taxing about the experience, it's just a peaceful, relaxing jaunt through a sweet, charming tale that perfectly captures the spirit of childhood. There's a very Ghibli vibe going on here.

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The gameplay consists soley of exploring town, talking to people, collecting glims, or playing cards. It's a simple rock, paper, scissors style affair where the victor gets to cast a silly 'spell' (which you can customise the dance to, of course) that will make your opponents fall over.

\n

That's what so great about Attack of the Friday Monsters, the way it shows the world from a child's perspective. Our character, Sohta, notices all the things the adults in his world don't pick up on, and yet, being a child, he can't fully make sense of it all. Of course we as the player know better, and the way it's all presented is what makes Attack of the Friday Monsters shine.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/c16b6cfeacf5ab7a15049eba0ba5b560.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/c16b6cfeacf5ab7a15049eba0ba5b560.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"8008","description":"
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
\n

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4
Approximate time to finish the main game
: 4 hours

\n

I think The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is the first game that actually made me stop playing in awe of the scenic beauty of its game environments just so I could capture a screenshot. Fortunately it has a lot more going for it besides just having gorgeous visuals.

\n

As supernatural detective Paul Prospero, it's your job to piece together the mystery of Ethan Carter's disappearance after the boy in question writes to you for help. That job title doesn't just imply investigation of the supernatural however, as it seems Mr. Prospero has some otherworldy powers of his own. By touching certain objects, you can view its memory of the events surrounding it. You'll then have to place these memories in the correct sequence in order to understand just what took place.

\n

It's a well written and intriguing story with some nice puzzles peppered in between travelling through the game's incredible vistas. The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter actually sums itself up pretty nicely with its opening line:

\n
\n

"This game is a narrative experience that does not hold your hand."

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/767915c32e67e5ee3c3e2dc97c0a072d.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/767915c32e67e5ee3c3e2dc97c0a072d.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"8010","description":"
SteamWorld Dig
\n

Platforms: PC, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One
Approximate time to finish the main game
: 5 hours

\n

By most peoples standards the act of digging would probably be considered a chore, but there's just something about SteamWorld Dig that makes it inexplicably engaging.

\n

Gathering ore provides resources to buy better equipment so you can gather even more ore; it's an oddly satisfying cycle. It's not all digging of course. Set to the backdrop of a robotic western, there's platforming elements and some nifty abilities to help you through them too. Despite the dangers posed by the depths, the game manages to have a relaxing quality about it.

\n

The franchise has since deviated in an unexpected direction with the release of turn-based strategy game SteamWorld Heist, but is by all accounts just as enjoyable.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/86b43796fe1f5d99da6f677481ae398b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/86b43796fe1f5d99da6f677481ae398b.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"8136","description":"
The Beginner's Guide
\n

Platforms: PC
Approximate time to finish the main game
: 1.5 hours

\n

The Beginner's Guide shares a lot of similarities with The Stanley Parable, which makes sense since the former was created by one of the minds behind the latter. Both are clever, unique experiences that have something to say.

\n

With that being said, they're also complete opposites in many ways. The most notable difference comes in their focus. The Beginner's Guide isn't so much about the player but the creator, and you realise that the whole thing is a deeply introspective piece of work for Davey Wreden, who not only made the game, but narrates it. That's also the biggest link between the two games, because one seems to be about the experience of creating the other. That probably doesn't make sense, but it might if you've played them both.

\n

The game hits suprisingly hard, and left me with a heavy weight in my chest; I was still thinking about it for some time after the credits had rolled. Any game that can have that effect is surely worth playing through?

\n

If the game piques your interest I would definitely recommend playing The Stanley Parable first, if you haven't already. I found that as a consequence of playing that game, it affected my decisions in The Beginners Guide; I was always looking for ways to defy the narrator. I'm not sure if this was coincidental or something intended on Wreden's part, but I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/7a15c8852e6f606b5690308f84e3c2f5.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/7a15c8852e6f606b5690308f84e3c2f5.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"8007","description":"
Gunpoint
\n

Platforms: PC
Approximate time to finish the main game
: 3 hours

\n

Gunpoint genuinely surprised me. I went into it expecting nothing more than a side-scrolling version of Hotline Miami, I was wrong. Well, actually I was right, that's pretty much what it is, except it's also steeped in an unexpectedly stylish noir atmosphere, with great writing and an interesting puzzle mechanic embedded into levels.

\n

You see it's not all about bursting through doors and beating guards to a pulp, shortly into the game you'll be introduced to a handy tool called the crosslink. Through it you can rewire electrical components on the same circuit.

\n

Suddenly that motion detector becomes a trigger to open a previously locked door. Suddenly you can fry a guard in one building by flicking a lightswitch in another. It's a great mechanic and adds a further layer of complexity to levels beyond just trying to work out how to knock out a guard before he shoots you in the face.

\n

There's also a pretty good story happening between levels, where you can also purchase upgrades and abilities to take on your next mission. The whole thing is complimented by a wonderfully appropriate soundtrack to round off what is a thoroughly satisfying experience.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/62f5e0302fce6f987fc5bcf482367600.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/62f5e0302fce6f987fc5bcf482367600.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"8006","description":"
Papers, Please
\n

Platforms: PC (a PlayStation Vita version is in the works)
Approximate time to finish the main game
: 4.5 hours

\n

There's flight simulators, walking simulators, and then there's Papers, Please, a dystopian, Soviet Union inspired, immigration desk jockey simulator.

\n

No really, that is the core gameplay mechanic, you check peoples documents, make sure it all checks out, and permit or deny them entry to the fictional country of Arstotzka based on your inspection. That probably doesn't sound like much fun, I'm not sure "fun" is the right word to describe the game, but it is surprisingly rewarding.

\n

Papers, Please isn't just a fancy spot the different though, things get unpredictably hectic as time goes on and more restrictions are put in place. Your desk becomes cluttered by more and more paperwork, all the while you're on the clock to meet quotas, or you may find some of your pay getting docked.

\n

Thats the other side of Papers, Please, if you don't bring home enough money, your family suffers. Not only are you trying to keep them alive, you'll regularly be faced with moral decisions that affect others too. There's a surprising level of depth to be had within what is a strange yet ingeniously simple concept.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/69c314893e9d6b74ef4f62bbc2eac4e5.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/69c314893e9d6b74ef4f62bbc2eac4e5.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"8005","description":"
Super Time Force Ultra
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Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Xbox 360
Approximate time to finish the main game
: 4.5 hours

\n

If you've ever wondered what Cher meant when she sang:

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If I could turn back time
If I could find a way
I would have shot up those red barrells
To blow those pesky enemies away

\n

She was almost definitely talking about Super Time Force Ultra (referred to from this point on as STFU), the souped up version of the already good and previously Xbox exclusive Super Time Force.

\n

You ever played a game where you died and thought, "damn, if only there was 3 more me's to help me out"? Well that's basically what STFU is all about. You run, you shoot, you die, you rewind, you run, you jump, you shoot, you run a little more, you die, you rewind. Throw some characters with unique abilities into the mix, like say, a deployable shield that will protect you, and however many rewinded replica's you have running about that the time, and things get pretty interesting. And chaotic.

