Michael Iantorno PhD Candidate, Game Designer, and Writer

CategoryIndie Games

Deponia Review

Mechanically, Deponia can best be compared to Monkey Island 2. Narratively, Deponia is on another planet. The player takes control of Rufus, a malcontent loafer sponging off his ex-girlfriend. He resides on Deponia, a planet covered entirely in garbage. His dream is to escape the dump of a planet and reach Elysium, a far away civilization that is harkened as paradisaical and pristine. The plot of...

Rogue Legacy Review

There’s a fine line between retro graphics and lazy graphics. In my review of Knights of Pen and Paper, I applauded the pixel-art aesthetic. The low fidelity graphics helped to further the throwback premise of the game and, more importantly, were well executed. Subtle details and charm oozed out of every pixel. The graphics in Rogue Legacy feel phoned in by comparison. Given, games of the...

HyperBound featured in Rise of the Video Game Zinesters

I’m not usually one to toot my own horn, but I thought I’d share this little tidbit of news with all of you. In March 2012, Anna Anthropy released her book Rise of the Video Game Zinesters: How Freaks, Normals, Amateurs, Artists, Dreamers, Drop-outs, Queers, Housewives, and People Like You Are Taking Back an Art Form and my hack project HyperBound was given a three page write-up! This...

La Mulana Review

La Mulana is too damn hard. This is coming from a person that likes difficult games. I played through Super Meat Boy with enthusiasm, I own a mint copy of Super Ghouls n’ Ghosts, and I recently unlocked every play mode on every level on Super Crate Box. I enjoy the frustration of missing a jump by a millimeter and the rage that builds after falling in the same damn pit for the 100th time...

Crafting a Better Minecraft

Minecraft has been good to me. I’ve garnered dozens (if not hundreds) of hours of entertainment out of the twenty dollar indie title, making it the most cost effective game I’ve ever owned. Every time I think I’ve tapped Minecraft for all it’s worth, I find myself pulled back into the game. That being said, Minecraft isn’t perfect. The official release at the end of last year was lackluster and...

Kickstart Your Week: 4/15/2012

It’s time for another installment of Kickstart Your Week! Now featuring videos in state-of-the-art Technicolor! It’s a shame Mike is on vacation this week, since there’s a number of projects in this batch that’d tickle him just the right way. Board games, dice, and high fantasy are abound. Here goes! Shadowrun Returns Another week, another vintage game franchise resurrected from the dead...

Zombie Cinema

Last summer I had the opportunity to try out Zombie Cinema, a storytelling game released by Arkenstone Publishing. Nestled in a VHS-shaped box splattered with blood red letters, the game immediately caught my attention. The blurb on the back of the box appropriately reads like a B-movie poster: Nobody knew when it started, or why. Perhaps the lonely death of a spinster was one too much for angels...

Kickstart Your Week: 3/21/2012

There’s been a lot of attention drawn to Kickstarter over the past month. First internet darling Tim Schaffer successfully raised 3.3 million dollars to fund the development of a classic adventure game. Then, out of nowhere, Brian Fargo repeated the miracle by securing a sequel to Wasteland – a game that came out in 1988! It appears crowd funding has hit the limelight, and indie developers...

Michael Iantorno PhD Candidate, Game Designer, and Writer