NOCLIP Pocket E16 - Ghost Bucks - Detention


Let us meet again, in another podcast.

Welcome to October! It’s time to play some horror games, and boy are we starting off with a bleak one. Detention is set in Taiwan during a period of marshal law, and despite its supernatural elements, really wants its lasting horror to be about the oppressiveness of life during this time. The game itself is a point-and-click adventure game, with puzzles to solve and diary entries to collect and uncover more of the story, and taken together, all its elements are in an eerily even balance. And that’s a good thing. The puzzles are not too hard, but not brainless. Narratively, there is equal weight placed on character-driven plot as well as the surrounding gloom of the world they inhabit. The game is spooky for its imagery and terrifying for the consequences its characters face. It all blends together into a really worthwhile experience in a genre of game that has seen its fair share of auteur works recently. We talk about the mechanical implications of narrative themes, good adventure game puzzle design, and ghosts that move just waaaaay to slowly.

Thanks for joining us again this episode! This is a game we played sort of on a whim based on the coverage it got and subsequently felt we had to put out an episode on it. We’re still in the early stages of the spookiest month of the year, and have a few more episodes queued up to talk about, but what have you guys been playing? Anything really scarin’ your socks off? Am I too late in the description now to be asking questions? No one’s reading? …yep.

Four Years of NOCLIP - Tomed Out of His Mind


NOCLIP Day Tidings, everyone! It’s the season of giving here on the podcast, but as usual, all we have to give is utter garbage. Specifically, the garbage we edit out of each episode and save in a special folder to break out for just such an occasion. This year we took steps toward improving our quality, making better jokes, and expanding our horizons to talk about a wide variety of still no real time strategy games. More seriously, though, we want to thank all of you for listening. We appreciate everyone who has joined our Discord to talk to us, sent us ratings, likes and feedback, and everyone who has just given us a chance and then was like “eh, it was okay.” Because “Okay” is all we strive for.

We hope you enjoyed this annual indulgence before we dive into spook season, because coming up in the next couple of weeks we have a NOCLIP Pocket episode on Detention and a regular episode on Silent Hill 2! Hopefully we’ll be able to jam a few more episodes in October, since it’s when we really get to run wild with horror games, so be on the look out for that, as well!

Episode 85 - Evidence That Spins - Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney


When something stinks, it’s probably the NOCLIP Podcast.

Thank you for joining us again today! We realize this one’s a bit late, but we needed to get it out before October starts and all non-scary content is expunged from the Internet. Today, however, we’re going to be talking about Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, the first in what has become a series of games where you play the part of the titular Wright, and attempt to make the task of being a defense attorney fun to do. Fortunately, the game does succeed in that endeavor in most cases (get it?), with what was at the time a real twist on the adventure game formula. The gameplay generally breaks down to collecting items and information and then applying those things in an appropriate context in the trial sequences. The trials are a real joy to experience at times and really highlight how drab the investigation scenes are, which the game attempts to make up for with generally good writing throughout. We are going to be talking about characters, both in design and development, mechanical implementation in a courtroom environment, and we have a REAL LAWYER comment on the two (count ‘em, two) rules of evidence.

Thank you for listening again this week! We appreciate those of you who are sticking through our transition to a JJ-less podcast, and I hope the new perspective brings something valuable to the table. We’re going to be back again in October talking about a real horror classic in Silent Hill 2. Until then, be on the lookout for a new Pocket coming in the next week, and our annual celebration of unprofessionalism on our fourth anniversary on the third!

NOCLIP Pocket E15 - Firmly Grasped It - Device 6


I don’t know any people who listen to podcasts, nor do I care to.

Welcome back! On today’s episode of Pocket, we’re returning to phone games, and, in fact, returning to a mobile developer we’ve talked about before. Device 6 is a game by Simogo, who also developed Year Walk, which we discussed last Halloween, and between the two games prove that they get that using phone hardware in a unique way is key. This game, however, focuses on text almost exclusively. The game’s text tells the story and provides descriptions, but is also your map, the space you play in, and also forms the basis for interaction. There’s a lot of unique elements present here and the low-barrier to entry makes it worth trying out. We talk about the game’s use of its unique conceit to blend mystery and more spooky elements, the pros and cons of having to spin your phone all around, and whether we are, in fact, just brains in vats.

