Sometimes the Drawer is Empty

Duck into the prone position and aim your bow, because it’s time for us to talk about “The Last of Us Part II”, the sequel to a beloved apocalyptic video game. We follow the characters on their pursuit of cross-country revenge, filled with flashbacks and the infected. But on this journey, as we trade our adrenaline for tears, we learn that we were the last of us all along.

Tiff Arment with John Siracusa and Brian Hamilton


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Previous Episodes

Let’s Talk About Turnips!

Hop a flight piloted by a Dodo and leave behind the world you know! Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the perfect escape. Journey to a deserted island to do digital equivalents of chores you’re avoiding doing in the real world! One of the most subjective experiences in all of gaming turned out to be just what millions of us needed this summer. Guest host Moisés Chiullan and his six panelists are proof that “the friends you make along the way” really is the whole point after all. Well, that and draft-format podcasts.

Moisés Chiullan with Brian Hamilton, Tiff Arment, Kathy Campbell, James Thomson, Allison Truj and Kelly Guimont


Floppy Shark

Our Video Game Club is back in action as we play two short artsy-fartsy narrative games. “What Remains of Edith Finch” is a game about a young woman returning home to the Pacific Northwest and exploring the mysteries left behind by her family—which sounds an awful lot like other games we’ve played, but it’s very different! We also played “Tacoma”, by the developers of “Gone Home”, which (despite its title) is not set in the Pacific Northwest but in outer space. Both games have interesting approaches to immersive storytelling, and they’re both worth playing.

Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Allison Truj and Brian Hamilton


I Kissed Them Both

Our video game club is back in session, having played “Life is Strange”, the story of two young women in a town on the Oregon coast who become enmeshed in the town’s surprisingly dark underbelly. Every choice you make and every fact you uncover could completely change the story… or more likely, change the details a little bit. Plus there’s school politics, young love (or not—you decide!), diner food, beached whales, evidence dungeons, and more than a little time travel. We had a hella good time playing, and you probably will, too!

Jason Snell with Quinn Rose, Tiff Arment, James Thomson, Brian Hamilton and John Siracusa


Creepy Hug

We discuss Playdead’s video game “Inside”, a compelling and meticulously realized side-scrolling puzzle game with some amazing surprises along the way.

Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Tiff Arment, James Thomson and Dan Moren


Team Bucket

The recently released video game “Firewatch,” by Campo Santo and Panic, is the subject of our discussion this week. This is a game that’s got a plot, but so much of the richness comes from characters and dialogue. Also, there are a lot of trees.

Jason Snell with Tiff Arment, John Siracusa, Brian Hamilton, Serenity Caldwell and Tony Sindelar


Divorce Mode

Hello and, again, welcome to the Aperture Science computer-aided enrichment center. We hope your brief detention in the relaxation vault has been a pleasant one. You are now in possession of the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device. With it, you can create your own portals. These intra-dimensional gates have proven to be completely safe. You, Subject Name Here, must be the pride of Subject Hometown Here.

You know what my days used to be like? I just tested. Nobody murdered me. Or put me in a potato. Or fed me to birds. I had a pretty good life. And then you showed up. You dangerous, mute lunatic. So you know what? You win. Just go. It’s been fun. Don’t come back.

Jason Snell with Tiff Arment, Brianna Wu, John Siracusa and Tony Sindelar


The Good People Are Dead Already

Sharpen your shivs and barbecue some rats, because it’s time for us to talk about the apocalyptic video game “The Last of Us.” We talk about the story and the characters in this relentlessly bleak story of a man and a girl trying to survive both zombies and people. If you want even more, stay tuned after the music for an entire bonus episode about gameplay and technical aspects of the game.

Jason Snell with John Siracusa, Brianna Wu, Steve Lutz and Tiff Arment


Peak Crate

Following in the footsteps of our video-game draft, it’s time for us to select some of our favorite computer games of all time. Real-time strategy! Arcade style! Text adventures! From the earliest days of video games up to the present, we’ve got it covered. Now if we could just figure out what was in those crates…

Jason Snell with Dan Moren, Monty Ashley, Erika Ensign, Tony Sindelar, Steve Lutz and John Siracusa


A Smoother Yar

We continue selecting our favorite all-time console video games. John chooses the classics. Steve has a bad fur day. And Moisés continues his descent into madness. Boop beep beep boop! (Part 2 of 2)

Jason Snell with Moisés Chiullan, Steve Lutz, Tony Sindelar, John Siracusa and Greg Knauss


Six-Pixel Sword

It’s time for us to select some of the very best console video games of all time. From Mario to Zelda, from sports to music, from Atari to Intellivision, we’ve got the entire history of the video-game industry covered. Are you a bad enough dude to listen? (Part 1 of 2)

Jason Snell with Greg Knauss, John Siracusa, Moisés Chiullan, Steve Lutz and Tony Sindelar


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