The Griff got game

by | Mar 5, 2024 | In The Mag!, Review | 0 comments


A cross between fever dream and black market psychosis, CRYPT WORLDS is what a pirated game keygen would be if it manifested into a playable 3D .exe. The game’s goals are obscure and become more obscure once players begin exploring the lonely, digital wasteland that is the game’s setting. 

The credits of the game, which are found on an inauspicious Geocities-style website, are just as mysterious as the game itself: the game was created by a trio who call themselves Elizabeth Deadman, Lilith, and Cicada Marionette, with audio mainly by Liz Ryerson. 

Talking to the denizens of CRYPT WORLD will fill your belly full of laughs, paranoia, and wisdom. Meet sky-pilgrims, piss on people, and experience the incoherent pain and sorrow of what feels like a dying land. CRYPT WORLDS fulfills a strange fantasy for those longing for apathy, anger, and absurdity packaged in a cursed CD-ROM-type beat. 

CRYPT WORLDS is better described as a transcendent cyber-experience than a game. Never has a work of art so accurately rendered the disgust and hilarity woven into the seemingly never ending strands of fate. The game world feels eerily empty, but is also packed full of wit and world-building that keeps players on their toes. 

By Thai Sirikoone

I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream

There’s nothing more eerie than an old CD-ROM game from the 90s. When that bit-crushed audio grates my ears and graphical limitations fill my body with dread, I know I’m playing a relic of a bygone era. I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream is one of the more well-known horror games from the 90s. 

In my opinion, it’s worthy of such admiration, but I do wish games like Sanitarium and Dark Seed got some love, too. I Have No Mouth thrusts the player into a nightmare world in which supercomputers punish humanity for eternity. The story itself is a clever adaptation of Harlan Ellison’s short story, and I will never stop talking about it. 

As a game from the 90s, it’s also subject to criticism especially with its frustrating roadblocks and, as a point-and-click game, there’s no shortage of pixel hunting. Don’t go into the game expecting a replayable masterpiece with 20 hours worth of content; it’s a highly interactive experience that will evoke an inevitable existential crisis.

By Joelle Fagan

THE SIMS 4 Is A Game That Does Something Very Evil To My Brain

Against all odds, The Sims is not a series I engaged with until university. This is partially due to it never being accessible to me as a kid, of course, but also for another, darker reason I never dared to fully address: I have always known intrinsically that this game would be addictive to me. All other simulation games I’ve ever played—Stardew Valley, Club Penguin, Animal Crossing, et cetera—have fully gripped me in a way that is genuinely a little bit scary. I think I must have about 2000 hours clocked on Stardew Valley across multiple platforms. 

That is to say, when I realized a few years ago that the base game for The Sims 4 was free to download, I’m pretty sure it was some sort of psy-op orchestrated to ruin my life. That very day I first launched it, it was like I blinked and suddenly it was 10pm and my phone was inundated with text notifications. I had quite literally played this game through several meals and an entire social obligation without even realizing. 

I remember I once heard someone somewhere say that playing The Sims until 2am should be a diagnostic criteria in the DSM-V. To that I say: lol true.

By Shelby Mandin

Why Harvest Moon Matters

Before Stardew Valley and the tsunami of cozy games, there was the 1997 N64 classic Harvest Moon and its many sequels. Never heard of it? Allow me to elucidate.

In Harvest Moon, a young man inherits his grandfather’s farm and moves to a small rural town. You grow crops, raise animals, explore mines, go fishing, and make friends with townsfolk. You take on quests from little harvest sprites, and you can even get married.

If it’s not obvious by now, yes, Concerned Ape absolutely copied the exact gameplay loop of Harvest Moon. But he did it with love, and he did it at an important time. 

It was tough sledding for Harvest Moon fans after 2007.

