As painful as the end of a run can be, “Dead Cells’” steady introduction of new mechanics made it easy for me to pine for one more go. In my view, that’s the hallmark of a successful arcade experience.
"Vampyr" is a game with one foot in the grave and one on solid ground. Though the game's combat feels rooted in the past, learning its citizens' secrets and uncovering their social networks makes for an alluring proposition in our age of oversharing.
At its core this retro game is about our individual and collective difficulty with embracing different forms of forward thinking. It has the austerity and the warmth of a low-fi song about our not-so-charming inadequacies.
When I turned away sick refugees and lost children and pulled my engineers away from medical rounds so they could labor in the mines with blue-collar workers I could only admire how skillfully the game teased out my latent ruthlessness.