Electron Dance

Electron Dance Highlights

6Feb/2110

Wildfire in the Hole

It started with a single tweet, a tweet downcast about a high-profile negative review of Wildfire, a game I had not heard of before. I was instantly curious: I was sure the team behind it had some game design nous. So what had gone horribly wrong?

Wanting to know more, I asked for a press key and began a journey in June which I finally completed five months later.

Wildfire (Sneaky Bastards, 2020) is a glorious 2D stealth 'em up brimming with environmental interaction. The truth is there’s substantially more to Wildfire than meets the eye.

And that, unfortunately, was the problem.

Read More »

1Feb/2110

Discussion: Janken Zen

Welcome to the just one day late January newsletter (sign up if you want to read it):

I’ve tried the occasional RTS or 4X but nothing has ever quite sucked me in like Darwinia. Nothing unputdownable. I once played half of AI War's tutorial and, believe me, that's a long-ass tutorial.

Dear subscribers, if you feel like chatting about anything at all from the newsletter, please speak your mind in the comments here.

3Jan/2117

Discussion: Cyberdunk

Welcome to the year-late December newsletter (sign up if you want to read it):

Some have hoped that studio bosses will wake up and smell the Cyberpunk coffee, exclaiming, “Jesus, all that death march crunch is really bad for our games!” I think the more accurate analogy will be those hurrying past a violent mugging in broad daylight, grateful that it wasn’t them this time.

Dear subscribers, if you feel like chatting about anything at all from the newsletter, please speak your mind in the comments here.

30Nov/2021

Discussion: They Hurt You

Welcome to the November newsletter (sign up if you want to read it):

What they’re trying to say - and good luck finding a headline that lays this out clearly - is that videogames aren’t hurting you.

Dear subscribers, if you feel like chatting about anything at all from the newsletter, please speak your mind in the comments here.

1Nov/209

Discussion: The Assembled World

Welcome to the October newsletter (sign up if you want to read it):

Videogame developers design their worlds with purpose and often sprinkle it with procedurally-generated sugar. That pizza box is placed to tell you someone ate here and didn’t tidy up, or left in a hurry. The child’s playroom is full of handcrafted toys because they were loved and maybe one parent was a woodwork enthusiast.

Dear subscribers, if you feel like chatting about anything at all from the newsletter, please speak your mind in the comments here.

15Oct/200

Side by Side: Season 5 Deleted Scenes

Side by Side is a video series on local multiplayer games. This is a bonus episode for the fifth series.

Due to the pandemic, Joel Goodwin of Electron Dance and Gregg Burnell of Tap-Repeatedly haven't been able to meet up to make a YouTube series they love, nor Side by Side. We're sorry for this.

But Joel had always planned to put out a "deleted scenes" episode for Series 5 (if you remember, we did say there would be a "bonus episode in January") and he kept putting it off because he was working on another film which was "important". Fortunately, he has come to his senses and realised his excuses have run out of gas. Enjoy the moments that were not included in the series simply because the episodes were already long enough. Even if most of them feature Daka Dara.

Bonus fictional game currency for anyone who figures out which Season 5 game does not appear in the deleted scenes.

If you enjoy the series, please like our videos and subscribe to the Side by Side channel.

Watch the video here or direct on YouTube.

11Oct/2021

Before The High Tide

This is the final in a series of five musings on Control. Previously: Behind the Poster, Use of Weapons, Reverse Shock and Slave to the Rhythm.

There will be spoilers.

So: you reach the final boss. It’s what you’ve been working up to. Sometimes a game sticks the landing, sometimes it fluffs it and the magic withers.

But what happens if you get there and you just don’t know how to proceed? Like that one level in a puzzle game that you just can’t best. You give it your all but it isn’t enough to get you through. The energy wanes. You lose interest. You put the controller down. Maybe you don’t pick it up again.

This isn’t what happened in Control; this is an analogy for what happened to this essay, my final post on Control.

Read More »

30Sep/207

Discussion: Low Score

Welcome to the September newsletter (sign up if you want to read it):

I suppose the series' focus on money was inevitable. What the public knows are iconic titles and their associated corporate colossi: the story of pop videogames is the story of videogame money.

Dear subscribers, if you feel like chatting about anything at all from the newsletter, please speak your mind in the comments here.

16Sep/204

Fearful Beauty

No, this isn't a new Electron Dance film but, guess what, I did lend my vocal talents to fifteen seconds of someone else's video. If you like my films you'll likely dig this, too.

In this smart 25-minute video essay, Pixel a Day discusses the Romantic concept of "the sublime" in the context of Subnautica and The Long Dark. Don't worry, we've already made some noise in her YouTube comments about Outer Wilds.

Watch below or direct on YouTube.

6Sep/2035

Discussion: Towers

Welcome to the woefully late August newsletter (sign up if you want to read it):

During the halcyon days of FPS mods, not a week seemed to go by without someone showing off a cool gun render. That was the most boring thing about a mod I could imagine. I understood it was helpful to distance themselves from the source material but a hunger for weapon renders, particularly the more realistic, was baffling.

Dear subscribers, if you feel like chatting about anything at all from the newsletter, please speak your mind in the comments here.