Hello, I'm Richard

And in case you were wondering, I'm a UK based freelance writer, journalist and professional producer of many wonderful words, including "tapeworm" and "Ahoy!". Why not drop me an e-mail, follow me on Twitter, and if you like what you're reading, hire me to write words and help you make cool things?

I write. I never claimed to be photogenic.

Enjoying the games and video nonsense? Enough to maybe buy me a pint of Coke at your local bar each month? Become my Patreon! Get snazzy purple comments and help keep my cats in food.

Latest Posts

> Quick TRiP: Sorcery! 3
> #lootcrate II
> Quick TRiP: Below
> Mortal Konversations
> Shooting Crap: Flowers of Crystal
April 23, 2015

Quick TRiP: Sorcery! 3

Once again, proof that while the greatest graphics processor might be your brain... the iPad still rocks.

Someone stole this peasant's walls! Bastards!

Someone stole this peasant’s walls! Bastards!

It’s such a great time for interactive fiction right now. Have you noticed? Twine has opened up the field to anyone in ways that the game creation tools of old never quite managed, games like Sunless Sea (cough, disclaimer, cough) have proven they can be commercial as well as critical successes, and over in Cambridge, Inkle Studios just keeps knocking out the jams. 80 Days was easily one of the best games of last year, and I don’t think we’re going to see a more ambitious offering than this Sorcery! for quite some time. Goodness, what an impressive game, both modernising a long in the tooth bit of fantasy, and again showing how much untapped potential text still has.

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April 22, 2015

#lootcrate II

What's in the box? WHAT'S IN THE BOX?

And remember, if you want your own Lootcrate, just head to your local Poundland and pick five random items off the toy shelf. Use the promo-code “FIRE! THERE’S A FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRE!” for a chance to get them for free!

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April 21, 2015

Quick TRiP: Below

Down, down, deeper and... quite often back up again

"Achievement unlocked... slept with the Wayward Bard? How strange!"

“Achievement unlocked… slept with the Wayward Bard? How strange!”

Quick TRiPs are first impressions, thoughts, musings and casual write-ups of games rather than full reviews. Finished stuff, Early Access, demos, F2P stuff… anything that looks interesting. Requests? Let me know!

Below is a fascinating game. Before I say anything about it though, some fairly obvious disclaimers. It’s a game by Chris Gardiner of Failbetter Games, and while it’s a personal project rather than an official game, I’ve both done and continue to do work for the company. I’ve not had anything at all to do with this one though, save that a couple of years ago I did an interview with Chris and co about it prior to its failed Kickstarter, after which I didn’t hear anything else about it until the other week. Goodness, how long ago that seems now…

As of said other week though, it’s out, mostly free, and still just as interesting as it was back in the day. What is it? Think a card-based Roguelike, but with some very cool concepts. Such as, you wonder? Read on, I suggest.

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April 20, 2015

Mortal Konversations

A little free pre-fight DLC to keep your battles interesting. WHO'S NEXT?

DID SOMEONE CALL AZTEC SUPPORT?

DID SOMEONE CALL AZTEC SUPPORT?

I’ve been playing a bit of the new Mortal Kombat X over the last couple of days, just enough to complete the story and enjoy the illusion of competence that even two seconds in online mode would strip away like skin under acid. (Seriously, these Easy Fatalities are the only chance I will ever have to see those outside of the training mode…) Still, it doesn’t take long for some things to start getting overly familiar, not least the taunts between fighters at the start of matches. To that end, please take these free bonus taunts to perform in your future bouts.

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April 5, 2015

Shooting Crap: Flowers of Crystal

A bonus video! Super Jim to the educational rescue! Or as it turns out, not...

4Mative Experiences: Part 2. Check out Part 1 on Granny’s Garden here.

Note to self: Next time you try to make a video about a game with basically no plot, no characters, no animation, no music, and about 15 minutes of raw game… kill yourself. No, kill Premiere CC, then you. This is the 4Mation game that people don’t tend to talk about, and looking back, there’s probably a reason for that. Shudder. Ironically, I was expecting this one to be the easier of the two games to do a video about, but reality proved rather less interesting than memory. Curse you, reality. You’re rubbish. Why can’t you be more like fantasy?

Next time… er, no idea yet! Pretty much anything but Dragon World!

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April 1, 2015

Shooting Crap: Granny’s Garden

The Witch is back, and she wants... well, to teach basic logic solving, mostly. Also your soul!

4Mative Experiences: Part 1. Watch Part 2 on Flowers of Crystal here.

Subscribe to my YouTube channel here if that’s the kind of thing you’d like to do. Oh, and once again, a note about what these are – snarky as I am, it’s as in ‘random crap’ rather than ‘bad games’. Like just about every kid who played this in the 80s, these games have a very special place in my heart. Just past the aorta, off the side of the third ventricle. Primitive as this game is, it’s a very important part of UK games history – pretty much our equivalent of the Oregon Trail. Except for people who had copies of the Oregon Trail, but I didn’t, so…

(Random note, yes, I know the date. Don’t worry, it’s a real video and all that. It was due for release at the end of March, only my Premiere CC has been staggeringly awful of late. How awful? If I found a magic lamp and inside was a genie offering three wishes, I would wish to be able to punch it in the face three times. Grrr!)

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March 28, 2015

The End Of Every Story

Well, a chapter, anyway. But that didn't make for as snappy a title.

We'll always have Paris. No, wait. I mean the site archives.

We’ll always have Paris. No, wait. I mean the site archives.

So, my latest Critical Paths is now up, a look at depression in games that I call Black Dogs And Broken Toys. The subject matter is honestly coincidental… but it’s also the last of them. Yep, sadly, after about four years of writing Crap Shoot and around six months of Critical Paths, PC Gamer has axed my weekly columns.

Obviously, disappointed about this, but not bitter. For a freelance column, especially one that’s been “take money, write whatever”, that’s a hell of a run. It’s not a split with the mag or anything either, just a boring question of resources and their allocations in an increasingly squeezed marketplace. I’m still going to be writing in it and all that, just not as a regular Saturday columnist. C’est la vie. I’m just glad that people have enjoyed them over the years, especially Crap Shoot, and happy to have written for such a great audience. As I’ve said before, if it wasn’t for how people responded early on, I’d never have dared break out video editing for the first time, or written half the nonsense that series contained with the faith that people would probably enjoy it.

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A Random Selection Of Things That May Interest And Entertain...

Shooting Crap: Granny’s Garden

The Witch is back, and she wants… well, to teach basic logic solving, mostly. Also your soul!

[Video] Heroine’s Quest

Isn’t it typical? You wait fifteen years for a successor to the Quest For Glory series, and then four of them come along at once! Not that I’m complaining.

Fiction: One-Up

When cat ownership goes wrong… A quick short story written for a local writing group, based on real events. Honest. More or less. Ahem.