Back to the Future: The Game – Ep1 "It's About Time"


Back to the Future The Game... If you just spent three movies traveling to the past, present, and future to cultivate the perfect life for yourself and your family, would you risk it all to save a friend? Would you risk not only the existence you know but also your actual existence?

That philosophical brain teaser is how Telltale Games kicks off Back to the Future episode 1, “It’s About Time.”

Six months after the events of Back to the Future Part III, the DeLorean Time Machine mysteriously returns to Hill Valley… Driverless! 

While that sounds super heavy, it’s actually more in line with the tone of the movies. These issues could be deep and disturbing but they’re handled with shrugs, side-eye, and chuckles.
Why am I seven years late for this game? Because I wasn’t really interested until it was free on Xbox as part of Games with Gold. As my grandma use to say, “If it’s free, it’s for me.” Continue reading “Back to the Future: The Game – Ep1 "It's About Time"”

Netflix's 'The Punisher'

The new Punisher series picks up a little while after the end of Daredevil season 2.

Frank Castle hunts down the last of the Hell’s Kitchen gang members who thought they escaped his violent cleansing. Satisfied with his work as a well-armed reward for bad behavior being done, Frank redubs himself, Pete Castiglione.
Pete is a very quiet, very focused construction worker. He has to be because every time he lets his mind wander even slightly he’s confronted with the memory of his family being murdered. These flashbacks aren’t annoying in the way that flashbacks typically are. Instead of filling in holes in storytelling or character development, these really build up the character’s development and add dimension to the story. The flashbacks are, in a way, an additional character. They are the Frank the audience never got to meet and the Frank The Punisher never got to be. Continue reading “Netflix's 'The Punisher'”

Being Black in Video Games

Being Black in real life isn’t super easy. Sure you always have company whenever you go shopping, even if you started alone. You’re more likely to have a living will or healthcare proxy (at least you should). Because Black folks are dropping dead like it’s Jim Crow again.
South Park’s new game recently introduced a slider that was labeled “Difficulty” and changed the character’s race. The darker you are the “harder” the difficulty. It’s funny because it’s true.

At least Fractured But Whole lets you be a person of color if you really want to. Or if you just really want to see a person of color as a hero in a video game. Continue reading “Being Black in Video Games”

Free Hellevator Rides to Adorable Boss Battles

It’s no secret that I have an obsession with adorable violence. Therefore, no one will be surprised by my response to Hellevator: Ohmigawd, Yes!

Unfortunately, there isn’t a ton of information about Hellevator aside from the overview and download link. However, there is also a handy trailer and a cheeky little write-up.


Dark Souls crushing your soul? Needing a cute hit but craving that spooky-grim vibe? Hellevator has you covered!

Hellevator | Lil Death | Scope it Down Studios
Hellevator | Lil Death | Scope it Down Studios

Hellevator teams you up with the Devil himself in a ‘boss rush’ style game to escape the Circles of Hell. As the only son of the Grim Reaper, you must combine your strength with Lucifer’s and face the denizen of each level in a fast-paced, dark-fantasy boss rush game.
Oh, and an elevator is involved.
Experience the thrill of successive boss battles without the grinding to reach them. Slash, block and dodge your way to freedom, and experience the charming 3D underworld of Hellevator for yourself.

Continue reading “Free Hellevator Rides to Adorable Boss Battles”

GIANT BABY ZOMBIES: Language Game

Learning a language is a hard but important undertaking. I’m constantly starting and then forgetting to finish courses on DuoLingo. Hopefully, Giant Baby Zombies is the answer.
Giant Baby Zombies is a game that forces you to learn a language to beat it and save the world. Appealing to our sense of vanity might be the answer to forcing growth and development.
Maybe if the future of the world depends remembering the difference between camisa and comida people might be able to commit.
Zombies, Run was able to convince me to stay active because of an interesting apocalyptic story (and making me feel important). Maybe Wise Punch Games’ Giant Baby Zombies can get me to exercise my mind. Just the title is getting my imagination going… that’s part of the mind.
While language is important now, it will be will become especially relevant when navigating the post-apocalyptic world.

Giant Baby Zombies will launch around New Year’s Resolution season in 2018.

A batch of contaminated vaccines shipped to major cities around the world has led to an outbreak of Giant Baby Zombies. But not all is lost, their humanity can be restored. Your biggest challenge, as a military programmer, is operating an 1960’s supercomputer in a language you do not know how to speak yet. Launch state-of-the-art audio rockets that contain de-zombifying chemicals, and most importantly an 8-track cassette tape of a local language, recognized by the Giant Baby Zombies. What will you choose to learn? Japanese, Chinese, Irish, Spanish, Filipino, or English?
Name: Giant Baby Zombies
Price: $14.99
Release date: Early 2018
Platform: PC and Apple Mac on Steam
WebsiteGiantBabyZombies.com

Holy High Hell, Heaven is a Place on Steam!

