Despite recent high profile successes like Dragon Quest XI and Octopath Traveler, there’s still a prevalent orthodoxy that turn-based JRPGs can’t compete in the landscape of blockbuster games. Instead, the genre is increasingly relegated to gacha and re-releases with the occasional mid-budget effort from Square Enix (or VERY occasional Persona…

“What a year 2020 was,” I say with the fullest intent of blasé cliché. But staying inside well away from a deadly virus meant ample free time with which I played a comparatively shocking abundance of games. Here are my favorites, as well as four honorable (and dishonorable) mentions, presented…

Ever since the Wii era, Nintendo has had a “quality of life initiative” that largely never came to full fruition due to the passing of its champion Satoru Iwata. However, one series carried its torch— a series that happened to spawn one of the company’s best-selling games. Wii Fit was…

Anime and related Japanese media have thrived off of subversion ever since the tactic was popularized by Neon Genesis Evangelion’s psychological deconstruction of the mecha genre in 1995. However, this past decade in particular has taken such slight of hands to the extreme with countless anime, manga and visual novels/games…

For the past few console generations, HAL Laboratory has been relegated by Nintendo to being “the Kirby studio.” However, on the relative down-low they’ve also helmed BoxBoy, a series of small-scope minimalist puzzle games.

BoxBoy revolves around Qbby, a sentient block who conjures up strings of non-sentient blocks that protrude…

Tim Rattray

Writer-person ruminating on game design and narrative. My other blog: ThoughtsThatMove.com

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