Archive | Reviews

24 October 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Game Review: Depression Quest

DepressionQuestThe goal of this game is twofold: firstly, we want to illustrate as clearly as possible what depression is like, so that it may be better understood by people without depression. Hopefully this can be something to spread awareness and fight against the social stigma and misunderstandings that depression sufferers face. Secondly, our hope is that in presenting as real a simulation of depression as possible, other sufferers will come to know that they aren’t alone, and hopefully derive some measure of comfort from that.

Continue Reading

22 October 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Game Review: Gone Home

gonehomeGone Home is a first person story exploration game released by The Fullbright Company (which has now been rebranded to be simply called “Fullbright” in August 2013.

2014-10-08_00004June 7th, 1995. 1:15am You’ve been traveling Europe for a year. While you were gone your family inherited a house from your weird Uncle Oscar and your parents and younger sister Sam have moved in. You arrive at the new house, expecting a warm welcome from you family, but no one’s there. Why?

Continue Reading

20 October 2014 ~ 1 Comment

Movie Review: Her

Back in April I reviewed the Ray Bradbury Award nominees for the years as their deadline for nomination approached–I reviewed all the ones I could get my hands on, but there was one movie that wasn’t yet released on DVD–titled “Her” written and directed by Spike Jonze.

The movie takes place in 2025 in a world that’s very recognizable, but with some differences–holograms being commonplace and artificial intelligence has advanced to stages we haven’t reached yet. The protagonist is Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) who writes heartfelt letters on behalf of complete strangers for hire. He has just upgraded his personal operating system–which is more than just an OS in the way that we use the phrase and more of a personal assistant. He chooses for the OS to have a female voice (voiced by Scarlett Johanssen) and she names herself Samantha. He hits it off with Samantha and soon their relationship becomes more than just user-computer. Theodore is lonely, having little personal contact with anyone and clinging to the threads of an estranged marriage which he has been stalling on signing the divorce papers to end. He does have one friend Amy (Amy Adams) who is also struggling with her relationship.

Continue Reading

17 October 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Game Review: Actual Sunshine

written by David Steffen A ctual Sunshine is an RPG-styled story of depression released by Will O’Neill in April 2014.  It follows the life of young single overweight professional who is struggling with depression.  He lives alone, is unsatisfied at his corporate job.  Every day is a struggle, trying to get through the day of work, […]

Continue Reading

15 October 2014 ~ 1 Comment

GAME REVIEW: Papers, Please

2014-09-26_00001This is just another one of those games about immigration documentation processing. Exciting, right? Actually, hear me out. I was skeptical, too, but the game came highly recommended. The game is billed as a “dystopian document thriller”.

Continue Reading

22 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

Almost-Hugo Review: Dog’s Body by Sarah A. Hoyt

“Almost-Hugo Review”? What’s that? If you’re not familiar with the minutiae of the Hugo rules, there’s an odd rule that makes no sense to me. When tallying up the nominations, ordinarily the top five counts for a particular category end up on the final ballot. Except if a story has less than 5% of the total vote. What’s the purpose of that? I don’t know. The percentages for individual stories are going to tend to be lower if there are more voters and if there are more stories that people felt moved by. More voters is good–this year there were almost twice the previous record of voters for a variety of reasons. More stories moving people is good. So… why does that mean we get less Hugo nominees? No sense whatsoever.

Continue Reading

17 September 2014 ~ 1 Comment

Hugo Novel Review (Part 2): Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross

This is a continuation of the partial review of Neptune’s Brood I posted in July. As I said in that review, the book took a while to hook me on the plot, but got me early with the interesting worldbuilding involving posthuman android bodies with transmittable, transferrable minds. The protagonist, Krina-Alizond-114 is a historian of accountacy practices, specializing in the history of FTL scams. FTL travel has never been invented in this universe, but neither has anyone proven that it’s impossible, so every once in a while someone claims to have found the secret and seeks to collect tons of money from fraud. As the book starts, Krina is en route to the water planet Shin-Tethys to find out what happened to her missing sister.

Continue Reading

10 September 2014 ~ 0 Comments

“The Original Blue Fairy is a Cruel Monster” or “My Review of The Adventures of Pinocchio”

I was working on a story loosely inspired by Pinocchio, and so to understand my source material as completely as possible, I wanted to read the original for a basis of comparison. I was quite surprised by what I found there. In particular, the character that Disney based their Blue Fairy character on.

Continue Reading

08 September 2014 ~ 2 Comments

Picking Apart “The Cold Equations”

The story takes place on an emergency dispatch ship headed for a colony planet with a load of desparately needed medical supplies. Our protagonist finds a stowaway on board his ship, a teenage girl who has done this to visit her brother on the colony planet. This is a major problem because these runs are planned with just enough fuel to safely reach their destination. She thought that she would only get fined for sneaking on, but punishment for stowing away is death, to be sucked out of the airlock. It’s apparently meant to be a commentary on the coldness of reasoning that would be necessary for space travel. And that’s an interesting topic, but in my opinion the premise has so many monumental flaws that it falls apart on the least inspection. I had heard the general premise before and was expecting to feel for the story, but when I listened to the particulars I was so frustrated that this situation could exist, and that the people in this situation are so incredibly stupid, that I just couldn’t buy into it, emotionally or intellectually.

Continue Reading

03 September 2014 ~ 1 Comment

Book Review: Speaker for the Dead

Speaker for the Dead is the sequel to Ender’s Game. Ender’s Game was first a short story and then was expanded to a novel, and just last year was made into a movie. I reviewed the novel and the movie in a previous article. As usual I will try to avoid spoilers for the story being reviewed, but I’m not even going to try to avoid spoilers for Ender’s Game, so if you don’t want to find out some of what happens in that book then go read it and come back.

Continue Reading