Games were met with mixed reviews, the series creator took a step back, and the original studio was forced to rebrand from Harvest Moon to Story of Seasons after leaving its original distributor. For a time, it seemed these cozy little farm games were doomed to fall further into obscurity while only serving a niche loyal audience. 

But in 2016, Stardew Valley changed everything. I recall the hype and how I did everything I could to scavenge $15 worth of virtual money to buy it.

It was nostalgic, it was refreshing, it was the game I’d waited nine years for. It sold over 20 Million copies.

Today, almost every avid gamer knows about Stardew Valley, and in turn, they know the spirit of Harvest Moon and what made it special.

By Liam Newbigging

Powerwash Your Soul 

Have you ever gotten so caught up in school you forgot to do your weekly cleaning? You’re up to your neck in exam prep books and think “boy, I sure would like to feel like a productive human today.” But why spend time on cleaning your filthy hobbit nest when you could virtually power wash away hours of your life?

If you’ve ever watched one of those satisfying power washing videos on the internet and thought “god I wish that were me,” do I have the game for you. Introducing Powerwash Simulator, your newest useless addiction to disappoint your parents with. What kind of riveting gameplay could you possibly expect, you ask? Not only will you get to wash someone’s yard – which should have been condemned awhile ago. There’s definitely a body somewhere – but you’ll get to spend 3 hours of your life doing it! Thought you cleaned the fence completely? Ha. You wish. 

So why clean up your life, when you can torture yourself with cleaning the underside of a barbecue for eternity instead? But hey, at least it’s satisfying as fuck. 

By Sam Poier

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love to Die in Bloodborne

There was a time when all I wanted from my games was a colorful landscape, a straight-forward story, easy-to-learn in-game mechanics, and probably a good dose of levity. When people would talk about the darkly whispered Demon’s Souls or FromSoftware’s Dark Souls series I would simply say, “uh, yah, no thanks.” The games were dark, grim, unforgiving, and ultra bleak. Bosses could deal a killing blow in one or two hits. Who the hell would voluntarily play that shit?!

Then I played Bloodborne and so much changed. I very quickly understood the appeal of these games. The way in which the densely packed lore slowly is revealed to the player through scant dialogue and meticulously crafted details within the levels is almost Lynchian. The experimentation that is encouraged of the player to mix-and-match different weapons, armor pieces, and character trait buffs to create a character that is tailored to their individual playstyle is wholly comforting. The intricacies of the vastly interwoven worlds are equal parts genius and maddening. And the difficulty. Oh, the difficulty!

Yes, it is fair to say that I have had my ass humbly handed to me more times than I can count while playing these games, but that is an element of growth that I wouldn’t give up for anything else. Bloodborne was the first of all these games that I’ve since mastered and it’s still a special game close to my heart because it really taught me to pay attention. It forced me to slow down and realize that I’m going to get nowhere if I don’t become comfortable with failure. If I don’t take my time and take in my surroundings, I won’t fully appreciate it when the scenery around me changes. It’s important to know when you should be cautious and when you should be fearless, when you should dig your heels in and persevere, and also it’s important to know when you should ask for help.

Bloodborne is full of fantastic in-game mechanics and intuitive controls, but for me it is also full of lessons to help you out throughout life. You just might have to die a shitload of times before you fully appreciate it.

By Sean Bell

For the history buffs: Civilization VI 

If you’re looking to rule an empire and defeat some crazy monarchs then this is the game for you. One thing you should certainly know before jumping into the game is to be prepared to not to get up for hours. I’m talking about getting yourself a jumbo bag of Hickory Sticks, two liters of Diet Coke, and a bottle to piss in because you will spend your whole day advancing your civilization, taking down countries, and building up your army.

The best part about this game is that there are so many ways to win that you can keep playing it for years to come. You can choose different empires, different focuses, different armies. As someone who has technically never actually finished a game before (I restart every time I lose a war) it’s a great strategy game that you can play by yourself or with a group of your friends.

By: Leanna Bressan

griff staff

The Griff


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