\n

The game is a blast and is bursting with humour, plus there's loads of characters to unlock and challenges to complete outside the main story missions. It also has a cool Super Meat Boy-esque end of level replay system where you can rewatch all your many you's unleashing carnage. The best part is, if you happen to be a devoted PS+ member, you should already have access to it.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/35b67080ee8b8cea502332b54e70636f.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/35b67080ee8b8cea502332b54e70636f.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"8012","description":"
Jazzpunk
\n

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4
Approximate time to finish the main game
: 2.5 hours

\n

Jazzpunk has got to be the most ridiculous game I've ever played; it's pure batshit, goofy, insanity. The offbeat humour proves to be the games biggest strength, and possibly the only reason for its existence; it's an undeniably unique experience.

\n

So besides hilarious, what is Jazzpunk? How do I describe it? Ehh... well, you're like this agent guy who has to complete missions, kiss homeless people and engage in pillow fights. Oh, and there's a cat simulator and a wedding themed mini-game parody of Quake. Oh yeah, and the game ends inside a crocodile man's intestines; all pretty standard stuff really.

\n

If you're still confused about what Jazzpunk actually is, maybe this live action trailer for the game will explain it a little better than I can:

\n

\n

That clear it all up for you? Okay, good.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/fd6bb4f5b30a3b68b461ecfaf925f5ba.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/fd6bb4f5b30a3b68b461ecfaf925f5ba.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"8004","description":"
To the Moon
\n

Platforms: PC
Approximate time to finish the main game
: 4 hours

\n

To the Moon is a rare thing indeed, a game that manages, despite its limitations, to evoke genuine emotion in the player. I won't deny, I was a little choked up come the end credits.

\n

Those seeking thrilling gameplay should look elsewhere, To the Moon is very much a story driven experience, but it's a story worth telling. You'll play the role of Dr's Wyatt and Rosaleane, who recreate the memories of dying patients to help them live out experiences they never got to fulfill in life, if only in their minds. Memories are often messy things, however, and it will take a little detective work to piece together this particular patients troubled past.

\n

I'm not sure any amount of writing about it or watching trailers like the one above will do justice the heartfelt experience of actually playing the game.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/2b90edc6a4bf2e9c522e318bf6a272e1.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/2b90edc6a4bf2e9c522e318bf6a272e1.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"8003","description":"
The Stanley Parable
\n

Platform: PC
Approximate time to finish the main game
: ???

\n

The Stanley Parable is another one of those games you're probably already quite familiar with, and if not, to describe it in detail would be to ruin the experience -- and it is an experience.

\n

The game explores the theme of narrative in gaming, and what happens when you decide to break the rules. You can 'beat' the game in 10 minutes, or 15 minutes, or 30 minutes; and yet, 2 hours later, you'll still be playing, you'll still be laughing, and you'll still be discovering new endings.

\n

The Stanley Parable did something different, and it did it by being funny, clever and intriguing. I can only complain about its somewhat hefty price tag, but that's what Steam sales are for, right?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/a85832474e38ca5575887782b051f58e.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/a85832474e38ca5575887782b051f58e.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"8002","description":"
Grow Home
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Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4
Approximate time to finish the main game
: 3 hours

\n

Grow Home isn't your typical gaming experience; your only real enemy is gravity and your only goals are to explore, grow and climb.

\n

As the player, you'll control B.U.D., a procedurally animated robot who, as a result, is a tad clumsy in his movements. You'll have control of his upper limbs, allowing you to climb the stalk of a giant plant which you'll have to grow until it reaches the stars, where your spaceship awaits. You do this by riding offshoots into nearby floating islands, from which the plant will draw energy, allowing it to grow higher.

\n

For all the collectible seekers out there, there's also enough to search for and discover to considerably lengthen your time with Grow Home. There's something incredibly soothing about the whole experience, it's the perfect game for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

\n

A warning though, for my fellow inverted brethren, you either have to invert both axis' (who does that?) or none. As you can imagine, this can lead to some frustration and may confuse your brain when trying to go back to normal afterwards, but it's worth it. There's fewer games that exhibit greater charm than Grow Home.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/157730a4536e90174d128fc73f949c37.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/157730a4536e90174d128fc73f949c37.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"8001","description":"
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
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Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Approximate time to finish the main game
: 4.5 hours

\n

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, as its name suggests, came about as a standalone DLC for Far Cry 3, and was, in my opinion, a lot more fun.

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Blood Dragon basically takes all the best bits from Far Cry 3, drowns it in a gaudy, retro, neon aesthetic, and then ramps up the pace to maximum levels. From the very get-go you'll be obliterating goons with gatling guns and blowing up bases; the carnage is relentless, and it's glorious. Like Far Cry 3, there's also outposts to capture, collectibles to find and such like things, which can extend the game to almost double its length. 

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If you're still not sold, there's a button reserved solely for giving the middle finger, and you get to fight giant neon dinosaurs (sorry, Blood Dragons) that shoot laser beams from their heads, what more do you want?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/7cb73c2872d2c7f0b375276697695e79.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/7cb73c2872d2c7f0b375276697695e79.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"8000","description":"
Freedom Planet
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Platforms: PC, Wii U
Approximate time to finish the main game
: 4.5 hours

\n

Freedom Planet is a love letter to the fast-paced action-platformers of days gone by, i.e. the Sonic game you've been wanting since Sonic & Knuckles that Sega could never deliver.

\n

While the story is pretty standard fare and I can't imagine the cheesy dialogue appealing to many, the gameplay is simply outstanding. Levels have been well designed to facilitate speed, with plenty of alternate routes to deviate along, while boss battles are generally challenging and engaging. There's also several characters to choose from, each with their own little differences, to mix up the action and add some replayability. This is all perfectly complimented by the games beautiful pixel art visuals.

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This has to be one of the best games this genre has to offer, and with a sequel currently in development, it's a series I personally hope to see more of.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/5e66f11491f651ece262e8550dd02db9.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,q_80/v1/gameskinny/5e66f11491f651ece262e8550dd02db9.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"7998","description":"
Portal
\n

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Approximate time to finish the main game
: 3 hours

\n

You already knew it was coming, right? I couldn't very well make the list without it, so I thought I'd get it out of the way early. I doubt Portal is a game that really needs any introduction at this point, but just in case, here's the run down.

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Basically, you have a gun, it makes portals, you solve puzzles by launching yourself and other objects through said portals, and at the end of it all there will be cake. It's pretty hilarious and if you don't enjoy it you probably don't have a soul. Just kidding, kind of.

\n

Amazingly Portal 2 managed to improve upon the game in almost every way, no mean feat. Thankfully this improvement extended to the game's length, which is why it is Portal and not its sequel making an appearance on this list, but both come highly recommended.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/b/e/g/beginners-guide-coda-d0262.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/b/e/g/beginners-guide-coda-d0262.png","type":"slide","id":"110716","description":"

With the hectic pace of the modern world, more and more I hear people say "I don't have time to play video games anymore". A tragic thing indeed. But not every game needs to be a sprawling epic. A lot of games in recent years have been making the most of shorter runtimes, and are often all the better for it.

