A core principle at Blot Interactive is keeping it happy. We look for the happy in life and the happy in video games. Our bread and butter is in making people happy through play. So we wanted to share some of the games that make us happy, highlighting the games in our life which we think could bring joy to others! Continue Reading
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It’s that time of year again. In which I mean the end of it. So now that we’re starting to prepare for 2014 and trying to recover from the Blot Interactive Christmas Party, we took a minute or two to reflect on our favourite games of 2013.
There were a lot. And we talk about a lot of good ones here. So this list isn’t complete by any means, but these are some of our favourites. Enjoy.
Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
This Zelda. Man. Leave it to Nintendo to blow us away when we’re not expecting it. Throwing a change-up into dungeon progression was a genius masterstroke, and the new 2D wall mechanic is inspired. Definitely one of the best Zeldas in years.
Around the office there was basically a week or two straight where all we were talking about was how good the rebooted Tomb Raider was, and it also found its way onto our Best Games of the Generation post a few weeks ago. Fantastic gameplay systems, a solid story, phenomenal graphics, and one of the best iterations of the bow and arrow in recent memory made us at Blot fall hard again for Lara Croft, 17 years after she made her debut.
“I know I’m really digging a game when I start obsessing over it while I’m not playing it. There are three games that have done that to me over the past three years: Skyrim, XCOM, and Rogue Legacy. I loved every laboring, elating, sometimes soul-crushing minute of it. The feeling you get when you get the build you’re looking for and have a great run through the semi-random castle isn’t matched by too many games, and the icing on the cake is how the wonderful story ties so tightly to the game’s mechanics. And, bonus points for being made right here in Toronto. Fantastic stuff.”
This game is THE BEST FACEBOOK GAME EVER ohmygod who MADE IT!?!
The Last of Us
The game alone earns a top spot on our list just because…damn. Damn. You breathe this world, with its decay, its monsters (both human and fungal), and its grim determination to squish any hope out of its inhabitants. You get to know Joel and Ellie so well that every action they take, no matter how insane, feels completely plausible. The story is one glorious gut punch after another, leading up to a wrenching and completely realistic conclusion.
All of that alone earns The Last of Us a spot on this list already, but what takes the cake is the inspiring talk on the game Neil Druckmann, Creative Director at Naughty Dog and the lead designer and writer for the game, gave to us and a few hundred others in attendance during the IGDA Toronto keynote a few months ago. Hearing him weave his tale on the game’s development and seeing how long he worked to have this story realized (over a decade), gave us one of our best game-related experiences of the year. Well done, Neil.
“I know DOTA 2 has been out for some time, but it wasn’t fully released until a couple months ago. So why is it my game of the year? Well, it has so much depth, from the 112 different heroes, the multiple play styles, the small exploits, the amazing voice work, the 600,000 average players online, to the very competitive and exciting tournament circuit. I could go on about it forever, but it all comes down to the effect it has on me and my friends. Every time we play, we jump on Skype with our headsets on to plan who we are going to pick and what strategy we are going to use. We aren’t the greatest players in the world, but every match is a good time. Sometimes even weeks or months later we remember amazing or terrible matches we had and always have a good laugh about it. It’s not just the game that makes it the game of the year, but the lasting effect it has on me and my friends which makes it the best game of 2013.”
“Lately, I’ve been playing Hearthstone, Blizzard’s new collectable card game. The game features the familiar cast from the World of Warcraft universe and uses concepts and spells from that game and translates it into seamlessly into a card game. When I was growing up, my brothers and I played Magic, which transitioned into Yu-Gi-Oh, and I was itching for another card game — Hearthstone looked like a very promising one. The beauty of Hearthstone is that it is online and it is free to play. I remember spending a ton of cash on Magic and yet getting very few cards which I valued. Hearthstone, on the other hand, does a great job of letting you play the game and letting you buy card packs with in-game currency. The fact that it is online makes it so much easier to play against your friends. I’ve played a ton of games against my brother and my friend who played Yu-Gi-Oh with me in high school and I didn’t even need to drive over to their houses to do it. Hearthstone is set to be released in the New Year, and I expect it to do very well considering how much I have been playing it since I’ve gotten a beta invite.”
