Digging Out: Pictures of My Time With Nemo

All is sunny skies and near-balmy temperatures today as we of the East Coast tunnel our way out of the impressive snow mass left behind by Nemo. I’m still having some issues with power/internet service flickering in and out; sorry this is the first update! Here are a few pictures from my neck of the woods in the metro-Boston locale:

Superstorm Nemo, East Coast

Just a few hours into the storm.

Boston and its outlying lands have a strange reverence in the way large snowfall is dealt with; so as not to disrupt this heavenly mana, the city crews sneak their plows and shovels through to create one-lane walkways and roadways (regardless of the fact that many streets are four lanes across and the downtown area depends on pedestrian-style commutes.) Snow isn’t blown, or machine-melted, but instead carefully piled on the sides of walks, median strips, and breakdown lanes to make for an admittedly delightful Narnia-esque ridges taller than myself. (I’m 5’6″. Luckily–five years ago on the 21st of this month!–I fell in love with a handsome, long-legged beastie who canters around at 6’3″. He has been the one sent out on food scrounging missions, which have been fairly successful.)

The aftermath (in the rain, of all things.)

The aftermath (in an all day rainstorm, of all things.)

Glad we don't have a car; maneuvers like this were never my navigational niche.

Glad we don’t have a car like our neighbors here; maneuvers like this were never my navigational niche.

We were very lucky to keep our heat through most of the ordeal. The wind was phenomenal and coated the windows on every side of the house with ice and snow, effectively cocooning our abode. It was a little tense with the unpredictable power, but as you’ll see in this final and shameless photo, our cat was none-too-bothered. She ousted me from the living room recliner, invited her stuffed bunny to join her (she spent her kitten year alongside our late rabbit, Bun Bun Cinna-bun, esq.) and spent the rest of the night not giving a fuck. Hope all you folks in the area fared as well as we! I’ll be back to the horror and the video games right quick.

cat, fiddlesticks, bunny, storm Nemo, east coast

No prahblems heah, kid.


Superstorm Nemo Cometh

Just wanted to hold out the lantern to my fellow Bostonians and other East Coast dwellers: be careful out there! If the power stays on, you can bet that games will be played and horror films watched. As the wind howls, I find myself nostalgic for my VHS double tape copy of Stephen King’s The Storm of the Century…

For Fun! 6 Free Online Games Worth Playing

After playing Westerado, I was inspired to look around at other freeware available online. I got promptly sucked in and lost; that’s why I’ve been silent for a while. But I crawled back here and have some gems to share with you fine folks, because surely you have just as much free time to muck about playing games as I do. Surely.

First, I stopped by The Escapist Magazine to play some of the innovative Indie Speed Run submissions (developers have 48 hours to create a game.) Some games have to be downloaded, and an inordinate amount of the games seemed to revolve around frogs, hippos, or gnomes… Here were two that really stood out to me:

1.) You Can Take It With You (play it hereseemed simple and easy to dismiss at first, but I found myself playing again and again. It’s an Egyptian-themed sidescroller following your character from birth to death and then through the afterlife. It’s a game based on choices, given to you at intervals about your life’s path and also in which items you choose to pick up/fit in your inventory. Everything you do affects some aspect in both this life and next, and there are multiple ways to deal with obstacles. It was created by the group aBadIdea. 

You Can Take It With You - Copy

2.) Game Evolution In a Briefcase (play it hereis a lifelong gamer’s homage to games. The music is beautiful, the references are delightful, and the whole game has a stand-out style. Made up of several mini-games, each one a variation on a classic epoch video game, this submission by Pixels in Trouble is worth your time.

Game Evolution in a Briefcase

After an abyssal side quest into the world of horror point-and-click (I’m a sucker for those cheap scares, can’t be helped!) I ended up with a shiny free Newgrounds.com account and I’ve been medal hunting ever since. Frankly it’s a miracle that I peeled away long enough to make this compilation *Note-visit the game pages to find out more about the creators. It would be a pickle to link them all, as the site allows developers to individually credit all members of production.*! Here are a few of my absolute favorites:

3.) The Outsider (play it here) was a Newgrounds Game Jam submission, made in 3 days, and doesn’t suffer for it. Based on the H.P. Lovecraft story by the same name, this is a dark, melancholy point-and-click that manages to pack in an impressive amount of stylistic artwork and emotional impact. Despite the short playthrough, this one stuck with me after I finished the final frame.

The Outsider, H.P. Lovecraft, point-and-click, video games

Ah, when video games and the dark embrace of the macabre collide!

4.) dys4ia (play it here) is as pixel-y simplistic as games come, but resonated with me for a few reasons. It was a game created specifically to depict an interactive narrative about the experience of undergoing hormone therapy. It’s raw and honest, honorably personal, and though it is not my experience in life I do have several friends who are/have gone through the situations in the game. No one likes to face sensitive, emotionally hard times alone. This game is out there to remind people that they aren’t. (It makes me want to learn how to make games to share some portions of my narrative, if only to externally address pockets of my memories that are still hurt and confused about things.)

dys4ia (Anna Anthropy)

5.) The Rose is Blooming (play it here) is a maddeningly cool zombie-survival game. Rather than following the hoards of “defend your _____ ” shooters, this game is a turn-based, resource calculating exploration. You have to choose your next moves carefully, think ahead, and in the end depend on luck to survive as many days as you can. (I believe my longest run was around 550, but that took a lot of doing.) The longer you survive, the worse your luck gets. In its own way, this game does a great job structuring an environment of anxiety and excitement that is more natural to an end-of-the-world scenario than picking up a double barrel shotgun to blast away throngs of line-walking zombies.

The Rose is Blooming, newgrounds.com, survival game

Lookin’ all badass with my food n’ riot shield n’ such

6.) Memohuntress (play it here) is by far my favorite game so far. It won’t be for everyone, but you’ll have to decide for yourself. This is a point-and-click item-finder game that puts Where’s Waldo? to utter shame. The artwork is stunning to say the least, and the careful crafting that went into making the environment’s layered geography still impresses me after my third playthrough. The back story for the protagonist isn’t the main focus but still manages an emotional impact all the same. And, wow, the music! The only downside is that it can be a little laggy, but adjusting the game quality seems to do the trick. Just, really, try this one out. It’s a worthwhile way to lose yourself for 45 minutes or so to a richly beautiful world.

Memohuntress, point-and-click, newgrounds.com