A Brief Analysis of Interstellar

What can really be said about Interstellar that hasn’t already been mentioned by the hordes of cinema-goers? Whether they’re a part of Christopher Nolan’s fanbase, hate him, or even indifferent to him, everyone has something to say about this movie. Interstellar is certainly not without it’s critics, and it appears some reviewers are galaxies apart with their opinions. Is the movie primarily about the required scientific progress for the human race? Or the fragility and power of emotion that sets us apart and allows us to carry on?

As a preface, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, and it’s still in cinemas; go now! This is a unique experience that cannot be summarised on wikipedia, or spoiled through word of mouth. You need to see it in it’s entirety to understand.

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You Should Totally Play: Child Of Light

Art.

If given one word to describe this game, that is what I would use. Loading up this game is like stepping into a watercolour painting, in a room filled with poets.

The question you’d most likely be asking at this point is; “would that really be my kind of thing?” It’s not really a major selling feature for most people. But, even though this game at it’s core is an artpiece, it is wrapped in extremely good gameplay.

You play a young Austrian girl called Aurora, who awakens in a strange world touched by darkness, in 1895. You’ll explore the vivid landscapes, interact with the colourful characters, and slowly transform from a naive young girl into a bold warrior. This is aided by soon finding a sword.
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You Should Totally Play: Anti-Chamber

?

Anti-Chamber is what happens when puzzle game designers strip away all tradition, get drunk, and decide to see how cruelly they can mess with gamers’ heads. Then, when they sober up the next day, there’s a hint of remorse as they patch over it with a few words of inspiration on the walls.

To be fair, their minimalistic game design it expertly crafted, to bring highly innovative challenges which really make you think. Much is based on perception and pre-conceptions. You may wander down a hallway, stop and turn around, only to find that the way you came has totally changed. You may also look a little closer through a viewing window, step back, and find yourself transported into a different room. This is all completely seamless, which messes with your head that much more.

This game teaches you that trying something new will be rewarding. It almost always knows which way you’ll tackle a challenge first, then give you one of many reassuring messages alluding to the task, or life in general. It gives you motivation to try and try again, in different ways.

And you will want to, because finally overcoming a challenge that left you stuck for ages, makes you feel like the smartest man alive! I will admit that I sometimes asked for help from a gamer friend smarter than I, but I implore you to hold out on walkthroughs for as long as possible. It would ruin the rush of completing the harder puzzles.

The lack of story and strange ending might remove you from being enveloped in the experience, but that’s not what it’s all about. It’s about overcoming bizarre and difficult puzzles not like any other game out there.

7/10

You Should Totally Play: Amnesia – The Dark Descent

Too spooky.

“Hey there, so I like to play games that scare me.”
Oh cool, well you’ve picked the right ga-

“Like, pants-shittingly scary. I don’t want to be able to sleep.”
Y-yeah, sure. Like I was saying, this game would be perfect for y-

“And I also like the odd puzzle or two to complete in the story”
Okay, well you’re in luck, because this has that t-

“While I’m simultaneously shitting my pants”
You have issues.

So yes, Amnesia: The Dark Descent is quite a scary game. The scariest, in fact, that I have come across. You play as Daniel in this Survival Horror game, who wakes up in a castle with no memory of how he got there (bing! title!).

Unlike horror games such as F.E.A.R, where you can defend yourself against monsters; here, you have no means of fighting back. It’s a frightening game of hide-and-seek. And the fear trickles in, it doesn’t reveal everything straight away, so the anticipation of running into a monster really eats away at you.

It’s not just your health that you have to keep track of, but your sanity. If you remain in the dark too long, or look at something that doesn’t make any rational sense, your sanity starts to deplete. This makes your screen blurry, and your controls less responsive, making for a harder experience. Thankfully, you’ve got a lantern and can find oil and tinderboxes along the way to keep you in the light.

The story is actually compelling, the gothic artstyle is perhaps outdated now, but fits the game perfectly. You may quit due to fear and frustration from the few puzzles you come across, but this is definitely worth pushing through to reach the end, where there are some rather confronting torture chambers.