Jeez this game is almost as good a CHAT FU!! The team who made this must be sooooo cool.Read More »
We’ve got something super special for you today! A little holiday gift from us to you…
It’s called Save the Earth: Asteroid Defense, and it’s a fast-paced arcade style game which plays exactly how it sounds – you are Earth’s only hope as you defend it from endless waves of asteroids. Take control of an orbital platform to fend off the barrage of space rocks and save the Earth!
The game first began as a game jam project at TOJam. It proved to be so much fun that we decided to polish it up and share it with the world.
The best part is that the game is out on the App Store RIGHT NOW! And it’s absolutely FREE! (with a little something we’re trying with ads).
So if you have an iPhone/iPod or iPad, go check it out, and enjoy!Read More »
Yesterday evening, news broke that Danny Wells, better known to a generation of kids as Luigi from the Super Mario Brothers Super Show, passed away at the age of 72.
If you were a kid in the late 80’s, that was a sad thing to read. Wells, alongside Lou Albano’s Mario (who passed away in 2009), injected a manic energy into a show that, really, had no business existing in the first place. Nowadays a Nintendo-endorsed live-action Mario show seems ludicrous, but back then, it was an after-school staple. Every day I’d watch it, enjoying the action as Wells and Albano zip around their Brooklyn apartment, assisted on their misadventures by B-list stars and former wrestlers.
That was the reach of Mario back then. He was everywhere. Cereal boxes, TV shows, clothes, cards, you name it, the Italian plumber’s face was on it. Manufacturers couldn’t make the stuff fast enough to sell it, demand was so high. Legions of kids paid money to see a movie just for the chance to get a first glimpse of Super Mario 3 (the timeless classic, The Wizard).
Can something like that ever happen again? With the amount of splintering and saturation we have in the industry? Three major consoles, PCs, millions and millions of mobile devices, and browser-based gaming all say it’s unlikely. We didn’t have nearly that many options to choose from in the 80’s, and for a lot of us, Mario was our first experience with the medium. He was, and still is, special in that way.
The Italian Plumber is still a big deal in gaming, and his franchise remains one of the most important in the industry. But he’s nowhere near the height of his popularity in the 80’s and early 90’s. And though most of the tie-ins were ridiculous, low-quality cash grabs that in some cases sullied fine actors’ IMDB listings, I really do miss breakfast with the Nintendo Cereal System.
Anyway, if you want to refresh your memory and remind yourself how horrible/awesome the SMBSS was, take a look at the clip below from one of the more iconic episodes from the series, via Kotaku.
(Full disclosure: there is only one or two Luigi clips I remember from the series. One is when he’s reverse-eating spaghetti for some reason I can’t remember. The other is when Luigi was possessed by slime and talked like a PG version of Linda Blair from the Exorcist. That latter one permanently scarred me when I first watched it. Guess which clip was embedded in the Kotaku article. Enjoy!)Read More »
By Keenan Smith
With the recent news of John Carmack leaving id Software to focus on working with the Oculus Rift team, it’s a good time to reminisce about the good old days of id.
When I think of id, I think Quake 2, the game that for me started the FPS multiplayer phenomenon. Back in 1997 I was pretty young and wasn’t really into PC games — I was still playing Super Mario World on my new Super Nintendo — but having an older brother meant I was introduced to the fast-paced twitch shooter Quake.
Ok, I’m going to put this out there and say at that time I, well, sucked. But could you really blame me? I was 9! But when the AI was put all the way down, I was a god. I spent countless hours blowing up guys with rockets and railguns, having the time of my life.
Then, one day my brother came home from school and showed me something that I never thought was possible: mods. Now I had multiple game modes and skins for my character that he and his friends made at school.
When I got a bit older, my friends and I would set up LAN parties at school, and we would have nonstop matches for a couple of hours — or until we were kicked out of the computer lab. I can still remember having a match where I was Soundwave from Transformers, facing off against Gene Simmons from Kiss.
I wasn’t into Quake’s third installment, Quake 3 Arena, that much, because I had moved onto other first-person shooters like Counterstrike and Unreal Tournament, but the game was still a lot of fun.
Even now, I still feel that Quake set the benchmark for first-person shooters, and forced other games in the genre rise above and ultimately become better titles. Now that I’m a bit older, I can fully appreciate how much mods and add-ons meant for the gaming community back then, as it was one of the first times where fans could interact with their favourite games.