Thanks for joining us again today, and we hope you give the game a shot, as it’s (ironically, given its name) really one of a kind. We’re going back to talking about short games that won’t necessarily fit in your pocket next week as we talk about Detention. Got to gear up for Halloween eventually, right?

Episode 84 - The Bible is Dope - Castlevania: Symphony of the Night


Your words are as empty as your soul! Mankind ill needs a podcast such as you!

Welcome back to the show this week. Join us in bidding a fond, but temporary, farewell to JJ, who will be taking some time off in the coming months, by playing Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Also, sorry for spoiling the first five minutes of the podcast. Castlevania is a groundbreaking game that helped to establish a particular genre of platform/action game and is regarded by many to be one of the most influential games of all time. With Konami having fallen under in terms of public opinion, and the most recent releases in the Castlevania series being mostly remasters and collections, Symphony stands as a perennial favorite of the older crowd of nostalgic players, but for three newcomers to the Metroidvania title, how does it feel on a first look? We’re going to talk about intermixing systems, level design in a game set primarily in one location, and we establish a new holiday: August 25th, Whipmas.

Thank you for joining us, and while JJ may be leaving us for now, we intend to keep going as we are able to pick up new guests and releasing Pockets on our usual schedule. As for what we have on the horizon, next time we release an episode it will be on Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, the original lawyerin’ game by Capcom, and will be joined by Dan, who you may remember as being last heard yelling about Bad Rats on the Obra Dinn episode.

Episode 83 - He Is Now A Preteen - Super Mario Maker 2


We’re here to rebuild Princess Peach’s Podcast.

Welcome back to the show this week! Maybe this content isn’t so original at the moment, but we’re going to be covering Super Mario Maker 2. A game focused on user-generated content is particularly difficult to cover holistically, so we’re going to be looking at the elements of the game that are not focused on specifically playing people’s levels. Presentation, the robustness of the editor and how building and playing levels makes you feel are our focus and in some respects, are the real focus of the game as well. Everything in Mario Maker is expressive, colorful and fun to use and look at, and what lies beyond that is really up to your personal ability in platformers. We’re going to be talking about the satisfaction of seeing people playing your creations, the variability in playstyles forced by the possibilities present in the available tools and that nagging feeling you missed some cheese, and some 14 year old kid on the internet is going to comment that Bowser Jr. “EASY” sticker, and you are just GOING TO LOSE YOUR MIND DAMN IT JOHNNY JUST ENGAGE WITH THE LEVEL AT FACE VALUE I’VE HAD IT WITH YOU!

…thanks for listening! This is one of those games that just keeps on giving as far as new and interesting stuff to do goes, so I’m sure those of you who are playing it will likely still be playing for some time. But we are moving from one genre pioneer to another, and talking about Castlevania, Symphony of the Night on the next episode, the game that pushed the Castlevania franchise in a new direction, melding with the groundwork set out by Metroid and creating a new genre.

And if you want to play our levels, or on the flip side, have us play your levels, head on over to our discord, where you can submit codes for us or just talk about how every level you get in Super Expert is a big troll.

NOCLIP Pocket E14 - Type "Sweet Love" - Only If


I’m listening to the podcast. The one with the anime painting.

Welcome back to NOCLIP Pocket! Today we’re talking about Only If, which is a free PC Adventure game that dedicates itself to doing things that are strange and interesting. While the inexperience of the team holds the game back from completely accomplishing its goals, what this game does provide is a great snapshot of the things indie game developers were trying to accomplish at the time in a very accessible package. There are some really good ideas here, and some of the elements (using the keyboard to type responses, surreal landscapes, a unique mishmash of mechanics) are ones we have previously praised in other games because they do such a good job of keeping the player on their toes and subverting expectations. These combine with some genuine creativity to make something that is worth the low bar of investment to experience despite the game’s relative lack of polish and narrative shortcomings. We’re going to talk about the search for weird indie titles, characters that are both really good and really very bad, and we design a hypothetically really bad Metroidvania that’s all about green pots.

Thank you for joining us again this week! This game kind of represents a desire for us to tackle some smaller titles on Pocket and look at some of the weirder elements experimented with in games. In a similar vein, next time we’re talking about Device 6, a very much text-based puzzle game from the developer of Year Walk, so be sure to check us out then.