\n

It should be noted that while there are many rogue-likes that can be finished in this time, most people aren't going to see them through to the end on their first run, so I won't be including any of those.

\n

So without further ado and in no particular order, here's fifteen short games worth playing that won't take you more than 5 hours from start to finish, assuming you're not the completionist sort.

"}]]]>
Video Game Presidents Who Don't Deserve Your Vote https://www.gameskinny.com/jvgb1/video-game-presidents-who-dont-deserve-your-vote https://www.gameskinny.com/jvgb1/video-game-presidents-who-dont-deserve-your-vote Mon, 13 Jul 2015 08:01:38 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

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At the end of the day, there are plenty of examples of video game Presidents who have dropped the ball and serve as a cautious reminder to know who you are voting for. There are candidates who are video game villains after all. You can use this list as a handy dandy checklist to decide whether or not a candidate should receive your vote.

\n

Now then, how about #Ganondorf2016?

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/d/a/1daf3b1de1b558bb28b63a173c68b050.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/d/a/tiny_1daf3b1de1b558bb28b63a173c68b050.jpg","type":"slide","id":"74946","description":"

You, yet again! – Civilization Series

\n

You are impressive. You have made the list a whopping three times! Maybe in this case it isn’t a good thing though…

\n

In a Civilization title, you take the role of some famous leader and attempt to lead your civilization from the Stone Age to the future. While you can win without conquering the world or being aggressive, you will still have to fend off aggressors. Since you have complete power over your people, you can go to war or launch nuclear weapons on a whim. If anything, these titles show the effects one person’s actions can have on the world. The games also serve as a reminder to vote for leaders who aren’t warmongers.

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Looking at you, Ghandi! 

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Arstotzka - Papers, Please

\n

Now the United States is a very different country from the land of Arstotzka portrayed in Papers, Please, but the game can serve as a reminder as to what happens when power and ambitions are left unchecked. You play as an immigration officer who is tasked with controlling the flow of people into the country. What follows are countless rules, difficult decisions to make, and ensuring you make enough money to take care of your family.

\n

While the United States are far from perfect, it’s a safe bet the USA is a better place to live than Arstotzka. Now about those TSA airport scanners…

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/f/7/df73e4b581120870f9133f33b3294642.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/f/7/tiny_df73e4b581120870f9133f33b3294642.jpg","type":"slide","id":"74944","description":"

You, again! - Democracy 3

\n

The Democracy series has allowed players worldwide to take a stab at being a major world leader in a democratic country (Tropico has you dictator lovers covered!). Needless to say, armchair politicians usually fumble things, quite badly at that.

\n

The Steam reviews really summarize the experience that lies in wait when one tries to take the reins of power.               

\n
\n

-Started as America.
-Had huge debt.
-Got rid of hated polices.
-Got out of debt.
-Assassinated for ruining the country.

-Restarted as America.
-Had a bit of debt.
-Got rid of every policy.
-Turned America into a crime ridden place.
-Made lots of money.
-Got re-elected with 100% vote.

10/10 Would ruin the country again.

\n
\n

It makes you appreciate just how difficult running a country can be. 

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The President - Apocalypse

\n

The Apocalypse is already a bad enough situation, but when you have a President who is essentially the devil, things are looking much bleaker. Well in this 1998 release starring Bruce Willis, because why on Earth not, this was the state of affairs our hero found himself in. Bruce can only handle so many things after all, but it turns out he can kill the devil!

\n

Now why was he his character a nanotechnology scientist?

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/f/e/efe59dba48cb914a9c8bc60f68373e6f.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/f/e/tiny_efe59dba48cb914a9c8bc60f68373e6f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"74940","description":"

Noah Grace - Resistance: Fall of Man

\n

Where to start with this gem of a man? Well, Mr. Grace was a devoted person to the cause of an isolated America, limiting access to the rest of the world. He then went on to establish a despotic regime over the USA. He then went on to suppress free speech and the freedom of the press as much as he possibly could. You know, the opposite of what America is about.

\n

As if that wasn’t enough, when Earth was being invaded by the types of extraterrestrials who would rather destroy phones they use them, he tried to get the entire world to surrender to the Chimera in exchange for leaving America alone. What a champ!

\n

Things didn’t work out so well for Grace since he ends up on the wrong end of Nathan Hale’s firearm. Gotta love the delicious irony there! 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/6/7/867a4ee2c0def325eeb314b54069eba6.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/6/7/tiny_867a4ee2c0def325eeb314b54069eba6.png","type":"slide","id":"74939","description":"

Elizabeth Winters - Vanquish

\n

Being the first female President of the United States should be an accomplishment to be proud of, but President Winters run is something we would like to strike from the history books and never think of again. Oh yeah, it is that bad.

\n

During Winters’ presidency, Russian extremists hijack our space colony Providence and use its ridiculous cannon (which it... needed?) to wipe San Francisco from the map. Off to a great start here. Further into the game, it is revealed Winters secretly helped install these extremists into power, intending to betray them later. The Russians being the clever buggers they are hijacked the colony and its ginormous laser as a way to prevent her betrayal.

\n

Great legacy to leave, eh?

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/b/7/fb73f3bce8bbf54c681ebf54cfdff89e.PNG","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/b/7/tiny_fb73f3bce8bbf54c681ebf54cfdff89e.PNG","type":"slide","id":"74937","description":"

President Kriger - Disruptor

\n

Hearkening back to a time when FPS games were still called “Doom clones,” we have Disruptor and the deplorable President Krieger. A former soldier, Krieger isn’t above murdering his friends in order to obtain his goals. As you progress through the game, you realize Krieger was responsible for your father’s death (of course he was), and he plans to dispose of you in a similar manner after you discover his nefarious plans.

\n

Did I mention Krieger has a secret army and a dictatorial grip on America? And he also wants to take over the world or something clichéd like that. Either way, killing your dad and then setting up you and your brother in a similar way is just the sort of thing a wanker is prone to do. What is it with bad guys and the clichés? 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/5/9/359f33522dbe343f6e33608902f33f57.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/5/9/tiny_359f33522dbe343f6e33608902f33f57.jpg","type":"slide","id":"74936","description":"

Max - Sam and Max Save the World

\n

Who doesn’t like a “hyperkinetic rabbity thing” with violent tendencies and is a complete sociopath to boot? Apparently the American people do!  After the current President was revealed to be a robot (by DECAPITATION) used to hypnotize people via television, an impromptu election was held between a robotic Abraham Lincoln and our loveable, furry friend Max.

\n

Sure, Max won the election by meddling with Lincoln’s cue card for his speech. He also represents the Random Violence and Destruction Party. Last but not least, let’s not forget he also came very close to single-handedly destroying our beloved Internet. In spite of all that, he also decided all of the country’s problems could be solved by giant robots and proceeded to build an army.

