Alyse Stanley

Welcome! I'm an editor and games journalist based in Virginia, though I've previously worked just about every job you can have in a newsroom. No wonder my anxiety's through the roof. You can find my words at Polygon, Rock Paper Shotgun, and Unwinnable, where I pull double duty as a web editor and indie games columnist. I also work the night desk for The Daily Dot writing about my other passion: memes. 

The Evolution of Symmetra, Overwatch's Most Changed and Divisive Character

If you ask Overwatch players what they think about Symmetra, everybody’s got a different answer.
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Technicolor Dystopias: Why the Colorful Wastelands of Rage 2, Far Cry New Dawn, and Fallout 76 Are Suddenly Popular

"The experience of reading such a work is too much like staring into one’s own grave," writes Paul Brians of painfully realistic nuclear war fiction. And he would know; he literally wrote the book on it. Instead, we’re much more likely to embrace media depictions the internet has classified with the hashtag #NukePorn: glorified anarchic playgrounds set after everything's gone to hell.

Alyse Stanley’s 5 best games of 2018

It’s been a pretty stinking great year for indie games. We’ve seen the release of several long-hyped darlings (finally) as well as a few surprise hits that went on to dominate newsfeeds. You easily could have missed them, though, what with all the big budget map fest games making huge waves this year. I know there are about a million games demanding your attention right now, but if you have some time over the holidays, each of these titles experiments with or otherwise builds on their genres in

Fallout 76 beta: finding life, and Mothman’s butt, in the wilderness

While I’ve only experienced a few hours exploring the luscious hillsides of Fallout 76’s West Virginia, I made it my mission to explore as much of the game’s extensive map as I could. It’s an impressive thing, four times the size of Fallout 4’s already expansive landscape, but the locale has all the personality and silly esoterica I’ve come to expect from Fallout games, mixed with the countryside I know all too well. (I grew up just next door in good ol’ Virginia proper.)

The Harmful Misconceptions Behind We Happy Few

Back when I thought We Happy Few’s was just a 1984 or Brave New World ripoff, I thought its concept was charming. There’s something lovely about weaving together the hysteric whimsy of ‘60s Mod culture in Britain, a country going mad in its fashion and design to avoid looking at the world falling all around it, with a tale of masked emotions, drug abuse, and dystopia. When I found out Compulsion Games’ true inspiration, my opinion on We Happy Few instantly soured.

Developer of indie hit Butterfly Soup talks sequel plans

Visual novels have been experiencing a cultural renaissance in recent years as developers continue to challenge genre conventions and tackle themes that AAA titles are hesitant to explore. Last year saw a flood of VNs capture the popular consciousness, but Butterfly Soup, in particular, charmed its way into players’ hearts and shot to the top of critics’ radars. Now there’s a sequel in development, due in the summer of 2019, and I’ve been speaking to developer Brianna Lei about how she hopes to continue the story.

The Top 5 Cutest Indie Games of 2018

With so many great-looking indie games slated to release in 2018, it can be overwhelming to keep track of them all, especially with how many platforms there are to watch out for now. You've got, Humble Bundle, Steam Direct -- even the Nintendo eShop is attracting droves of developers. Don't worry, though. This list is here to help make sure you don't miss out on this year's truly important titles: the most adorable ones.

Nour: Food Art Made Playable

Nour is making players hungry. The game’s Kickstarter calls it “an interactive food sim” unlimited by objectives or social mores, leaving players to manipulate the physics of deliciously rendered meals to their heart’s content. But the more the player interacts with their food, the more the combination of color, sound, and design seems to transpose the experience into a form of performative art, with dishes like avocado toast, ramen, and bubble tea transforming into instruments played by your keyboard.
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