'Believe me, honey, I've never been afraid of a little gas.'


with 4 comments


I’ve played games, mainly on PC, for most of my life and occasionally write something about them.


OneGate is an area in the wondrous 2001 game Anachronox, developed by Ion Storm Dallas. One of my favourites, and should have been played by more people than it was. With luck it’ll get a budget release on Good Old Games or somewhere similar one day.


Written by John Pike

12 April 2010 at 4:44 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Hi,

    I very much enjoyed reading your posts, especially about Deus Ex and Anachronox. You seem to appreciate the same sort of games I do. “The artistically refined” (whatever that means). Sci-fi stuff also.

    I wonder if there are any more games that you would specifically recommend? I’ve been dying to play a game like Anachronox again. But there don’t seem to be any. Am I right?

    Just listing a few of your favorite titles will do, probably. Chances are I’ve never heard of them before.

    Keep posting on your blog by the way! Good stuff.

    Ralf @the Netherlands

    30 October 2011 at 8:34 pm

    • Thanks Ralf.

      For me, Anachronox is certainly a once-off. I don’t usually like that kind of game (the JRPG type) but I love Anachronox for its literary qualities rather than its ludological ones. I haven’t been charmed by any game more than Anachronox. Although, I really like Brutal Legend as well, for similar reasons (not so much for its gameplay).

      Deus Ex remains my favourite game, and I tend to favour games that offer players agency rather than leading them by the nose. I like games where your own personal stories emerge as you play. So I like the Stalker games, Fallout (and New Vegas more recently), Looking Glass’s games like Thief and System Shock. I’ve been playing Frozen Synapse in recent months, which is a great turn-based tactical game, and I’ve starting playing Mount & Blade again which continues to blow me away. I really like The Witcher too.

      And there are a bunch of other games that I really like for one reason or another. Everything from Severance (a brutal hack and slash from 2001) to Trine (indie fairy-tale platformer). I like a pretty wide range, but as I said I usually privilege games that are genuinely games, as opposed to interactive films. Anachronox is a wonderful exception to that.

      John Pike

      6 November 2011 at 6:05 am

  2. OK, thanks! Will check ’em out.

    Just curious about one thing – if you’re that concerned with agency I wonder why you don’t mention any Elder Scrolls games? I’m currently playing Morrowind. Although I usually dislike fantasy, it is conveyed with such depth the clichés inherent to the genre become quite bearable. The main storyline is pretty neat, actually.


    7 November 2011 at 10:36 pm

    • I loved Morrowind. I thought it did exploration really well and as a piece of world building it’s very impressive. The world tends to be very static though; everything is in its place, just waiting for you to come along and progress whatever quest you’re on, and you don’t have much impact or freedom outside of those quest structures. It’s quite MMO-like in that regard. An Elder Scrolls game with a more reactive world would be amazing. It’s a shame all that Radiant AI stuff they talked about with Oblivion didn’t work out, because that seemed to be going in an interesting direction.

      John Pike

      8 November 2011 at 1:42 am

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