\n

I like the way he thinks. 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/d/d/0ddcaede0cc13f73c8d6e2847b3a4dcb.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/d/d/tiny_0ddcaede0cc13f73c8d6e2847b3a4dcb.png","type":"slide","id":"74935","description":"

The President and Vice President of Earth - Citizens of Earth

\n

In Citizens of Earth, the player fills the shoes of the Vice President of Earth on the eve of a huge conspiracy and an imminent alien invasion of coffee beans (don’t ask). The VP quickly proves himself to be shallow, self-important, and a few fries short of a Happy Meal.

\n

When the VP isn’t concerning himself with his appearances or the votes he’ll receive, he’s ordering people in his party to battle for him, including his elderly mother and younger brother! The man doesn’t even participate in battles, instead ordering his followers to do his bidding. Way to lead, buddy…

\n

The President isn’t much better as he reveals himself to be a puppet and fights you with his evil chair. (Again, don’t ask). And, of course, the secretary does all of the work for both The President and the Vice President! This less-than-dynamic duo don’t exactly inspire voter confidence in the office…

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/d/5/6d5cf09174fbbcaf2dcfa804d2ba76cb.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/d/5/tiny_6d5cf09174fbbcaf2dcfa804d2ba76cb.jpg","type":"slide","id":"74943","description":"

Metal Gear Solid 2 - President Johnson

\n

Now choosing between George Sears and James Johnson is a tough call. However, Sears was a clone in the first place while Johnson is just a power-hungry man who wants to climb higher in his position of power. He knows who pulls the string and makes no qualms about where all of his “decisions” actually originate. He also helps a rebel group attempting to rid the USA of the shadowy cabal calling the shots. It turns out he only helped in an attempt to gain even more power.

\n

The worst part of his actions though? He goes for the gold and gropes Raiden’s private bits uninvited. This man truly has no shame

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/d/d/add507b7128600dded66f11713084640.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/d/d/tiny_add507b7128600dded66f11713084640.jpg","type":"slide","id":"74938","description":"

You - Saints Row 4

\n

At one point or another, many of us have pondered the possibility of wielding the power of the office of The President. Maybe you thought of all the good you would do or how many people you would help.

\n

In Saints Row 4, you actually play as the Commander in Chief. So how many people did you help? How much good did you actually do? You instead beat little old ladies with a gigantic dildo bat and forced them to dance with the dubstep gun didn’t you? I thought as much.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/4/f/24ffad20ead25f861e02663c9bbc1317.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/4/f/tiny_24ffad20ead25f861e02663c9bbc1317.png","type":"slide","id":"74934","description":"

We are getting to that time of year where people announce their intentions to run for the office of The President of the United States. It seems every couple of weeks we are getting a new announcement regarding another candidate throwing their horse into the race. While deciding who to vote for can be a difficult decision one should not take too lightly, it can be a daunting task to decide which candidate is the most deserving.

\n

With that in mind, I’ve compiled some video game "Presidents" who serve as a reminder to think twice before casting your ballot! 

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Also, some SPOILERS ahead.

"}]]]>
'Papers, Please': EZIC Task Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/ogsll/papers-please-ezic-task-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/ogsll/papers-please-ezic-task-guide Wed, 15 Jul 2015 06:21:13 -0400 K.W. Colyard

No self-respecting Soviet-inspired game would be without its fair share of espionage and intrigue, and Papers, Please isn't an exception. The 32-day story mode narrative is full of dark and tragic events that paint a bleak portrait of people fighting to survive in a tumultuous dictatorship. Controlling a border checkpoint inspector, players must make decisions that determine the fates of NPCs and the inspector alike.

Beginning on Day 8, the inspector encounters an agent of the mysterious Order of the EZIC Star. A player may choose whether to cooperate with the agent or not. Regardless of the player's decision, EZIC plays a large role in the Papers, Please narrative. Because the game makes it almost impossible to know whom to trust, inexperienced players may encounter difficulties in understanding or executing EZIC tasks. To that end, I've assembled this walkthrough to help you navigate the EZIC portion of the Papers, Please story mode.

Days 8 - 10

An EZIC messenger appears, gives the inspector a card, and leaves. The back of the card reads "Corman Drex." Watch out for Corman's name on a passport; the character is randomly generated each playthrough. Give them the card.

In return, Corman will give the inspector a note containing some information about EZIC, which must be read and quickly returned. Upon returning Corman's note, the inspector will receive a cipher.

If the inspector doesn't pass along the EZIC messenger's card to Corman Drex on Day 8, Corman will return on Day 9 and refuse to leave the window until the card has been handed over.

On the day after the inspector turns over the card to Corman, the EZIC messenger appears to give the inspector a decoder to use with Corman's cipher. Lining these items up in the proper positions will reveal two names: Mikhail Saratov and Stepheni Graire.

Day 11

EZIC operant Mikhail Saratov appears at the inspector's window with invalid documentation. Allowing Saratov entry counts as successful completion of the first official EZIC task, and will be noticed, but you shouldn't be penalized unless you've made several other mistakes before he comes along.

If you deny Saratov entry, the EZIC messenger will appear to remind the inspector about the second operative, Stepheni Graire, who appears on Day 14.

Later on, an EZIC agent offers the inspector 1000 credits. This money is automatically accepted; players who do not wish to accept the EZIC gift must uncheck it on the budget screen at the end of the day, which will cause the inspector to burn the cash. Keeping the money will result in the confiscation of the inspector's savings.

Day 12

Ministry of Information Investigator M. Vonel appears and asks the inspector for anything related to EZIC. If the player turns over EZIC documents to M. Vonel, the inspector will be arrested, unlocking Ending 3.

The EZIC agent returns again to offer the inspector a cash gift. This time, the value has doubled, and the agent will give the inspector 2000 credits. Once again, the player may decide whether the inspector should keep the money or burn it at the end of the day. And again, keeping the money will incur the loss of the inspector's savings.

Day 14

Stepheni Graire will appear on Day 14, so be ready. If the inspector accepted the EZIC gift on either Day 11 or Day 12 and denies this operative entrance to Arstotzka, the game will end on Day 15, unlocking Ending 4.

Allowing Stepheni to enter will complete the second EZIC task. Because Stepheni has invalid paperwork, completing this task will earn the inspector a citation.

Day 17

An EZIC messenger appears with a second decoder and a message to allow another Order operative entrance to Arstotzka. The inspector must use the decoder on each passport to find Marie Escalli, the third EZIC operative; Marie's passport will read E-Z-I-C when the player uses the decoder.

Allowing Marie to enter completes the third EZIC task. The inspector will receive a citation, as Marie does not have a valid ID card.

Day 20

The EZIC messenger gives the inspector a packet of poison for Khaled Istom. Touching the powder will instantly kill the inspector. Players wishing to complete the fourth EZIC task should apply the poison to Khaled's passport when he appears.

