Liquid TV 2012 Games Roundup

BLOG: The year is coming to an end, and it’s high time we returned to one of our favorite blog topics: games.

This year we had our fair share of options to choose from – and despite the quality of games like Resident Evil 6, Assasin’s Creed, Far Cry 3, and X-Com: Enemy Unknown (for example), we had to be selective and we wanted to show some of the more artful and just plain weird sh*t that’s out there. To be fair, we got a good deal of help from some of our favorite animators at Titmouse Studios in Hollywood (we included the recommender next to the title). So here are our picks, in no particular order.

Last year we had a lot to say about Keyboard Drumset Fucking Werewolf, where you accelerate to the next level by losing your clothes and becoming a werewolf. (As the dudes at Game It Or Hate It say, “It’s not the world’s best game. But it’s not the world’s worst game.”) KDFW was made by one of our favorite game designers, Cactus, who happened to have designed one of our favorites for 2012:

Hotline Miami (recommended by Chris Prynoski, president of Titmouse)

It’s a maze shooter for people who like the idea of wearing giant animal heads just for fun. Chris Prynoski gives it a thumbs up – so do we. Get it off of Steam and go nuts.

The Walking Dead (recommended by Meg Waldo, Titmouse animator)

This game sticks closely to the settings and even some of the characters of the comic, with the entire game broken up into episodes like the award-winning series.  The game itself has won numerous awards, and is an intricate and layered detour from your typical zombie-action game. Like for example…

ZombiU (recommended by Leo Parada, Titmouse producer)

The other zombie game of 2012. 1, When you die, you are ejected from your now un-dead body, enter a new not-yet-zombified character, and forced to kill the character you just were. 2, Zombies. Sometimes the graphics are more bark than bite, and it can get a little monotonous, but… zombies, people! Zombies!

Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet (recommended by Steve Kellener, Titmouse compositor)

Insanely Twisted is exactly right. When all you’ve got to do is shoot at things and escape other things, it’s really up to the design of the levels and the leaders to give a game it’s extra umph. And this game just looks really cool. And why not, considering it’s designed by famed cartoonist Michel Gagné (The Iron Giant, Osmosis Jones, etc)?

Journey (recommended by Maha Tabikh, Titmouse animator)

Erik Kain at Forbes calls Journey “some of the most powerful, beautiful, and awe-inspiring art I’ve ever witnessed.” There is no dialogue in this game, no fighting, and it is, as Kain asserts, beautiful. But it is also compelling as a game – when was the last time you played a game where you don’t battle anyone, escape bad guys, wind through mazes, or attempt to defeat some evil meanie to ascend to the next level? This could be the next generation of gaming… less a game and more a world its players experience.

Limbo (for LINUX) (recommended by Antonio Canobbio, creative director at Titmouse)

The game came out 2 years ago, but we had to close with it. (Plus, it was just released in 2012 for LINUX.) It’s absolutely gorgeous, German Expressionist style, it’s actually a challenge to play, and, really, in the words of Antonio: “Look at the dead bodies!”

And lastly, our projection for 2013 Favorite….

Johann Sebastian Joust (general recommendation)

Grab a motion controller, listen to J.S. Bach’s concertos in midi, and try to steal controllers out of other players hands to the tempo of the music? Uh, yeah, sold. Johann Sebastian Joust is not yet commercially released and none of us have actually played it… so this more like a very very hopeful future favorite.

 

Toasters are ‘EVERYWHERE’

BLOG: Peep this trailer for the short documentary on global street artists Toasters. You’ve probably seen their stickers if not actual pieces up somewhere on your local city’s streets. It’s a toaster. But it’s infinitely variable, and the ubiquity of the singular toaster image begs the question: “Why a toaster?”

Watch the full doc below:

 

Troubleshooting

BLOG: Eric Ko‘s Troubleshooting is an energetic animation about the end of the world in game-land. Perfect for the close of the December 2012. Eric’s a cool guy who can do a lot with a few lines, some good timing, and on-point sound design. It seems that, with him, the simpler a character or an image is the more he has to work with – and he usually comes up with something funny.

Check out his short Bolt from his animation-a-day project below:

My Buddy and Me

BLOG: It’s not the “My Buddy And Me” you remember from your childhood. It’s Cento Lodigiani‘s horror-infused and minimalist take on the idea of man’s best friend. Enjoy.

New Beard ‘Solamente Cloud’

MUSIC VIDEO: “Please pardon my appearance as I model,” goes a line in Solamente Cloud by Brooklyn band New Beard. It’s a fitting sentiment for this visual collaboration between New Beard’s Ben Wigler and his pal Deems, released via FaceHeads.

Read more about the 1,001 hand-drawn illustrations it took to make this montage over at MTV Hive.

Bo Mathorne’s “The Backwater Gospel”

BLOG: Bo Mathorne‘short film, completed at The Animation Workshop in Denmark, is bloody and disturbing, so please watch at your own risk. It’s also, frankly, a masterpiece – a powerful story of a thoroughly corrupt town (from the preacher to the busker to the undertaker) tied together with a haunting melody and a textured line quality – this is a short worth watching. (Just maybe not at work.)

Jeepneys ‘Herman the Bull’

MUSIC VIDEO: Ahh, good old fashioned weird shit. This time, straight outta White Sands, New Mexico, via the Bay Area, California (where else?). Our friends Jeepneys had some fun in post-production. Enjoy.

Michael Kupperman: Guy We Like

BLOG: The best thing about a blog is that the creator(s) get to talk about whatever the hell they want, and today that just so happens to be Michael Kupperman.

You may recognize him (or not) from some of his comedy writing for legit platforms (SNL, Huff Post, etc). He does a comic called Tales Designed to Thrizzle that’s pretty good.

And he wrote Mark Twain’s autobiography after he faked his death – it was chosen as an Atlantic Monthly Best Book of 2012, which should attest to its accuracy.

In conclusion, Happy Holidays, everyone.