Mouse Smash

JC Lau's blog about geekery, gender and other rants


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The Top Ten Games of 2014 (that I played)

2014 has been a year of many changes for me. In June, I left academia–a field I’d been in for the last 15+ years–to explore what it would be like to be part of the videogame industry. This is my attempt to make my geeky leanings into a career! So, in the past six months I wrote about, networked, and yes, played way more games than I’d otherwise have the time and inclination for. In the last month alone, when I was overseas, I had six articles published at various sites and that was without my even having an opportunity to update my blog. Whew!

So here we are at the end of the year. Of the games I played this year, this would be my Top Ten list.To be fair, there are games that I bet are great, but that I didn’t get around to playing yet, like Bayonetta 2, Assassins Creed: Unity (despite the release fiasco), Dragon Age: Inquisition and Tales from the Borderlands. So this list is limited by what I’ve played this year that actually came out this year, plus a few honorable mentions for games that were published before 2014 that I’ve still not let go of. Continue reading

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Review: Monument Valley

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Monument Valley is an elegantly-designed puzzle game with intriguing challenges and polished mechanics. You guide Princess Ida through ten Escheresque levels on a journey of discovery and forgiveness. Along the way, you meet crow people, befriend totem creatures and traverse seemingly-impossible optical illusions. Continue reading


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Review: Cook, Serve, Delicious!

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For a game in the “turn your zero-star, rat-infested craphole into a gleaming bastion of gourmet food” genre, Cook, Serve, Delicious certainly crams in a lot. Apart from cooking, you have to wash dishes, clean toilets, and accurately describe robbers holding you up—all while your customers are still ordering from you. It’s enough to melt your brain, really. Continue reading


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I was in a Doubleclicks music video and all I got was this lousy ferret attack

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I’ve been a fan of the Doubleclicks for some time now, ever since the first time their anthemic Nothing to Prove made me tear up at my desk in grad school. I’m sure it wasn’t just the insecurity and emotional exhaustion of churning out a dissertation in a male-dominated environment that was talking, but hey, there was something in their song that really spoke to me. From songs about burninators to burritos, they could have played the soundtrack to my geeky and socially awkward life.

So when the Doubleclicks sent out a call inviting their fans to be part of an upcoming music video, I knew I had to be involved. Continue reading