Did you like this episode and want us to do more in the same style? Did you think this was a stupid idea and we should go back to covering Game Boy games from the early 90’s? Are you still angry that we didn’t like Detective Pikachu? Let us know, and maybe drop us some suggestions for what you’d like to see us cover in our discord!

Episode 82 - Front Gatekeepers - Baba Is You


Podcast Is You And Podcast Has Bad Jokes

Welcome back! I hope you’ve been enjoying the scorching summer months as we pack into a single air-conditioning-less room to record a new episode on Baba Is You. This is an indie puzzle game with an incredibly unique concept, namely, being able to push around words that define the rules of the puzzle. The primary mechanic set of each level is then to manipulate these rules to provide a clear passage for whatever object you happen to be inhabiting at the time to reach whatever object represents the goal. Sound abstract? We think that’s kind of the point. We’re going to be talking about puzzle game accessibility, face-value readability in a game with a lot of moving parts, and how maybe, deep down, there’s a creepypasta in here somewhere.

Thanks for joining us again this week! We’re encouraging some viewer participation on our next episode as we’re discussing Mario Maker 2! Have a level you’re proud of? Or a level you think will make us pull our hair out? Send it to us! Leave a comment wherever you’re listening to the podcast (or on our Discord at ) or send us an email at and we’ll probably give it a shot!

NOCLIP Pocket E13 - #Only90%ofKids - Pokémon Trading Card Game


Dueling is more fun than just listening to podcasts!

Welcome back to NOCLIP Pocket! This episode, we’re going to revisit a childhood favorite of, I think, every single kid who grew up in Pokémon’s heyday. Even more than an adaptation of the card game everyone was playing and collecting at the time, the game seemed almost like a full-fledged Pokémon game, with a similar conceit and art style. While that seemed good at the time, almost too good to be true, in fact, reflecting on the game in the current landscape of Pokémon the way that it is colors our opinion a little. Still, the game is still the same, being based on a TCG means that the rules are close to timeless and the things it did well in adapting a card game to the limited hardware of the Game Boy are still impressive to this day. We’re going to talk about our experiences with this and other physical card games, the narrative aspects of the game that would go largely overlooked in a modern TCG adaptation, and debating the voracity of the most prevalent of urban myths: can you just press “A” when the coin is heads up to win every flip?

Thank you for joining us again this week, and hopefully you will proceed to absolutely JAM to this game’s soundtrack over the next few days like we have been since we started playing it. Next time, we’re going to be talking about Only If, which is currently still free to play on Steam as of this writing.

Got a sweet deck list for Pokémon you want to share? Want to tell us that games from 1998 should stay in the ground where they belong? Join our Discord to have conversations about all this and more!

Episode 81 - The Birth Pillar - God of War


There is one unavoidable truth you will never escape: you cannot change. You will always be... a podcast.

Welcome back to the show, where today we’re going to take a look at the return of the God of War franchise with the, uh, aptly titled “God of War.” We meet Kratos this time around on a much more somber mission than in previous games, with him setting out with his son to scatter his wife’s ashes on the highest peak in the realms. This is of course swiftly interrupted and the journey continues but with more of a focus on the action combat the series is known for. This isn’t to say that the gameplay is unchanged, as the polish here has gone into smooth, satisfying animations and really tremendous visuals which help make the fighting feel, for the most part, fluid and satisfying. Yet, despite this polish and despite the budget, there is some niggling feeling that something else could have been done and we discuss what it is that makes this feel like maybe a little less than the triumph it was largely sold as. We’re going to talk about the value of iteration over innovation, implementation of RPG elements in seemingly every game, and what is truly the genre-defining title in the arms (big beefy arms)-race that is Buff Guy Games.

Thanks for joining us again this time, it’s a few days late but there were some holidays and some driving and stuff that prevented us from finding a convenient time to record so we hope you’ll forgive us. Next time we’re going to take a step in a decidedly different direction to talk about Baba Is You, an indie puzzle game that works on the very abstract formula of moving words and objects around the screen to change the rules that govern how you interact with the world. It’s fascinating, and we hope you’ll join us for it.