I want to go to there.” There being High Hell because it’s essentially everything I’ve ever wanted in a first-person shooter: self-deprecating humor, violence, great graphics (based on the style, it’s beautiful).
High Hell looks like a cross between GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64 and the Adult Swim show Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell.

Check out the trailer for High Hell by Devolver Digital


Continue reading “Holy High Hell, Heaven is a Place on Steam!”

Likely Apocalypses: Asteroid Apocalypse

It’s time to look at another possible apocalypse! (This is actually the last in our series of likely apocalypses, so if you have any ideas for other things that could wipe us off the face the planet, let us know!) This month’s apocalypse is an asteroid or meteor strike. (Probably an asteroid.) Unlike some of the possibilities we’ve looked at, this one doesn’t give us much control. There aren’t a whole lot of things we can do at the moment to nudge an asteroid if it’s on a collision course with the planet. (And, you know, sending Ben Affleck to nuke an asteroid isn’t really the world’s best solution to inevitable doom and destruction.) One day we might be able to use the USS Enterprise to pull an asteroid away with its tractor beam, but at the moment, we have…uh, we have Ben Affleck, Bruce Willis, and some nukes.
Let’s face it: in the grand scheme of things, Earth is a sitting duck. I mean, it’s not exactly going anywhere. (Relative to some astronomical objects, that is. You know, like asteroids.) Compared to the much more mobile asteroids, meteors, and comets, Earth is…well, it’s stationary. Which means that it’s a pretty easy target. And we know that we’re not immune to space bombardment — there are impact craters all over the world; currently, the Earth Impact Database has 190 confirmed “impact structures.” Okay, so 190 doesn’t seem like a lot, considering how big the planet really is, but have you looked at the moon lately? Impact craters, ahoy!
Anyway, my point is, asteroids, meteorites, and other assorted hurtling space objects have the ability to wipe us all out. The possibility is there, and it pops up every now and again.

What would an apocalypse by an asteroid look like?

Well, it wouldn’t be pretty. Big boom, lots of destruction, ash and debris covering the sun, doom, despair, yada yada. I mean, the dinosaurs aren’t here to talk about what they went through, but I can’t imagine it was anything fun.
The immediate impact zone would be obliterated instantly, but the rest of the world would probably die a slow and painful death. Lack of sunlight would mean less plant growth, which would mean less food, which would mean starvation. The water supply would probably be cut off or contaminated to some extent. The Internet would be cut off. People would lament the loss of funny cat videos and Instagram photos of people’s lunches. People would riot (because people always riot; also, see: no Internet). People would die. People would eat each other when the food ran out (well, hopefully not, but who knows). People would turn into zombies (kidding).
Of course, that’s assuming it’s a large asteroid, one capable of triggering an extinction event similar to the K-T event (the one that killed off the dinosaurs). If were smaller, then it would look a bit different. So, in that case, maybe things on Earth would change just enough to make it difficult or impossible for humanity to survive. For example, maybe the soil changes just enough so that crops won’t grow. Or it would “just” wipe out a major city or two. Or, like the Tunguska event, there would be damage, but not mass destruction.
I suppose, in some ways, that anything is possible, depending on the size of the asteroid and where on the planet it actually hits.

How likely is an asteroid apocalypse?

Impacts from space objects/debris are actually fairly common, but most of those are pretty small and land in places where no one notices. However, large meteorites (objects that actually hit the planet are called meteorites), especially extinction-triggering ones like Apophis, are rare. So while I don’t think a full-on extinction event is likely, a smaller but still devastating impact could be.

What could we do to survive an asteroid apocalypse?

Avoiding a collision with an asteroid would be ideal, really. I mean, if nothing hits us, then it would be super easy to survive, right? (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)
So, how do we avoid an asteroid impact? Send Bruce Willis and his scrappy team of drillers to nuke it out of orbit, obviously. (But in case our intrepid team is unavailable, I’m sure Elon Musk will come up with something.)
In all seriousness, I’m not exactly sure how we would truly be able to avoid an asteroid impact if one was on a collision course with Earth. NASA is currently working on technology that will deflect an asteroid, which would be pretty cool if it actually gets up and running, but as of now it’s still in development.
At the moment, all we can really do is keep an eye on the skies and track near-Earth objects as best as we can. Luckily, NASA has a project that does just that (you saw that one coming, didn’t you?) NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies has several teams who search for and track all the fun things that are zipping around out there in space. Hopefully they can give us enough notice of anything big enough that could kill us (and hopefully the DART program is fully operational when they do).
But if an asteroid hits us before we have the ability to redirect it, well, things could be bad. Our ability to survive would likely depend on the size of the asteroid that hits — if it’s a smaller asteroid, survival could depend solely on where it lands. If it hits a city, it would be super crappy to be living in that city, now wouldn’t it?

