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The very definition of breadth over depth.
This review contais ALL OF THE SPOILERS.

In Maquette, the debut game from San Francisco-based studio Graceful Decay and, perhaps more importantly, the latest release on a stellar run by indie publisher extraordinaire Annapurna Interactive, you solve weird and creative recursion puzzles while discovering the story of a coffee-shop-born “perfect relationship” between protagonist Michael and his girlfriend Kenzie.

Although perfectly cute and romantic at the start, it’s clear by the narration that the relationship has ended. All that’s left for the player to discover is how it ended, why, and how’s everyone hanging after the break-up. This is the main narrative driver here.

And, if you’ll forgive…

In 2007, as a nice surprise for people who bought their Orange Box bundle, Valve bundled Portal: a short game, full of great ideas executed perfectly, accompanying a larger product as a deal-sweetener for people who might have already played the main parts of the bundle. Bowser’s Fury is similar to that, but I wouldn’t say what it accomplishes is nearly as impressive in 2021 as it was back then.

As a game in itself, Bowser’s Fury is competent, creative, and fun, but I feel the need to prepend each of these adjectives with the word “moderately”.

Moderately competent, because…

Yesterday I made to 35 years old, and there’s really just one gift I can really strive to give myself: a better year than my 34th.

I did not have an entirely terrible year. All things considered, in fact, I was incredibly fortunate during this virulent year: my job was already remote, and I was able to move to a much more comfortable place, trading for the first time in my life “shitty and cheap, but good location” for “can’t walk anywhere, but comfortable”.

But my relationship with myself has been deteriorating. I haven’t felt this weak, this anxious, this…

Took me long enough, but I finally played enough games for a second batch. (Here’s the first one, if you missed it.) And speaking of things taking a long time… man, I played a heck of a lot of some of the games on this list.

Apple Arcade has been proving time and time again how great of a value it brings to someone who values well-thought-out experiences in games. Even if I absolutely adore my Nintendo Switch and have a bunch of unplayed grade-A games installed on it (Astral Chain, Fire Emblem Three Houses, Untitled Goose Game…), I kept…

I had an idea in the shower the other day. Unlike most shower ideas, I put this one in practice. And I’m glad I did, as my work-life balance has never been better. All thanks to “this one weird trick.” (Traditional workplaces hate him!)

  • In my personal life: I’m writing more, reading more, consuming less social media, exercising more, and getting better sleep. I’m even procrastinating less on those pesky top-left tasks on the Eisenhower Matrix! It’s beautiful.
  • In my work life: I’m measurably more productive, less stressed, and I feel like the quality of my output has improved. …

Apple Arcade is here, and it’s so incredibly exciting to me that I couldn’t even write a coherent article about the service itself. I tried, but it was too messy, too rambly, too starstruck. In short:

  • I love it.
  • I think it can, and probably will, represent a renaissance for mobile gaming.
  • I believe it has the potential to start including Apple in the same gaming conversations that today feature only Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft.
  • I really love it.

So, with that out of the way (for now?), let’s talk games?

I went to café with huge internet speeds and…

Faz cerca de dois anos que eu comprei um par de AirPods, o fone de ouvido todo high tech da Apple. E, olha, eles são realmente maravilhosos: leves, com som bastante respeitável, bem mais rápidos do que outros fones Bluetooth pra conectar, desconectar e alternar entre dispositivos, boa autonomia de bateria, tempo de recarga insanamente rápido… entre outras qualidades.

The Witness is Jonathan Blow’s 2016 magnum opus, a puzzle game that should be dissected in art and game design classes for years to come. But because it is ostensibly about discovering what it is about, you can imagine how hard it is to recommend it to other people.

— Man, you gotta play this game, it’s my favorite.
— What is it about?
— Well… The game is about figuring out what the game is about.
— Huh.

In The Witness, you complete line puzzles over and over in much the same way as meditation practitioner seeks illumination…

To lose someone is to be condemned to a lifelong series of bitter firsts.

The first couple of friends you didn’t see getting married. The first World Cup or Super Bowl, the first new Nintendo console, new Zelda, new Mario. The first borderline fascist authoritarian rising to power in your country. Every time I’m seeing, doing, or experiencing something you would, but won’t.

Again I was reminded of a new first today, as I saw The Raconteurs had released a couple of new songs, for the first time in almost 10 years. And, man, are they kick-ass. …

It’s been a long time since the first time I decided I was going to keep a journal.

The internet had done a pretty amazing job of convincing me that, along all sorts of other benefits, journaling was supposed to make my writing better, improve how I see myself in the present by comparing to how I was in the past, to be a lasting legacy so my kids/friends/family/future loved ones could have a window into my life story if they so choose.

And I can see all these reasons very clearly. I’m on board. …

Fabio Bracht

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