The Invisible Hours: I Was Sure the Cat Did It

Mr. Swan carefully replaces his broom next to the kitchen window and slowly edges back toward the table. He gingerly picks up the porcelain cat and works his fingers around it to make sure that it is the item he was searching for. Satisfied, he fumbles his way in to the dining room before positioning the cat on the polished oak table and making his way toward the hall. Little does he know that his day is about to take a downward turn.

I sat on the floor and watched Mr. Swan do this several times. The porcelain cat must be the key to it all otherwise why would he have been so careful to move it? The positioning was too precise yet random, the item too intriguing with the dragon motif on the base, and the eyes of the cat too searching, too intelligent, their glazed stare had witnessed too much. Of course ultimately it was just a porcelain cat, one detail in this play that had a surprisingly insignificant role in the a larger sequence of events where everything felt deliberate.

‘The Invisible Hours’ is a VR experience from Tequila Works (although it is now playable in non-VR) that truly deserves the ambiguous qualifier of being an ‘experience’. I’ve mentioned in the past that one of my worries for VR gaming is that it will become the home of ‘experiences’ rather than actual games however in this case the qualifier is justified as there is no traditional gameplay to speak of however please don’t let that put you off one of the more unique and satisfying VR titles that I’ve picked up so far in my Vive adventures. Continue reading “The Invisible Hours: I Was Sure the Cat Did It”

Editorial: November 2018 – I Know of No Reason

… And another great big “Haloooo” to everyone out there, it’s time for the Hundstrasse monthly editorial… *Plays Theme Music* I hope everyone had a great Halloween whatever you got up to? As I mentioned last month, Halloween hasn’t ever really been a big deal for me growing up, but one tradition has manifested itself over the years and that is the Halloween evening family … Continue reading Editorial: November 2018 – I Know of No Reason

Rockstar Lifestyle: Crunchy Underfoot

It’s been a turbulent few weeks for Rockstar studios; the release of their latest open world behemoth overshadowed by the issue of studio crunch once more being the focus of widespread discussion and confusion in the preceding weeks. The waters were muddied by internet commentators on all sides of the debate shouting down the opinions of others with their own and the situation at Rockstar itself rapidly evolving as they went in to all out damage control seeing the potential hit to day-one sales looming.

Holding my hands up, I can’t offer any further insight here, after-all I’m just a consumer and have started this particular piece a few times as the situation morphed before giving up and just waiting for the dust to settle. It feels like we’re at a point now where I can at least safely write some kind of post about it all, but given the complexity of the issue it’s difficult to even know what it is that I want to say. Continue reading “Rockstar Lifestyle: Crunchy Underfoot”

QotM*: ScaredStrasse – Cosmic Chasm on Vectrex

*Question of the Month is a pumpkin spiced latte without the pumpkin or the latte and more of a chocolate mint thing going on… kind of just a minty mocha, with marshmallows, and a cookie on the side brought to you in your favourite armchair by Later Levels

It has been a while since I last participated in a Question of the Month. That last entry was something of an epic foray in to the world of my roaming imagination and seemed to consume an inordinate amount of my QotM energy. I think it’s about time to venture back in to that QotM world with my take on this month’s question.

For October, the month of the Ween-of-Hallow, the question has a distinctly appropriate spooky vibe and has been set by Megan over at A Geeky Gal; it’s an exceptional blog that I thoroughly recommend you check covering gaming, anime, and general geek-ery. Megan recently unleashed a set of her five personal favourite horror games that not only include some of my favourites, but are a neat place to start if you’re looking to explore her work and read something seasonally-appropriate at the same time.

As always check out the MONSTER POST! over at Later Levels for all the details and to see all of my fellow word-lers’ take on October’s question by looking through the comments. This month Megan asks:

In honour of Halloween, tell me what video game scared you the most. What is it about the elements, environments, music, or characters in the video game that scared you?

Continue reading “QotM*: ScaredStrasse – Cosmic Chasm on Vectrex”

Max Payne: Min Gain

… Let’s all head back to Roscoe Street Station for that bullet-dodging, slow-mo jumping, classic, Max Payne…

I’m not sure where my recent retro-mood has come from, but being at a bit of a loose end for a couple of evenings last weekend I scrolled through my Steam library looking for something to delve back in to and was warmly greeted by an old friend: Max Payne. The original PC outing was developed by Remedy studios and released back on 2001 for PC before being ported to a number of consoles and spawning two sequels, but it is the original game that has its own special place in my personal gaming hall of memories. I first played the game at a friend’s (who had significantly more PC horsepower than me at the time) house around the time of release but didn’t get my own copy until the PS2 port some years later. A quick search will tell you that 2001 was a darn-tootingly good year for gaming and with Max winning the BAFTA for best PC Game (this was at the time when games were shoved into the main BAFTA’s in the interactive media category) it must’ve been a standout title in a standout year. Continue reading “Max Payne: Min Gain”

Lighthouses: A Gaming Obsession

Lighthouses… they’re everywhere.. right? I mean, we all see several each day in all sorts of situations. Usually they’re located in some region that we’re gradually working towards or carry with them some greater symbolic weight than the simple maritime navigation and warning tool that they were originally designed to be. What do you mean you rarely see lighthouses? They’re everywhere in games so I assume that they must be everywhere in real life cropping up in all sorts of situations. I just thought that I was the oddity as my typical day doesn’t feature any of these cylindrical obelisks but as games are modelled on real life then we must see them everywhere. Continue reading “Lighthouses: A Gaming Obsession”

Editorial: October 2018 – Spooky

Wow, it’s really not been that long since I last wrote an editorial thanks to my poor “time-management” in September and weirder still is that we’re already in October… or as the internet calls it “The Month of Halloween!”

Yes, Twitter and the various fantastic blogs I read are already firing up their pumpkins and kicking the spookfest into overdrive in anticipation of that chilling spectacular that occurs on or around the 31st of the month. Here in the UK of course we’re always a little behind the latest trends so it’s no surprise that when I was growing up Halloween wasn’t the event that it is now. As an adult I’m bemused slightly by the spectacle that this monstrous month seems to have on my friends across the Atlantic… especially as I’m usually more excited by the prospect of Guy Fawkes night that occurs a few days later. Continue reading “Editorial: October 2018 – Spooky”