I can still remember walking into my usual haunt, the Pocket Change arcade in the Fox River Mall in Appleton, Wisconsin, expecting my usual rounds of Street Fighter II, when I saw a new fighting game from Capcom. It was like SF2, but faster, funnier, and…it was full of monsters. Darkstalkers had arrived, and unbeknownst to me, it was about to rocket up my personal favorite game chart with a silver bullet, and stay there to this day.
Even if you’re a fan of pre-NES homebrew video games, such as those available from AtariAge and Intellivision Revolution, you may not be aware of one independently-developed Atari 2600 game from back in 2010 titled A Slow Year, one of the most unique video games I’ve ever seen. Not to reignite the “games as art” debate, but on the sliding scale with “Game” at one end and and “Art” at the other, A Slow Year easily lands farther toward the “Art” end than any other game — yes, much farther than Ico or Journey — causing one to wonder if it even qualifies as a “Game” at all. It does, I think, but as with all the most interesting things in art, entertainment, and life itself, the lines are blurred and the decision is up for individual interpretation. Continue reading “A Slow Year”