And hey, maybe you’re wondering “NOCLIP, why are you talking about this game that released last year and most people don’t really consider to be that relevant anymore? Also, why don’t you like anything? Jesus. Consider yourself uninvited from all future parties we might hypothetically have cause, honestly? Honestly? You’re bringing everyone down.” Well, for one, harsh. And for two, maybe the relevant games discussion you’re looking for can be found on our Discord server, where we have a great group of people with whom we recently live-reacted to E3 and are always up to talk about the recent developments and old favorites. Come join us!

Episode 80 - Only Idiots Drown - Return of the Obra Dinn


Those ungodly hosts carry a curse! Throw the podcast back or doom us all!

Thank you, once again, for joining us today on the NOCLIP Podcast! Today, we’re going to be wrapping up Mystery May in a (hopefully) satisfying manner by talking about Return of the Obra Dinn with help from our guest Dan, who you may remember, and at this point you probably do remember, from past episodes. Obra Dinn was developed by Lucas Pope and like his previous game, Papers Please, has a unique style that has made it the source of a lot of conversation. Maybe the truest “mystery” game we’ve played for our mystery-themed month, the game tasks you with figuring out the names and causes of death of everyone who was present aboard the Obra Dinn, using a stopwatch that lets you view the moment of death of any corpse you happen across. It doesn’t take too long for the player to become accustomed to this, all things considered, pretty radical mechanic set and this game boasts some of the most rewarding puzzle solving of any we’ve played. We’re going to talk about visual style and aesthetic substance, logical deduction and leaps of faith, and what we’ve all learned by reading the Job Dictionary.

I hope you enjoyed our selections for this month of interactive head-scratchers. As is (somehow) a tradition, we are marching steadfastly from Mystery May into Wah-June where we will be talking about 2018’s God of War. We hope you’ll join us then.

…and we hope you’ll join us NOW, over on our Discord server to discuss the game, offer suggestions and debate what qualities make a Dark Souls game the best first Dark Souls game.

NOCLIP Pocket E12 - Capricious Genie - Simulacra



Welcome back! I hope everyone is having a properly mystifying Mystery May so far. For our pocket episode this month we’re going to be tackling a phone game that takes its platform quite seriously. Simulacra is a mystery/horror adventure game where you take on the role of a faceless bystander trying to solve a disappearance with access only to the victim’s phone. An iteration on a similar, if not identical, concept explored in this developer’s previous work “Sara is Missing” (or SIM, as a very pointed acronym), the game’s interface is really what sells its concepts and it is well designed enough to compensate for Simulacra’s less adept areas. While less transformative than its Black Mirror facade, literally and figuratively, would have you believe, it is stylish enough to maintain a surprising amount of suspense throughout its short runtime and qualify it as a gem. A diamond-studded Motorola Razr in the rough. We talk about the highs and lows of jump scares, the surprisingly diverse play environment allowed by a smartphone home screen, and how for the first time ever, a piece of writing could have been saved by more liberal emoji use.

Thanks for listening to the podcast this week. I’m kind of in love with the whole “Mystery May” concept, even though it is incontrovertibly stupid, so I hope you’re getting as much of a kick out of our more guided game selections as we are. We’re finishing up the theme on the next full episode with Return of the Obra Dinn, which you should absolutely play because having it spoiled would be kind of tragic, but Pocket returns next time with the Pokémon Trading Card League. I hope you’ll join us then, and remember to join our Discord to puzzle these games out with us and other members of the community!


Episode 79 - This Burmy Can Hold Grudges - Detective Pikachu


How could your podcast take place entirely in the library? Here’s a hint, it can’t!

Thanks for joining us on the podcast again this week. We’re kicking off Mystery May with Detective Pikachu. With the movie releasing recently this IP has been in the public eye, but the film’s inspiration is comparatively less known. Now that we’ve played it, we’re here to…well, tell you why that is, unfortunately. The game follows a tried and true structure of setting up environments full of clues and witnesses to help you find solutions using logic, but the game is tuned to be accessible to Pokémon’s main demographic, which may be too young to make this title appeal to a wide variety of players. Still, the game is well made, and the aesthetic elements are charming to fans of the series so the novelty inherent in its off-the-wall-for-Pokémon-at-least design could very well be enough to hold your attention. We’re going to talk about helper mechanics for inexperienced players, how the game and movie interact in the landscape of popular culture, and who does and does not have a ponytail.