Allowing the poisoned Khaled to enter Arstotzka will kill both he and a guard. Denying him after he is poisoned will kill Khaled and sicken several bystanders.

Day 23

A man in red will appear on Day 23. If Khaled was allowed to live on Day 20, an EZIC messenger will identify him as the man in red; otherwise, the man goes unnamed. The messenger will provide the inspector with a silver key, which unlocks the sniper rifle in the gun case.

When someone jumps over the fence, the inspector has the opportunity to shoot the man in red. Killing him with the sniper rifle will end the game and unlock Ending 9. Tranquilizing him will end the game and unlock Ending 10. Ignoring the man in red will allow the player's game to continue.

Day 27

An EZIC messenger will ask the inspector to confiscate Kolechian diplomat Kordon Kallo's passport. Taking the passport, allowing Kordon to enter without it, and then handing it over to an EZIC agent will complete the fifth and final EZIC task.

Handing Kordon's passport over to the Order will allow an EZIC operative to impersonate the diplomat. Allowing this operative to enter Arstotzka will earn the inspector a gift of 20 credits.

Day 31

Welcome to the penultimate day of the Papers, Please story mode. If you have completed at least four of the five EZIC tasks, an EZIC messenger will appear today to let the inspector know that the Order plans to attack the border checkpoint today. The inspector will be safe from harm, provided the player does not turn on EZIC during the operation. Allowing EZIC to destroy the wall unscathed will unlock Ending 19. Shooting at least one EZIC agent will unlock Ending 15. 

If the player has completed three EZIC tasks or fewer, the Order will attack both the wall and the inspector's booth. Allowing an agent to destroy the booth will result in instant death, while allowing EZIC to destroy the wall will unlock Ending 13.

The inspector has the opportunity to escape to Obristan on Day 31. Failure to escape or end the game on this day will allow Papers, Please to progress to Day 32, where three endings are available.

Day 32

If the inspector remains in Arstotzka and has completed 1-3 EZIC tasks, the player will unlock Ending 17. If the inspector has not completed any EZIC tasks, Ending 20 and endless mode will unlock. And if the inspector has completed at least four EZIC tasks, Ending 14 will unlock.

There you have it: the guide to EZIC tasks in Papers, Please. Got a question about the game? Leave it in the comments!

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'Papers, Please': Ending Achievement Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/c9r0a/papers-please-ending-achievement-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/c9r0a/papers-please-ending-achievement-guide Fri, 10 Jul 2015 08:47:34 -0400 K.W. Colyard

Developer Lucas Pope's award-winning indie game, Papers, Please, is the pixellated tale of a citizen, newly assigned to work as a border checkpoint inspector, in the fictional - but Soviet-inspired - nation of Arstotzka in 1982.

Each day, the inspector reports to the checkpoint, reviews Arstotzka's ever-changing immigration and travel rules, and attempts to do the job properly. What begins as a straightforward Sovietpunk title soon progresses into a tale of espionage and corruption.

Anxiety sets in quickly: the pay is low and based on how many passports the inspector can process in one day. Because the inspector's expenses are high, the incentive is to deny or allow access to as many people as possible. Too many violations will result in docked wages, however.

The narrative advances at high speeds. Over the course of 32 days, Papers, Please may end in any one of 24 different ways. The 20 official, numbered endings are somewhat cinematic, with narration and full-screen images, while the four unofficial and unnumbered endings are abrupt: resulting from the inspector's death on the job.

Completing five of the official Papers, Please endings will unlock achievements for the player. The following are instructions for obtaining those ending achievements only. This guide assumes some prior knowledge of Papers, Please, including the EZIC tasks and certain NPCs.

Ending 3: Too Honest

This is the easiest and quickest ending to get. Simply hand over any EZIC materials in your possession to M. Vonel on Day 12, and you'll unlock the Too Honest achievement for your trouble.

Ending 9: Hired Rifle

On Day 23, EZIC will create a diversion to provide the inspector with an opportunity to shoot the man in red. Killing him with the sniper rifle unlocks the Hired Rifle achievement.

Ending 18: Snowier Pastures

Ending 18 may be unlocked on Days 29, 30, and 31. The inspector must escape to Obristan with all living family members, meaning players must save enough credits and confiscated passports to get the entire household out of Arstotzka. You will need one passport and 25 credits for each emigrating family member.

Ending 19: Member of the Order

The inspector must successfully complete at least four of the five EZIC tasks and must not interfere with the Day 31 attack. EZIC will reward the inspector's loyalty with a better apartment and a government position, and the Member of the Order achievement will unlock.

Ending 20: Glory to Arstotzka

The inspector must not complete any of the EZIC tasks and must kill or tranquilize both EZIC attackers on Day 31. If the player does not escape to Obristan, the Arstotzkan government will allow the inspector to continue working at the border checkpoint. The Glory to Arstotzka achievement will unlock, and the code for endless mode will become available.

Need more help with Papers, Please? Post your questions in the comments!

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Apple's Rejection of Papers, Please Was a Misunderstanding https://www.gameskinny.com/rhtya/apples-rejection-of-papers-please-was-a-misunderstanding https://www.gameskinny.com/rhtya/apples-rejection-of-papers-please-was-a-misunderstanding Sat, 13 Dec 2014 07:06:17 -0500 Benjamski

Lucas Pope, developer behind award-winning indie game Papers, Please announced on Twitter that the border agent simulation game (trust me, it's way more fun than it sounds) would be coming to iPad on December 10th. He then followed it with the a tweet stating that the game would be censored by Apple:

Papers, Please puts the player in the role of a border agent, accepting or denying entry at the border of a totalitarian governed country in the 1980's, based on a towering pile of bureaucratic policies and procedures. It very effectively highlights and simulates the bleak tedium of the job while also tugging at your empathy strings as it exposes the dehumanization and the degradation that those crossing the borders into such countries are subjected to. One of the features that drives that idea home the most is using the the body scanner to search entrants for contraband. Yes, sometimes you find contraband or weapons. But most of the time you expose their naked bodies only to stamp acceptance on their passports and let them move along.

http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--Uury7gBI--/c_fit,fl_progressive,q_80,w_636/i3vbc0vguu8iapdxex6t.jpg

There has always been an option to turn the nudity off or on, and the above picture shows the same body scan in both settings. Clearly the nudity is crude and somewhat obscured - it certainly isnt pornographic or sensual in any way. While the feature can be toggled by the user, I always had the impression that it was very purposefully left to the player to decide and force them to really think about they felt using the body scans on the entrants.

After a small but not so quiet outcry in response the censorship, and within a day later, Pope tweeted again saying that it was a misunderstanding and that the game was being resubmitted with the nudity option intact and defaulted as off.

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Papers, Please Coming to iPad, not iPhone Devices https://www.gameskinny.com/sfh52/papers-please-coming-to-ipad-not-iphone-devices https://www.gameskinny.com/sfh52/papers-please-coming-to-ipad-not-iphone-devices Thu, 11 Dec 2014 18:51:26 -0500 Brian Spaen

The critically acclaimed indie puzzle game Papers, Please is making its debut on iPad on December 12th.

