video games

Bonfire Peaks is a Thoughtful Adventure about Burning Your Stuff

I’m only about 15 puzzles in, but Bonfire Peaks by Corey Martin is an excellent puzzle game so far with just that right amount of tension to puzzle solutions. The gameplay in Bonfire Peaks is a really satisfying adventure of moving and stacking crates on a grid in order to burn your old possessions and move on to the next puzzle.

The description on Steam says that Bonfire Peaks is about closure and from what I’ve seen it can be a little melancholy with broken objects strewn about the overworld like a wrecked car and living room furniture. The overworld is also a crate stacking adventure to get the next group of levels.

Bonfire Peaks is typically $20 for Windows, Linux, and macOS but it’s temporarily on sale for $12 until March 15th on Steam and Itch. Bonfire Peaks is also available on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 but it’s a little bit more expensive there. Get all the store links on the Bonfire Peaks website.

03/13/2023 Update: a prior version of this post talked about Bonfire Peaks not having a native Linux version on the Steam Deck. It now appears to be using a native Linux version after an update or I misunderstood the situation previously. While Valve does not make it straightforward to tell which version you’re playing with by default on the Steam Deck, the error was mine.

video games

Zach Barth Drops Out of High School

It feels like just a week or two ago that Zachtronics put out their final games, Last Call BBS and The Zachtronics Solitaire Collection, but it was just last September in our Year of Linux on the Desktop, 2022.

Here in March 2023, Barth has a new game on the way with other ex-Zachtronics developers working together at a studio called Coincidence and the twitter handle (didn’t we all move to cohost and mastodon?) has a bio that reads: “Coincidence is a cooperative game studio created by ex-Zachtronics developers. Zach Barth is no longer teaching high school and is making games again.”

Congratulations to all of us game enjoyers, Barth’s collective of former Zachtronics people at coincidence is working on a new physical card game called The Lucky Seven and it’s a physical card game “set in an unknown conflict of the 20th centuryon indiegogo for pre-ordering at just $10 US buckaroos with digital instructions for gameplay online here. I think it’d be good if they printed some and included them in the box, instead of just a QR code pointing to the website, but maybe will take over that role once the website goes away.

living video games

Humble Bundle for Türkiye-Syria Earthquake Relief Efforts

There was a devastating series of earthquakes affecting Türkiye and Syria early in February and the Humble Bundle folks have a bundle of games and more up for the next few days that donates all of the proceeds to three relief groups. Highly recommended. Get it here.

video games

Cab Ride is a Delightfully Minimal Train Sim with Fantastic Music

Cab Ride by Powersaurus is a free game that runs on the PICO-8 fantasy computer in your web browser or with a download. In Cab Ride you’re just driving a train from with a minimal interface through pretty pixelated cities and countrysides while enjoying some nice music and optionally picking up and dropping off passengers at different stations kinda like your JR East Train Simulator (Steam link for Windows, Early Access stream by Yours Truly).

Cab Ride’s controls are minimal, like other PICO-8 games, but thoughtful. For example, for maximum chill there is an “express mode” that drives the train on its own. To activate this you press the right arrow or the right direction on an analog stick. When I saw these instructions, at first I thought this would lead to a lot of accidental user-input causing you to flip into this mode too often, but there’s a smart countdown that prevents accidental “express modes.”

Cab Ride is free on for your web browser, Windows, macOS, and Linux, or through the PICO-8 BBS.

video games work

People Make Games on Working at Valve

There have been former and current employees at Valve talking about the working conditions and the ways they work for years.

People Make Games have posted this report to YouTube based on their interviews with 16 current and former employees of Valve and it’s very interesting to learn more about the working conditions at Valve.