Hopefully you enjoyed the episode, though it was maybe one of the least mysterious games tackled for May so far. Next time, we’re dipping into the cold waters of Return of the Obra Dinn so prepare for a pretty dramatic shift in tone.

Join our Discord so you can discuss new episodes, strategize your approach to Sekiro and help us build out the lore of Thorpo Fantasy!

NOCLIP Pocket E11 - Big Yeets - Accounting+


What are you doing in my podcast? This is my podcast!

Welcome back to NOCLIP Pocket, and on this episode we’re going to be talking about Accounting+. This game is a VR experiment that is full of absolutely off the wall scenarios and an abrasive sense of humor that really takes advantage of the medium to make things extra uncomfortable for the player. A kind of escape room game, it ushers you between scenes where you solve puzzles or just generally do whatever you feel like while commenting on your actions with an unending waterfall of dialog. If this sounds overwhelming, that’s probably what they were going for. We’re going to talk about exploration of game worlds, meta narratives and metatextual content, and turds. Turds everywhere.

Thanks for checking out the episode, and if you don’t have a VR setup, I either hope these past episodes have helped you experience the technology vicariously or am sorry that we’ve just been entirely impossible to engage with during this theme. But from a high barrier to entry to a very low one, our next Pocket episode, following suit with Mystery May, is going to be on Simulacra! We hope you’ll join us then.

As mentioned, our Discord channel can be found here:

Episode 78 - Bad For My Tum Tum - Déraciné


Faeries are wondrous creatures who podcast in the place where time stands still,

Welcome back from the viiiiirtual woooooorld, where today, in this humdrum realm we call reality, we’re going to be talking about Déraciné. The first VR title from FROMSOFTWARE, Déraciné is a much different experience than the games that put the developer on the map. With no combat, no bosses and no constantly clanging armor sounds, we’re in for a much more subdued game, though still full of the exploration and obtuse storytelling you’ve come to expect. Playing as a faerie in a world you can only manipulate in limited ways seems like a good fit for VR, but how the hardware jives with the rest of the game is a contentious topic. We strap in to see how this experiment pans out and how one of our favorite developers can turn “interacting with orphans” into an engaging experience. We talk about VR and how it interacts with the human body, morose tone and character writing, and the unique feeling of childlike joy and very sad sadness.

Thanks for joining us today even though this episode is a little exclusionary, given its platform. If you’ve read this far, and haven’t been able to play the game, we do talk for about 20 minutes on just what we think of VR after getting our sea legs without spoiling the game if you’re interested at all in that. Next time we’re reentering the labyrinth that is… well, May. Mystery May is back, baby, and we’re kicking it off with Detective Pikachu!

As promised, the link to our brand new Discord server:

We’ll be using this to hopefully stir up some discussion about games, take suggestions and feedback, and maybe even build up a little community. Join us if you’re interested in any of that or just helping us grow.

NCP Deltarune Episode 1 - Rudy's Got the Chalk


This podcast is fueled by EVIL! ...and friendship!

Welcome back to the podcast, where after announcing the series seemingly one million years ago, we’re finally tackling the first release of Deltarune, the episodic followup to Undertale. Set in a world with familiar characters and musical motifs, Deltarune does a lot to change, and dare I say, improve the design set forth in its predecessor. With a party involved, battles are a lot more dynamic and the look and feel of the game overall has been changed significantly. The plot also makes its deviations from the original, putting the mystery of the world at the forefront while still presenting a complete narrative even in this first episode. The question we look to answer here is: how does all this come together? And of course, we can’t help but wonder what the remaining episodes have in store for us. We discuss the narrative potential of having the character arcs of multiple party members play out simultaneously, the mechanical implications of antagonistic friends, and the physical experiences possible once you unslide the Switchies.

Thanks again for joining us today, and be on the lookout for the next entry in this series soon after the next episode releases. On the topic of this series, do you like this format? Would you like to see a dedicated series comparing and contrasting other franchises, either here or on the main podcast? Does anyone actually read the descriptions? Am I trapped typing out a paragraph of notes for every episode in a Sisyphean effort to fill space in a text block that I’m required to populate, but says nothing of value by its own nature to keep the content of the episode itself a surprise? Are we all this lonely? Like, comment…and subscribe?

