There’s a Butcher Around Review

Welcome to a new edition of Five Dollar Dives! Today I am going to be looking at the indie horror game There’s a Butcher Around.


If you have played a horror game then you might know what to expect, but for the most part, I can say what you have in mind is not what this game is. While it does feature an interesting premise there are some things about it that cause the game to fall short. Continue reading “There’s a Butcher Around Review”

One Finger Death Punch Two Review

A man sits as the title appears abover him. One Finger Death Punch 2

Welcome to a special edition of Five Dollar Dives! This week I am taking a look at One Finger Death Punch 2.

Note: Although One Finger Death Punch 2 costs more than $5, I am making an exception for this game as I already reviewed the original game. It’s also priced at a very affordable $5.99, and I definitely think the extra money is worth it in this case. Now, let’s get on with the review!

Continue reading “One Finger Death Punch Two Review”

Assigning Weight to Death in Games, Pt. 4: Permadeath

If you’re joining us for the first time, check out Part 1: The Problem and Challenges. If you missed the last entry in the Assigning Weight to Death in Games series, take a look at Part 3: Classes of Assigning Weight.

In the second installment of this series, I mentioned permadeath. I also said that I would cover it in some greater length in a later article. Well, the time for that article has come. So, let’s remind ourselves (not that I think anyone likely needs to): what is permadeath? Well, everybody knows that it’s when death in a game works in such a way that, when the player dies, their character is dead permanently. They aren’t coming back unless the game restarts. Simple, right? Well, I would argue not quite so simple as it seems. Not by a long shot.

Continue reading “Assigning Weight to Death in Games, Pt. 4: Permadeath”

The Devil’s Calculator Review

Welcome to this week’s edition of Five Dollar Dives, where I will be reviewing the game The Devil’s Calculator.

If you love math, then The Devil’s Calculator is for you. If math is not your thing, then this game is likely going to be a pass for you. I wanted to give this game a try as most educational games tend to fall flat. I was hoping that this game would ignite my personal interest in mathematics, but I think a passionate teacher would be able to do that much more effectively.

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Assigning Weight to Death in Games | Pt. 3: Classes of Assigning Weight

Classes of assigning weight of death

If you missed out on the first two articles, check out Part 1: The Problem and Challenges and Part 2: Learning From Death.

Initially, I had planned to make this article a discussion about a whole host of standards by which to classify death mechanics and methods to assign weight to death in games. I had meant to talk about the advantages, disadvantages, applications, relation to the lessons from death, et cetera of each of this wide range of classes. It was going to be a sort of grand finale to what was meant to be a main trilogy (followed perhaps by a few short additions to the series over time). That, however, is not what this article has come to be. You see, as I worked my way through writing this installment, I came to a realization: even given the two previous articles, there was just too much left cram into one installment. Too many points and complexities were going to be cut short or simply forgotten, and the organization and pacing were turning out terribly. It dawned on me that the information needed to be split up throughout more articles. Furthermore, if I was going to have to make this series more than a trilogy, I thought why not include various article ideas I had decided to leave unwritten for the sake of a clean cut three? It was decided then, that this would not be the grand finale to a three-installment series. Instead, it will be the last installment of an initial, largely foundational trilogy for what’s shaping up to be a longer series on death in games and assigning it some well-deserved weight.

Continue reading “Assigning Weight to Death in Games | Pt. 3: Classes of Assigning Weight”

Assigning Weight to Death in Games, Pt. 2: Learning From Death

If you missed the first article, be sure to read Assigning Weight to Death in Games, Pt. 1: The Problem and Challenges.

I want to start off this week’s article by presenting a question: Why is death used almost universally as the manifestation of player failure in games? Though I hadn’t given it much thought before starting the series, there are certainly games which avoid using death in this fashion. Pokemon, the most profitable media franchise in history, merely has the Pokemon faint in its games. While this might have something to do with potential issues surrounding selling a game about making magical creatures murder one another to children, it does at least prove that death isn’t a necessary aspect for a game to have. Despite this, we overwhelmingly see death utilized. The answer as to why isn’t all that complicated: we use death almost universally because it’s feared almost universally.

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Mages through the Ages Part 1: An Introduction

Video Game Mage

Ah, the mage. The word is defined as “a magician or learned person” according to the Oxford Dictionary, with its origin being in the Latin word magus, which comes from the Greek word magos.¹ It is described as a word that was archaic by the late 19th century but has since been revived by fantasy games.² According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the following words are all synonyms for mage: charmer, conjurer, enchanter, magian, magician, magus, necromancer, sorcerer, voodoo, voodooist, witch, and wizard.³

Continue reading “Mages through the Ages Part 1: An Introduction”

Assigning Weight to Death in Games, Pt. 1: The Problem and Challenges

Assigning Weight to Video Games

Today I’d like to begin a discussion on one of the most underappreciated elements which manifests itself in almost every game: death. More specifically, death of the player controlled character(s) as a result of gameplay and player decisions. Without this kind of death, the average game would feel like little more than a poorly written action movie. The kind with no tension due to the fact that you know the hero is going to make it out of every situation on top no matter how desperate things seem. Despite this importance, many of the titles I’ve played over the years simply failed to attach an adequate weight to players’ deaths. All too often, the result of dying is nothing more than a momentary setback which I struggle to even call an inconvenience for fear of overstatement. It’s a trend so severe that when I do come across a game where death has truly well-implemented weight to it, it stands out to such an extent that I’m inspired to write a series of articles on the matter (the first installment of which you are reading now). Continue reading “Assigning Weight to Death in Games, Pt. 1: The Problem and Challenges”