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March 3, 2014 | by  | in Arts Games | [ssba]

Articulated Splines

University is a time to try new things.

The parties are better, sure, but it’s also a time for us to discover hobbies and broaden our interests. If you leave Vic still listening to the same music and wearing the same clothes as the day you walked in, you’ve missed out on something important.

Music is an interesting way of looking at it. Most of us make cool new friends here that teach us about the stuff they don’t play on the radio. It’s the same with film and books. All it takes is that cool friend or that day-long internet browse to uncover more hidden gems than we could ever possibly have dreamed of.

It’s exactly the same with video games. There’s a whole galaxy out there of small titles, indie developers and outrageous fun to be had, and everybody is starting to catch on. Gamers on PC can take advantage of services like Steam and, while big boys Microsoft and Sony are showing more and more support for indie gaming. Just look at the ludicrous success of Minecraft on the Xbox Live Arcade for proof of that.

What I want to do with this column is showcase the trends and events of the wider gaming scene, as well as review some of the more interesting titles out there. After all, one Call of Duty review is much the same as another.

There will probably be a slightly greater focus on PC and mobile gaming than the consoles. The main reason for that is because indie gaming is a lot more accessible that way. Besides, there’s already a lot out there about AAA console games like Call of Duty, and I’d rather fill these inches with something new.

It’s a fortnightly column, so I’ll never be able to touch on everything, but at the very least it’s a wooden sword in your quest to find something new to play. Because we’re all gamers now – whether it’s FIFA, Candy Crush, Flappy Bird or Star Citizen – and that’s something to celebrate.

PC, $18 on Steam

This charming multiplayer platformer pits you against a friend, each of you trying to stab your way past the other and run to the final screen. Simple, but there are going to be a lot of dead stick figures before the round is over.

Why are they duelling? What does ‘nidhogg’ mean? Why does each game end the way it does? I have absolutely no idea. What I do know is that the nuanced swordplay is frantic, the laughs are endless and the price is low. The controls are a bit unusual, and you’ll probably want to be playing with controllers, but if you’ve got the right setup this is a party game to cherish.


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