Episode 77 - Miyamono's Bono - Katamari Damacy


Huh, it's pretty big. We imagine it'll make a pretty podcast. If it were Ours, We'd make it much bigger.

Welcome back to the podcast! We’re finagling the release schedule a little to meet some time sensitive goals (hopefully you’ll be equally shocked and gleeful at the results), but that doesn’t mean we ROLLED out this episode without putting our usual SPIN on it. Eh? What I mean to say is that this week we’re talking about Katamari Damacy, the delightfully weird roll ‘em up from Namco that can spark childhood joy in even the lamest of people. Originally a PS2 title, the series proved itself worth a remake with Katamari REROLL and we figured there was no better time to talk about the game. The logic-defying aesthetic and almost serene mechanic set make this game both unusual and unforgettable and it exemplifies the kind of experience you really need to play to understand. We talk about outlandish music direction, stupid sexy controls, and the alternative religion Katamari clearly intends to propagate through the impressionable youth…of 2004.

Thanks for joining us again this week, and if you’ve got reasonably deep pockets and brand loyalty to Sony (or just happen to want to hear us talk about the game without necessarily playing it) join us next time when we talk about Déraciné! This will be our first examination of a VR title, and it’s FromSoftware, so expect us to enthusiastically reference Dark Souls even more often than usual.

Episode 76 - A Honker of Steak - Kingdom Hearts 3


To strike down Xehanort, we need the podcast Mickey spoke of in his letter!

Welcome back to the podcast! This work has been a long time coming and fans of the series probably never thought it would come out at some points. After delays and issues in making it, it finally released to droves of ravenous fans. I’m talking, of course, about this episode of the NOCLIP Podcast on Kingdom Hearts 3. Kingdom Hearts is one of those franchises that earned a lot of die hards and the third main series game being the conclusion to the story arch that began in the first Kingdom Hearts meant that a lot of people were understandably excited for it. Now that it has released, though, the reception has been decidedly mixed, particularly among those most enthusiastic about the series. We break down the game mechanically and narratively to figure out why that is, as well as to express our own points of interest and disappointment. We’re going to talk about combat flow, the value of visual spectacle, writing consistency, emotional character moments and what definitely is and is not a boat.

Thanks for bearing with us on the not-quite-13-year development cycle of this episode. Given our history with the series and the monumental nature of this release as well as the indecision around it we wanted to make sure what we released was at our standard of quality. We hope you enjoyed the episode, and join us next time when we talk about Katamari Damacy!

NOCLIP Pocket E10 - Find the Game By You - Hidden My Game By Mom


Get Hint! by listen podcast

Surprise! We’ve had some delays in recording the last few weeks, so to compensate we decided to cover a podcast favorite mobile game, Hidden My Game By Mom! This unassuming iOS and Android title hides a massive amount of personality in its design and is a consistently surprising experience. A puzzle game by nature, the real appeal here is in the comedic tone and absolutely wacky logic that is required to solve its levels. Assuming you gel with the game’s offbeat humor, this is a totally free, entertaining and leisurely experience we recommend to everyone. We talk about intentional versus unintentional humor, minimalist visual design and the psychological onslaught that is this series’ soundtrack”

Thanks for being patient with us, and we’re sorry it’s been so long since our last upload, but we should be getting back on track in the coming weeks. Check us out on our next episode of NCP where we’re going to finally discuss Deltarune Episode 1 and our Kingdom Hearts 3 episode will drop in just a couple days.

Bonus Episode - Xehanort's Day Off - The Story of Kingdom Hearts


Got it memorized?

Welcome to a very special bonus episode, where today we’re going to cover the plot of Kingdom Hearts in an attempt to get everyone up to speed before we talk about Kingdom Hearts 3 next week. Sit down with Chad (who knows nothing about anything) and Andy (who has always known he has two hearts inside of him) as they go game by game and give you a recap and summary of the important points and connections of the entire franchise. Whether you’ve only played the numbered games or you’ve been playing each iteration as they’ve released, we help you understand the characters, their amnesia, time travelling escapades and trips to the Realm of Darkness. We talk about key plot points, key blades and χ blades.

Thank you for joining us and listening to us spoil a record number of games in one episode. We’ll be back for the next main episode to talk about Kingdom Hearts 3 and hopefully make Master Yen Sid proud, so stay tuned!