Originally released last August, Papers, Please became very popular among the gaming community with general high praise. It received an aggregated score of 81.95 percent at GameRankings and 85 out of 100 at Metacritic. Because of the popularity, it's being ported over to other platforms.

Papers, Please was released on Linux in February. There hasn't been a release date set for the PlayStation Vita version, but a port was announced for the handheld in August. It's unknown whether an Android version will come out, but developer Lucas Pope hasn't "ruled it out."

A reason that the game is only for the iPad is because the developer didn't believe there was enough real estate on the iPhone to play the game. He tweeted out that it was "tight even on the iPad mini." If that's true, it should be interesting to see how the Vita version is implemented.

The iPad version of Papers, Please will be just like the PC version except nudity will be censored. 

Those interested in picking up the game on iPad shouldn't wait. It will be available this weekend at the special launch price of $5.99 before it reaches the retail price of $7.99.

Image credit: Rooster Teeth

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Papers, Please Review https://www.gameskinny.com/mbhsw/papers-please-review https://www.gameskinny.com/mbhsw/papers-please-review Mon, 18 Aug 2014 03:53:03 -0400 Nathan Staples

Has there ever been a game that sounded so unappealing to you that when, by recommendation or by chance, you play it and you fall head over heels in love with it? That's exactly how I'd describe Papers, Please to someone that is reluctant to play this addictive, exciting game about checking people's passports.

I'm serious, this game is unbelievable.

In Papers, Please, you play as a border controller for the "glorious" fictional nation of Artstotska. It is your mission to decide whether people are allowed to enter the country or not and you are free to either follow the rules, try and allow an outside group to take over or do cause chaos if you really wanted to.

The game is a mix of pixelated graphics, dull colours and text boxes, yet it works beautifully because it feels individual to Papers, Please. All of them were purposeful design choices that fit so snugly within the faux-Eastern European/Communist aesthetic, everything seems to be done for a reason and it just helps engross you in the experience.

Checking people's paperwork is strangely entertaining

As for the actual gameplay, it's very different to anything you might have played before. Your work as border patrol sees you looking at people's passports and various documentation, checking they match up with the rulebook or what you can see and deciding whether they can enter the country or not.

As you progress through the days, the more documents and various changing rules come in to play. It starts with foreigners need an entry ticket, which changes to a permit, then residents need ID cards, then if a foreigner wants a job they need another paper, then they also need ID supplements before an epidemic includes medical forms and so forth. It adds to the challenge, the speed that you can process people before the end of the day and it keeps things interesting, you never want to miss that one bit of information.

The more people you see to, the more money you get to pay for food, heat, shelter and medicine for your family so you're incentivized to improve processing people through so that you can gain new perks and new accommodations. Why is that an incentive? well should you lose family members you could end up with entirely different endings.

There are 20 different endings in the game that range from committing too many mistakes too often, to killing guards or attempting to overthrow the government. You never really get the same playthrough each time you play, it's interesting to try and find the alternative endings and one of them grants you access to the endless mode.

Are you "really" sure you're a woman?

There are a few complaints, but even then they are fairly nit-picky. On occasion when you question someone's gender on first look then you are told by the inspection system it's matching can be odd, especially when the face animation has a beard and it's a woman. Also, the fact that perks to slightly speed up your job are tied to money can restrict gameplay if you're going for a certain ending and the advantage isn't enough to warrant the expense.

However, considering all the above, I don't think there is a game that is so addictive so quickly. You feel a great sense of pride when you get a perfect day or when you prove someone wrong, it becomes that kind of drug that keeps bringing you back to find that other ending or earning that other nation's coin.

Even if you have your doubts, pick up this game. It's only for PC, it regularly comes up on their sales but it's also available right now on Steam in the UK for just £7.99/$9.99 USD, and you will not regret it. This is a real gem that everyone should experience for its complete and unashamed uniqueness.

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Greenlight: Is There an Ideal Entry Model for Indie Developers? https://www.gameskinny.com/3m004/greenlight-is-there-an-ideal-entry-model-for-indie-developers https://www.gameskinny.com/3m004/greenlight-is-there-an-ideal-entry-model-for-indie-developers Thu, 03 Apr 2014 08:00:48 -0400 NorthwestGamer

For those who have still not heard the news yet, Valve announced back in January that they want to discontinue the Steam Greenlight service. Greenlight was a service that Valve announced back in summer of 2012 as a method of giving new developers a chance to get on the main Steam Store.

How Does Greenlight Work?

When a developer gets their game posted on Greenlight, users have the chance to vote on whether they would buy that game. Steam then keeps a progress tracker — which is hidden to users but visible to the developer — showing how close they are to getting their game published to the store.World of tanks

Many of the games that succeeded on Greenlight have gone on to be successful games, including 7 Days to DieGiana Sisters: Twisted DreamsKingdom RushDead Trigger, Euro Truck Simulator 2, and more. This may seem like an ideal model, so why is it being shut down? Regardless of the successful games, Greenlight has its flaws.

Why Greenlight is Leaving

Greenlight has brought some great content to Steam, but those great games could have been discovered other ways. One of the things about PC gaming is that games can come from anywhere, not just Steam, Origin, or any other gaming hub. They can come from normal old websites like Kickstarter.

This is currently the most natural way of indie developers getting their games known, it worked for Notch with Minecraft. The problem is, as many of you know, the Internet is a very overpopulated service. It's not easy to just go out and find something like Minecraft unless the website spreads via word of mouth. This usually occurs when a game manages to make it on a gaming news publication, such as IGN, PC Gamer, or GameSpot.

The same thing has happened with Steam's Greenlight. Even though there were all these successful games, there are also many games that became Greenlit and did not succeed, such as Dragons and Titans. Even though all these people said they would buy it, it went on to receive a 44 from PC Gamer, a 3.0 from Gamespot, and just did not do well.

Now, as these games don't live up to their success on Greenlight, the Steam Store is being saturated by games that shouldn't have necessarily made it. So this leads us to the key question.

What is the alternative?

That is exactly what I want to know, and I am sure many of you want to know, too. Regardless of the downfalls of Greenlight, it did work in bringing games to the people who may have failed otherwise. So do we raise the required votes it takes to succeed on Greenlight?

Valve could have possibly made that move, but they have seemed pretty clear that they will not give Greenlight another chance; it has to go. For now, Greenlight is still around, but indefinitely. The greatest tool now for new indie developers is networking; countless successful indie developers mentioned networking in Q&A columns from the recent GDC. 

So for all of you who are just starting out in the world of developing, spread your name. Don't be afraid to market yourself and let as many people know as possible--you never know when you will find your game in the news section. Notch went from developing in his free time to having money pouring in before he had a chance to realize what was going on... and it could happen to you to.

Also, for all those who think they have an idea for the alternative to Greenlight, let's hear it! You just might be on to something.

