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NYPLarcade 2012 Video Game Showcase

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As we come to the close of another year, I always look forward to the "best of" lists and discovering interesting games I may have missed. Over the next several weeks, NYPLarcade will be showcasing six video game titles from 2012, which were not covered in our other game series this year: Jenova Chen, Horror Games, and International Games Day (Music Games).

What is a game series? Think of it as a film series, but for video games. Participants will play (and/or watch) from 6:30-8:00 p.m. and discuss the game from 8:00-8:30 p.m. at each session listed below. We will meet in Room 101 the first floor Corner Room of Mid-Manhattan Library. All events are FREE and doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Papo & Yo (Minority Media, 2012)Papo & Yo (Minority Media, 2012)

DATE GAME DEVELOPER
Dec 10, 2012 Papo & Yo Minority Media
Dec 17, 2012 Super Hexagon
McPixel
Dys4ia
Terry Cavanagh
Sos
Anna Anthropy
Jan 7, 2013 Sound Shapes Queasy Games
Jan 14, 2013 Hotline Miami Dennaton Games
Jan 28, 2013 FTL: Faster Than Light Subset Games
Feb 4, 2013 Proteus Ed Key &
David Kanaga

Super Hexagon (Terry Cavanagh, 2012)Super Hexagon (Terry Cavanagh, 2012)Papo & Yo was developed by Minority Media and explores the subject of child abuse at the hands of an alcoholic parent. Its unique narrative weaves together a brightly-colored reimagining of a South American barrio—complete with elements of Magic Realism—and familiar puzzle platformer game mechanics. However, at its heart, the game revolves around the interactions between a young boy Quico and his violent and unpredictable companion, Monster.

Super Hexagon was designed by Terry Cavanagh (VVVVV, Don’t Look Back). Its unforgiving difficulty, throbbing visuals, and pulsating music by Chipzel require both intense concentration and a zenlike acceptance of failure. McPixel is a funny, bizarre, and scatalogical satire of McGruber skits from Saturday Night Live. Polish developer Sos offers 100 levels of rapid point-and-click style gameplay in which the correct solution is rarely the obvious one. Dys4ia is a highly personal account of designer Anna Anthropy’s experiences beginning hormone therapy as told through miniature game sequences. It is short, moving, and makes a strong case for the potential of games as self-expression.

Sound Shapes was designed by Jonathan Mak (Everyday Shooter) and Shaw-Han Liem (I Am Robot and Proud). In the game, platforming levels with art by Vic Nguyen, Pyramid Attack, PixelJam, and Superbrothers are skillfully synchronized with music by Beck, Deadmau5, and Jim Guthrie.The result is something akin to an interactive music video or the invention of a new MTV for the 21st century.

Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games, 2012)Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games, 2012)Hotline Miami is a surrealistic descent into a hyper-violent, neon-soaked version of 1980’s Miami. Often drawing inspiration from the language of cinema rather than video games, players must puzzle through rooms filled with thugs, using a top-down perspective. The unsettling, disorienting narrative is perfectly paired with a hazy, electronic soundtrack featuring contributions from Sun Araw, M.O.O.N., Jasper Byrne, and others.

FTL: Faster Than Light is a roguelike spaceship simulation or "Firefly by way of Spelunky." Players can expect permadeath, dangers lurking around every corner, and a new randomized world each time they play. In a given game, one might successfully fend off an attack by space pirates and narrowly escape an asteroid field, only to accidentally sacrifice the last remaining crew member by leaving the airlock open too long in an attempt to extinguish a fire. FTL is complex, challenging, and ever-changing.

Proteus is the work of designer Ed Key and musician David Kanaga. The experimental game is an attempt to distill the adventure game down to its essence: exploration. Players open their pixelated eyelids to find themselves floating offshore from a mysterious island, which slowly reveals its secrets through subtle musical cues, psychedelically tinged 8bit-style graphics, and the changing of the virtual seasons.

Proteus (Ed Key & David Kanaga, 2012)Proteus (Ed Key & David Kanaga, 2012)Please feel free to contact Thomas Knowlton at thomasknowlton@nypl.org if you have any questions. You can also friend NYPLarcade on Playfire and Steam.

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