Consumption

A Shropshire apocalypse

Like the end of the world? Enjoy walking around? Hate people?

Well, have I got the game for you.

Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a game by the developers of Dear Esther, probably the best-known walking simulator game. Where that game focused on paths around a small island, Rapture allows you to wander around a fictional Shropshire valley, ostensibly at the end of Something Really Catastrophic.  (more…)

Goodreads review: The Decagon House Murders

TitleThe Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Imagine a ten-sided house. Add to it murder mystery enthusiasts, each bearing a famous crime writer’s nickhame. Add a sprinkling of weird fiction ghostliness and gothic murder. Then kill everybody.
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What Remains of Edith Finch (2017)

After the extended session that was my Batman: Arkham series experience, I figured I needed something to clear out the cobwebs a bit. A short thing that I could zoom through that was completely different to the face-punching and gliding I’d been doing.

Giant Sparrow’s What Remains of Edith Finch was what I chose. It’s not something that requires a lot of playtime – I think I completed the game and about 80 per cent of its trophies in just under two hours – but it was quite a thought-provoking experience. Some spoilers probably follow, so if you’re considering playing, maybe do that first.  (more…)

MY PARENTS ARE DEEEEEAD!

Well, after over one hundred hours of playtime, I’ve made my way through the Arkham series of Batman games. So here’s some thoughts about them. (If you want to read about my experience with Telltale’s foray into Gotham, go here.)

Undoubtedly, there’ll be spoilers aplenty, so if you haven’t played – and really, you should – proceed with caution.

First, though:

(Longer version. Originally from PVP.)

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Goodreads review: Wolf in White Van

Wolf in White VanWolf in White Ban by John Darnielle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The short review? Songwriter writes book. Book digs a bit deeper into some of songwriter’s peccadilloes. People who like songwriter’s work will like book. EXEUNT.

I have to admit I was predisposed towards liking this book given that I am a fan of Darnielle’s music. Knowing how good the writing is in The Mountain Goats – an eclectic, honest and nerdily funny combo who’ve produced some of the best songs about a) peanuts, b) relationship decline, c) abusive adolescence and d) insurance fraud ever (I’m not covering goths, road trips, wrestling, Michael Myers or religion here, but take my word for it, they’re there) – I expected good things.
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Goodreads review: Outcast, Vol. 4: Under Devil’s Wing

Outcast, Vol. 4: Under Devil's WingOutcast, Vol. 4: Under Devil’s Wing by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So we remember what I said about the first volume of this series? And the second? And the third? Again, we can spin it out to the fourth: developing, slowly, with enough subtlety in the presentation to keep me reading.

This trade brings us pretty much up to date: at the time of writing there’s been four additional issues, so we’re still two off another collection. The show based on the property has been and gone, and is seems Kirkman is interested in keeping the slow-burn nature we’ve become accustomed to thus far. But this volume seems to feature more explaining than previous collections, and ramps up the fuck-is-all-the-town-involved? weirdness level.


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Goodreads review: Outcast, Vol. 3: This Little Light

Outcast, Vol. 3: This Little LightOutcast, Vol. 3: This Little Light by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Third volume through and we can pretty much take the previous thoughts I’ve had on this series and stretch ’em out again.

Once more, the story of possession and high stakes starring Kyle Barnes, his mate the Reverend Anderson and that blow-in who manages to look like a cross between Roger from Mad Men and an escapee from a Norman Rockwell painting.

See? (more…)

Goodreads review: Queen Victoria’s Bomb

Queen Victoria's BombQueen Victoria’s Bomb by Ronald William Clark
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book’s commonly touted as one of the precursors of the steampunk movement. It dates from 1967 and though I’d been keen to read it, I hadn’t found a copy. Having an interest in steampunk – the literature, not the habit of sticking cogs onto anything and wearing goggles down the shops – I figured that a three-ish buck version on Kindle was a safe enough bet. (more…)

Goodreads review: Outcast, Vol. 2: A Vast And Unending Ruin

Outcast, Vol. 2: A Vast And Unending RuinOutcast, Vol. 2: A Vast And Unending Ruin by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This will be a short review, largely because there’s not a lot to go on. You could probably read my review of the first volume and apply it to this one and you’d be fairly well set. The art remains affectingly retro, cinematic and draughtsman-like, and the pacing – while languid – is tight. So, second verse same as the first?

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Goodreads review: The King of Fools

The King of FoolsThe King of Fools by Frédéric Dard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A short review for a short work? Why not.

Frédéric Dard was a prodigious creator, a Frenchman who was a prolific creator of crime novels, often taking elements of his own life to fuel his works. (The kidnapping of his daughter ended up in a book, and he said his biggest regret about dying was that he wouldn’t be able to write about it.) He wrote under a number of pseudonyms (Cornel Milk, anyone?) though this is the first time I’ve encountered his work. (more…)