I don't write about games very often, so here are a few games that I've been playing recently and why I like them.
By Eric Chahi and Ubisoft Montpelier, From Dust is a god game, playing like a modern Populous. In fact it feels lot like a Peter Molyneux game except with more emphasis on helplessness than on morality.
Despite having the ability to manipulate the elements at whim, you soon discover that it's very easy to upset the balance of nature – blocking the flow of a river for some short term gain can quickly lead to bigger problems when the river breaks its banks.
This is a game about order and chaos, and about the difficulty of regaining control over a badly planned situation. I don't want to give any examples in case I spoil the fun, but trust me when I say it's clever and infuriating in equal measure.
Bastion is a top down action RPG in which everything that you do is narrated.
Having someone describe your every move is weird, but it adds an interesting dimension to the game. The narrator tells the story as someone who has already experienced it to the end, occasionally hinting at what the future holds, leading to a sense of foreboding.
I love Tetsuya Mizuguchi, the creator of Rez, and while Child of Eden isn't dramatically different from Rez in terms of gameplay, being another on rails shooter, it is certainly better looking than its predecessor. Where Rez was minimalist and polygonal Child of Eden is decadent and organic.
Another game based on Mizugughi's obsession with synesthesia, this time the conceit is that you are saving a developing artificial intelligence called Lumi from a destructive virus:
Child of Eden thrusts you in the center of a battle to save Project Lumi, a mission to reproduce a human personality inside Eden, the archive of all human memories.
Much like Rez, the plot doesn't really matter. Child of Eden manages to put me into "the zone" like few other games are capable of.
I know I'm late to the party but I've been playing Minecraft a lot recently. So far I have a little house, a pet wolf and a farm. I also found some iron the other day. I have a new appreciation for Creepers, possibly the most terrifying creatures ever imagined.
Here's a picture of my wolf and my farm, and an axe that I'm holding.