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Our BAFTA Games Awards Predictions: GTAV https://www.gameskinny.com/4wbp6/our-bafta-games-awards-predictions-gtav https://www.gameskinny.com/4wbp6/our-bafta-games-awards-predictions-gtav Fri, 21 Feb 2014 00:46:07 -0500 Destrolyn.Bechgeddig

It’s almost time for one of the biggest games awards in the industry, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Games Awards. This prestigious organisation, who also host one of the world’s most prestigious film awards outside of the Oscars, started recognising achievement in video games in its own separate ceremony in 2003. 

This year’s list of nominations don’t really contain many surprises, as 2013 was a stupendous year for video games. But this also means that almost all categories are tightly contested, and trying to predict a winner in each will be tricky. However, we’re going to predicted which awards Grand Theft Auto V (GTAV) might and might not win.

This game has swept up awards across the globe, and there’s no real reason it shouldn’t also do so here, especially as it has raked in no less than NINE nominations.

What It Should Win 

Best Game in 2014

http://www.rockstargames.com/V/It will be very surprising if GTAV doesn’t win this. Yes, there’s some very stiff competition from the likes of The Last of Us and Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, but the financial figures and metacritic scores unequivocally makes this the most successful game of all time. 

Action & Adventure

Again, for this is almost a shoe-in for Rockstar’s masterpiece for the same reasons it’s likely to win Best Game in 2014. 

Best British Game in 2014

Despite the series revelling in hallmark American gangster culture, it often surprises everyone that the game is actually 100% British. It’s a shame to see other great British games like Tearaway and LEGO Marvel Superheroes lose out in this category, but what chance do they have? 

What It Might Not Win 

Game Innovation

http://tearaway.mediamolecule.com/This isn’t to say that GTAV isn’t at all innovative. The ability to switch between protagonists at any point between missions, to join them in whatever they might be doing, was something definitely different to how mainstream titles have dealt with character development and narrative progression. 

However, games such as Tearaway made more marked achievements in experimenting with controls and interface. Furthermore, Papers, Please, in its bold remit of being a harsh and unwieldy document simulator, has become one of the most absorbing and surprising games of last year, and therefore most likely to win this category. 

Multiplayer

Multiplayer has been a great addition to GTAV, but it’s not its star quality. When you pit it against the hotly anticipated Dota 2 and the runaway success of World of Tanks, it just doesn’t stack up. 

Story in 2014

http://en.wikipedia.org/Again, whilst GTAV’s story is great, there are just some games that have done much better. The Last of Us is undoubtedly one of the strongest contenders in this category, with its gripping character development and brutally down to earth take of the old hatchet that is zombie survival horror games. 

However, we think that it’s the indie underdogs that might just clinch the prize. Davey Wreden’s unforgiving and sardonic The Stanley Parable was groundbreaking in sending up game design as well as the entire industry. Whilst Gone Home was also groundbreaking for it’s complete lack of linear narrative, with the game experience relying solely on exploration of back story.

Performer in 2014

Kevan BrightingThis is most difficult category to predict. But what we will say is that GTAV's Steven Ogg, who voiced Trevor Phillips, is probably the least likely to pick up this award. When you're up against The Narrator from The Stanley Parable (Kevan Brighting, pictured), Jodie from Beyond: Two Souls (Ellen Page), Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite (Courtnee Draper), and both Joel and and Ellie from The Last of Us (Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson), you've not got much of a chance.

For a full list of nominations for the BAFTA Games Awards 2014, visit http://awards.bafta.org/award/2014/games.

For more information about GTAV, visit www.rockstargames.com/V.

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5 PC Indie Games of 2013 You Should Play ASAP https://www.gameskinny.com/8uzg0/5-pc-indie-games-of-2013-you-should-play-asap https://www.gameskinny.com/8uzg0/5-pc-indie-games-of-2013-you-should-play-asap Tue, 12 Nov 2013 16:38:56 -0500 Destrolyn.Bechgeddig

Having talked about where the indie genre will potentially go in the future, with 2013 coming to a close I thought it would be great to look back at some of the best indie games of this year.

Kentucky Route Zero

This masterpiece of narrative experimentation is absolutely haunting, getting a near perfect score from me back in August. Providing the player with several unique and inventive ways of story-telling aurally, visually, and textually, the game also boasts some wonderfully beguiling artwork and a haunting musical score. It's a shame that since January we've only seen two of the five planned acts get released. But right now, these two parts alone provide plenty of top-notch playtime.

Despite technically being incomplete, it's well worth the price-tag, especially if you pay upfront to automatically receive the remaining acts. Don't forget to also take in the standalone demo, Limits & Demonstrations, too.

Papers, Please

This 8-bit style game is one of the most surprising concepts for a simulation yet: you play border guard in a Soviet-esque country in the 1980s. It involves checking visas and documents to approve people to enter the fictional country of Arstotzka in order to make a wage and support your family. But monotony quickly turns to mania as the process gets more and more complicated as the country's foreign politics deteriorate, and you're forced to consider bureaucratic corruption as a viable income source. One of most stressful but addictive games I've ever played, earning it 9/10 from me.

Sir, You Are Being Hunted

Survival horror games have become so numerous that they're almost banal. Gothic supernatural settings have lost their creep-factor, and zombies just aren't scary as they shamble about in the same manner they always do.

Cue Big Robot's antidote and fresh injection of sheer terror into the tired genre, as you're faced with surviving being chased by merciless British tweed-clad killer robots. The concept may certainly be more than a little left-of-centre, but it doesn't take long before you find yourself in a cold sweat with your heartbeat racing every time you hear the digital chirping of your nearby enemies.

Having almost no weapons to fight back with, bar the odd and often ineffectual dropped pistol, it's duck, cover, and run like f*** through a procedurally generated environment, which means you're always being kept on your toes. Indeed, it shredded my nerves so much that we awarded it "Best Indie Game" of the Eurogamer Expo 2013!

The game is still undergoing its paid playable alpha, but even in its current state it's a fiendish and terrifying game that flies in the face of the unoriginal. People with heart-conditions should definitely avoid it, though.

The Stanley Parable

Whilst Kentucky Route Zero excels in exploring in-game narrative techniques, misanthropic developer Davey Wreden is hell-bent on tearing these apart. Extremely metaphysical, intelligent, and depressing, it hits you in the face like a conceptual concrete breeze block, making you completely reconsider everything you thought you knew about gaming.

But that doesn't mean you won't have fun along the way. The game's sense of humour is as hilarious as its message is devastating. British voice-over artist, Kevan Brighting, also gives a spectacular and cult-worthy performance as the game's narrator, complimenting the game's maniacal and unsettling tone down to a T. All in all, it got rated 8/10 by me.

Be sure to also download and play the free stand-alone demo too for a further incredibly funny send-up of the game's industry.

Surgeon Simulator 2013

This year saw another straight out of left field concept that worked wonders. Imagine you had a stupid-hand. Now imagine you're tasked with using said hand to do a heart, brain, or kidney transplant. Now, expect mayhem.