I also think that Quake helped inspire people to start learning about programming and scripting, and how ultimately they could start making and modding video games themselves. I was still a little too young to get on board with this, but as you can see, it definitely planted the seed that I could become a game developer, and now I’m a programmer in the games industry doing what I’ve always wanted.
Have a comment? Leave one below! Also, you can visit our Forums section.Read More »
For all intents and purposes, the launch of the Xbox One at midnight will signal the end of this console generation. And it was packed with watershed moments and iconic games.
Everyone’s been reminiscing about the past generation over the last few weeks, and it’s been no different here at the studio. So we decided that today we’d all write about some of the games we enjoyed most from the days of the PS3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii.
Feel free to play the song below to accentuate the material.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
I’m a huge fan of Batman and especially the old animated series. Written by Paul Dini with a lot of the original voice cast? Amazing. Combined with great gameplay? Mind blowing.
Tomb Raider Reboot
Although I have enjoyed most of the Tomb Raider games, the new reboot did just about everything right and is now my favourite of the series. Bow and Arrow FTW!
The Walking Dead
As an old school gamer, I used to love story based adventure games like Day of the Tentacle, The Longest Journey and Grim Fandango. It’s great to see that Telltale is bringing them back and that there is a mainstream market for them. I’m sure that The Walking Dead is resurrection of a genre that people keep saying is “dead.” How appropriate.
Dance Central for Xbox. Besides the very casual mobile games I play to pass time, I generally like musically driven “fun for the whole group” console games like Rock Band. In fact, I think we got the Xbox because we couldn’t wait to play this fun dancing game again. Warning — it will get Lady Gaga stuck in your head!
I have slowly drifted away from console games over the years but one game stands out in my mind: Just Dance! Particularly Just Dance 2. My wife and I have spent many hours flailing our arms and legs to this game. It even doubles as a great work out! Although holding a Wiimote while you dance is a bit awkward, you get used to it. The game becomes even more fun and hilarious when there’s a big crowd and you can get 4 people playing at the same time for every song. Everyone usually gets really into it and has a great time.
No More Heroes for the Wii, because at a time when the Wii was saturated with cute minigame collections, it was so edgy and really appeased the hardcore gamer inside me. Since I didn’t have an Xbox 360 or a PS3, I didn’t have a chance to really get into the RPGs or the FPS titles that the generation had been known for, and I had finally grown tired of destroying the computer in Wii Tennis. With its cast of crazy characters and mature content, No More Heroes gave me hours of laughter, tears (of joy), and “did they just do that” moments.
Super Mario Galaxy
I don’t think I have ever smiled more at a game, ever. The level design was so spot-on, the space motif was inspired, the platforming was amazing, the environments were wonderful, and the music! Galaxy and Galaxy 2 will remain two of my favourite games of all-time, let alone from this console generation.
I’ll never forget the experience of descending into Rapture for the first time — Bioshock was the first game that made me realize how much potential the medium had to convey meaningful messages, and I think we’ve moved more and more in that direction since then, thanks to its influence. Sidebar: my family, none of which are gamers, watched me play Bioshock for three straight hours after I bought it. Never had that happen before or since.
I can’t pick a single game out of this list, but being able to play Bastion, Rogue Legacy, Braid, Limbo, World of Goo, Mark of the Ninja, Guacamelee, and others, along with seeing so many other gamers enjoy these titles as well, was fantastic. The rise in indie popularity has made a huge impact on the gaming landscape, as it’s opened up development opportunities for so many studios (including us!) and encouraged more risk-taking in game design. This will only lead to better and more diverse games in the next few years and I’m really excited to see what’s next.Read More »
I did it. Even after I said I wouldn’t. After hearing that there were actually PS4 consoles on sale for the midnight launch at a store-which-will-remain-nameless here in Toronto, I dashed to the store and babbled to my friend something along the lines of “ISAVEDYOUASPOTJUSTRUNTHEREDLIGHTS,” and found myself waiting for a PS4 with about 100 other people.
And this is what waiting in that line smelled like:
Also known as the poor soul who had to act excited to tell you about how much they liked Assassin’s Creed 2, likely for the 324th time in that hour, as the person tried to get you to sign up for a premium membership and preorder Half-Life 3.
