Category: Roguelike

Bonfire Demo

Bonfire, which I reviewed years ago, is finally getting an expansion into a full game. The demo is out if you want to try it.

Bonfire is a tactical roguelike RPG. I greatly enjoyed the original alpha, though unfortunately, I have to say I’m finding the new demo less fun so far. In The alpha, there were no lasting consequences for failing a quest, but now, you’re severely punished with the loss of extremely scarce long-term resources for letting even a single character get defeated. This exacerbates the problem the alpha already had of locking you into very repetitive defensive strategies if you want to survive.

I do like the other changes, however. The alpha felt like a tech demo, but this feels like a full RPG, and some of the new mechanics address my other big criticisms of the original. Hopefully the rough edges can be sanded off by the time of the full release.

Games for Racial Justice and Equality (Part 2)

Continuing where we left off. A much weaker showing this time, with a lot of games I couldn’t even finish.


Into the Breach and Star Renegades

Into the Breach and Star Renegades are two very different games from two completely different developers, but they have a number of things in common I thought worth analyzing.

The premise of both games is identical: Alien invaders are attacking, and you must defend humanity by traveling across timelines and passing on your knowledge and technology every time. Both games have no true ending: After the end of every run, win or lose, there is always another timeline under threat that you must jump to.

What’s interesting is that despite this similarity, their execution of story elements is diametrically opposite, and both left me unsatisfied in different ways.



Inscryption is a game by the makers of Pony Island, a game our esteemed illhousen previously reviewed. While I haven’t played Pony Island myself, Inscryption makes the exact blunders illhousen details in his review: the metatextual elements fall completely flat because it’s clear you’re playing a person playing a haunted video game, not actually playing a haunted video game yourself. In general, I found them tedious and uninteresting interruptions to the actual game. This is a shame, because the gameplay is actually very good.