Born out of Global Game Jam-induced insomnia, this messy, colourful, and ridiculous game has become a runaway success that even the developers themselves couldn't quite fathom when we spoke to them at Eurogamer Expo 2013. Sitting somewhere between classic board-game Operation and Qwop, it's a rib-tickling and rib-smashing frenzy like no other.

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Review: Papers, Please https://www.gameskinny.com/80xgp/review-papers-please https://www.gameskinny.com/80xgp/review-papers-please Sun, 11 Aug 2013 16:24:39 -0400 Destrolyn.Bechgeddig

Job Description

If someone had come up to you and asked if you fancied playing a simulation game where you're a border control guard in a fictional Soviet-esque autocracy in the early 1980s, processing the endless passports and work permits of the downtrodden masses, you'd be forgiven for going "WTF?" Yet game designer Lucas Pope has done just this and Papers, Please is a game that you should overlook at your own risk, even managing to make it onto our five top indie games of 2013.

Overview of duties

The entire game is pretty simple, from its retrograde graphics and 8-bit Eastern Block stomping soundtrack to the gameplay concept itself: you check over people's documents in accordance to the rules over, and over, and over again until the work day has ended. The first game day is incredibly innocuous, and in fact, a little boring. But it doesn't take long for the narrative to really kick in and make this the "dystopian document thriller" it's billed as. 

Not only do you have to be good at your job, you also have to make sure your family are heated, fed, and healthy as they can be on your menial wages. There's also a smorgasbord of subplots from terrorist attacks, sectarian underground uprisings, to government corruption that thicken as time goose-steps on. As each plot-point plays out, the more complex your job is and the more perilous your family's condition is.

Employee must be able to work under stressful conditions

The genius of this game is how manic it becomes, as the crux is that you get paid per applicant processed: not a set wage. Therefore you need to get through as many people as possible per day. But as the criteria for getting into Arstotzka becomes more complex, the difficulty in making the moolah you so desperately need ramps up quickly. Soon, you're taking bribes left, right, and centre, and sending hapless innocents to gruesome fates, all for the sake of cash and self-preservation.

Employee must have a keen attention to detail

Pope is a game designer who knows that God is really in the detail, and this really marks him out in a world where a swathe of 8-bit style indie games have become a banal nuisance and not a nostalgic tick.

Everything about the game is deliberate. For example, the convoluted way you drag and click your way around the user interface just seems like unintuitive and clunky design at first. But you quickly realise that it's meant to be this troublesome, and you'll soon be begging to afford those booth upgrades that will help you process people with a fraction more speed.

The game's scope for replay is excellent. Very much like the choose-your-own-adventure novels that some may remember from their youths, there are many main plot and sub-plot choices that can ultimately lead you to an abrupt dead-end, or have a dramatic effect on the game's direction and outcome. It's a novelty that will keep you coming back to contrive a different possible ending from a grand total of 20.

Summary of benefits

The only things that don't make this game perfect is that it's difficulty is frustrating. Your job becomes so much to take in you'll start getting it wrong more often than not, which can cause a Game Over quicker than you can say, "Glory to Arstotzka!" Not to mention it's political message is pitched a little at high-school level ("boo" to bureaucracy and governmental corruption).

To say it's "fun" would be a lie. In fact, it's less of a video game and more of a work-related nervous breakdown. You'll find yourself having an anxiety attack after every applicant you deal with just in case you have managed to miss a microscopic discrepancy that will mean your pay will get docked, or worse, you enrage a dangerous resistance group.

But somehow, despite the stress and the grind of the gameplay itself, you're somehow hooked on plouging through the distress as this underdog literally on the fringes of an unstable autocracy. The narrative may well be intriguing, but this experience is unlike anything you're likely to have played before and really sticks.

A twisted mash of narrative and simulation, this is perfect for those with a glutton for punishment. But for everyone else, it's a strange and oddly engrossing experience.

Papers, Please is available on Steam and various other clients. For more information about the game, visit http://papersplea.se.

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Review of Papers Please! https://www.gameskinny.com/fh19e/review-of-papers-please https://www.gameskinny.com/fh19e/review-of-papers-please Tue, 30 Apr 2013 09:53:39 -0400 Jeremy

Glory To Arstotzka!

Hail and well met, fellow Arstotzka citizen! Today, we shall review game brought to us by Arstotkan government official, Lucas Pope! You say name not sound Arstotzkan? You sound like Kolechian scum my friend, please do not say such things again! I would hate to be forced to remove you from glorious motherland.

OK, enough with the weird accent. So, Papers, Please is a game currently being made by one Lucas Pope. Currently in its Alpha state, Papers, Please takes place in the fictional country of Arstotzka, obviously modeled after the many breakaway countries from the U.S.S.R. Players take the role of a government worker, hired to work the country's first re-opened border crossing.

While playing, you have to pay attention to multiple things. Passports need to be verified and current, issued from specific cities, and must match the person in questions basic physical characteristics. Later on, things will get more difficult. Finger-prints must be taken, strip searches performed, and work visas will come into play. And to make things more complicated, each verified entry or denial earns the character money. This money is used to pay bills, such as rent, heating and food.  If you can't pay them, your family members will become ill!

This is one of those games that really likes to ramp up the difficulty very quickly, giving the player more tools and tasks as time goes on. But there's a bit of a message in the game about the quality of life in such a place, performing such a task. Special events will occur. Do you detain a "convicted killer"? Do you turn a man's wife away due to lack of proper papers, even if it means her death? The dystopian feel evoked is sure to make one's stamp hand unsteady.

You will come to both love and hate this man as your time through the game progresses.

Personally, I give the game 8 out of 10. A couple of things can be hard to grasp so quickly by someone not familiar with such estoeric games. But other than that it's a solid indie title, that does what so many others fail to do. Get out a message, but keep the gameplay fun and enjoyable.

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Papers, Please - Document Approving Simulator https://www.gameskinny.com/m3fiv/papers-please-document-approving-simulator https://www.gameskinny.com/m3fiv/papers-please-document-approving-simulator Tue, 30 Apr 2013 05:42:58 -0400 Rawax

I like experimental games. They are keeping the gaming industry fresh and they bring some new ideas. I added Papers, Please to my list recently. What is this game all about? The short answer would be "a game where you decide whether or not to let people into your country." This sounds pretty boring, but let me give you the long answer as well.

You are responsible for letting people into the fake communist state of Arstotzka. If they have a reason for entering the country, you let them in. And you get paid for it. If they have the wrong passport, wrong data or even if they are missing some important papers, you deny them. But be careful. Even though some people have all the papers, they might be terrorists with bomb strapped to their backs. You can ask them questions to check what they say with what the document says. You can even scan them for contraband.

You are not just sitting there all day long making people angry. You have to make money to keep your family fed, healthy and warm. The more people you let in, the more money you earn. But if you make more than two mistakes you will be penalized. So you have to be quick and check for all details. The game starts slowly but gets progressively harder after each day.

This is not a review. It is not fair to review a game in beta. So if you are interested and would you like to try it for yourself, you can. It is free for now. Just head to dukope.com and download beta of this game.

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