Free stuff you don’t want
The same poor soul then shoved a box into my hands along with some brochures, said “Everybody loves FREE STUFF!!!” then proceeded to walk away very quickly before I had time to respond.
Which is what happens when someone from the mainstream press tries to interview someone in line and doesn’t really know what to say. This leads to questions like, “What’s so good about the PS4?” and “Are you getting Call of Duty?” and “Why are you waiting in line?”
A Five Guys Bacon Cheeseburger
I’ve never tried a Five Guys burger before. Now I consider my life before this moment essentially meaningless.
But if I only knew that eating that burger would be the highlight of the evening…
A homeless man
He likely thought I was a fine upstanding citizen-and-maybe alien, and gave me insights about the government before asking me if I had any change. I said no. He stood there. I pretended I had something else to do, which is a bit silly and impossible when your current task is to “wait.” Someone else gave him change and I got annoyed at this person for making me look bad.
None of us in line were special. We could’ve all been famous actors or computer geniuses or part of a championshiop-calibre breakdancing troupe, but it didn’t matter. At that very second, we were not special. The staff at the store we were waiting out front of told us so, every single time they paraded a Special Member past the line and into the “Special Party” inside.
Woe to us, who didn’t pay the membership fee that one time only to forget about it and never use it ever again, that we are not special enough to get paraded past the line and likely to the bestest party ever in the world, and definitely not an awkward get-together between company reps and strangers who had no idea this was going on.
This was about the time I started to wonder about the choices I have made in my life.
As in, look at that pile of vomit about five feet from us at the curb. It looks gross. Oh look, the line is moving. Oh look, we are now right beside the vomit. Hey, the line has stopped again for an hour, how about that.
The store employees have to tell the Special Platinum People to avoid the vomit while they are being paraded past us like royalty. It’s a small victory.
The Threat of Impending Violence
Also known as what happens when a store continuously makes a big deal out of allowing people to skip the line, with many of them waiting in dropping temperatures for several hours now, and were told that they would be inside the store an hour ago with no end in sight.
See previous entry. My friend and I debate whether we should take turns warming up in the Popeye’s Chicken we’re standing in front of. The store manager, likely sensing this, shutters the entrance.
Did the line move?? It moved didn’t it!? I FELT IT MOVE!
I asked my friend to go to the front and see if they were finally letting people in. Said friend proceeds to see a much larger line slo-o-o-wly snaking its way through the aisles inside the store.
At least both cash registers were open, and it was really nice of the clerks to spend 10 minutes befriending each customer with personal anecdotes about That Time They Played That Game You Were Buying And It’s a Great Choice. That right there, that’s service.
In which I realize that this is not the Xbox 360 launch, I am not 20 anymore, and that if I don’t leave now I will be drooling at my desk before passing out on my keyboard at work tomorrow.
I did not get a PlayStation 4.
Ah well. Happy Launch Month anyway!
Have a comment? Leave one below! Also, you can visit our Forums section.Read More »
Experience innovative gameplay that turns Facebook chat into a battle of wits
Chat Fu is now in public beta – which means it’s completely playable, featuring dozens of unlockable characters, arenas, accessories and an endless amount of word battles against your Facebook friends.
Ready to dive into the arena? Play Chat Fu here!Read More »
Chat Fu features over 20 fighters to wage in battle against your friends – including skeletons, robots, aliens and senior citizens!
Each fighter comes with a unique personality and name – plus tons of accessories to dress up with. Check ’em all out:
Hit up this awesome roster yourself when Chat Fu launches this Summer 2013!Read More »
Did you know that Chat Fu has a game INSIDE of itself? It’s like Chat Fu-ception! With an extra hard kick! Geddit? ‘Coz you need a kick to get outside of a dream in the movie Inception. By Christopher Nolan. And we have lots of kicks in our game. And…
Anyway, here’s a sneak peak at the Oh No! Ninjas! minigame that serves as a bonus round in Chat Fu. Simply type the words that appear on screen in order to fend off hoards of attacking ninjas. You’ll earn extra coins to spend on Chat Fu fighters, accessories, and arenas.
Get your typing fingers warmed up and ready for when the game launches this summer!Read More »