Likely apocalypses: the hyper-intelligent animal

It’s time to look at another likely apocalypse! We’re nearing the end of our list of possibilities, so if you have a possible apocalypse you’d like us to take a look at, just let us know. This month’s possibility is a hyper-intelligent animal apocalypse. I know, I know — it sounds totally out there, but hey, dolphins are super smart, and at some point they might get tired of jumping through hoops on command, so an animal revolt could be a thing one day. (Are you prepared for your dolphin overlords?)
Of course, I’m not saying that animals aren’t smart. I mean, okay, so they may not be Einstein, but animals are intelligent — some more than others (looking at you, dolphins). That said, they haven’t figured out how to make nukes (yet, anyway), so there’s that.
Anyway. If, one day, there are suddenly a bunch of animals who can communicate in Human and use opposable thumbs, what would happen if they wanted to take over the world? Just in case you’ve been pondering this burning question (who hasn’t, right?), then you’re in luck, because that’s what we’re looking at!

What would a hyper-intelligent animal apocalypse look like?

(First, I’m going to say here that “hyper-intelligent,” for the purposes of this article, is to have a level of communication, intelligence, reasoning, deduction, and analysis that is comparable to that of humans. That may be closer to reality for some animals than others, of course.)
Personally, I’m thinking a reverse zoo. At first, anyway. Honestly, I think a pissed off and vengeful Shamu would want to lock us up in similar conditions, even if it’s only for a little while. And while we’re all locked up in cages, they can a) point, laugh, and ask us how we like them apples, and b) go take over the world.
Then, of course, we’ll have to bow down to our new animal overlords.
Or maybe we’ll just spend the rest of our lives trying to escape from angry badgers bent on revenge. Who the hell knows.
Okay, in all seriousness, I’m not convinced that animals on their own could cause an apocalypse that would wipe out the human race. But, in the right circumstances, they could take advantage of an extinction event (whatever that may be). So, to speculate a little: let’s say that there’s a nuclear war (I’m not going to speculate on what causes that war, though). Let’s just say that the world goes boom. There’s nuclear winter, radiation everywhere, humans do not survive. But, like in the aftermath of the dinosaur extinction, something survives. Maybe it’s lizards. Maybe it’s snakes. Maybe it’s the peregrine falcon. Maybe it’s the Canada goose. Maybe several animal species survives. In any case, let’s say that these survivors, helped along by radiation, evolve much faster than they normally would. Now they’re “hyper-intelligent.” They may not have opposable thumbs, but they’ve found a way to compensate.
And then…they take over the world. And Earth becomes the planet of the geese. Or something.

How likely is a hyper-intelligent animal apocalypse?

Well, it depends on what apocalyptic scenario we’re looking at. The scenario in which one or two animal species rise up and take over the human race? Probably not all that likely. But the scenario in which a surviving species (or multiple surviving species) pick up the pieces of a decimated world in which humans have already been wiped out? Likely.
After all, it’s already happened. (Poor dinosaurs.)

How do you survive a hyper-intelligent animal apocalypse?

Scenario one: make friends with your new animal overlords, pronto. Maybe they’ll consider you useful. Or it’ll be a reverse pet thing. Either way, you’ll (hopefully) be alive, and you’ll (hopefully) be treated well.
Scenario two: you can’t.

Into the Archives: SOLARIS (2002)

SOLARIS is a 2002 movie about…. Space? Love? Time? Truth or Consequences?

SOLARIS is the kind of movie that means different things to different people. It might be a horror movie if you identify with Dr. Gordon. It could be a Love story if you relate more to Dr. Kelvin. Finally, if you relate to Dr. Snow, it’s a kind of existential introspection.
There is a beautiful planet called Solaris that demands to be explored. As with many beautiful things, the planet may be dangerous. Is it’s bright and beautiful display a beacon or a warning?
This ambiguity is what drives the ground crew behind the mission to Solaris to send a security team when they lose contact with the original team. The security team didn’t make it. No one really knows where they went or seems to care. Whatever. Apparently, the next step it to send a psychologist… He also happens to be friends with one of the doctors on the mission… and a qualified astronaut.

Continue reading “Into the Archives: SOLARIS (2002)”

I'm 100% here for Debris (the video game)

Today I stumbled across a new game coming out in October called Debris by Moonray Studios.  This is an indie game that feels big but doesn’t feel like it’s trying too hard or doing too much.
Indie games come out every ten minutes. However, quality indie games are diamonds in the rough. This game is looking pretty shiny. There are a vast amount of research and unique perspectives built in. From the trailer alone the artwork, voice work, and quality are all top notch.

It’s a breath of fresh air[1. Pun completely intended] to come across a game like Debris. The developer, instead of creating something based on what they think people want, made a game based on what they know they’re good at.

Check out the trailer and press release below:

Continue reading “I'm 100% here for Debris (the video game)”