Spiffing Reads: Mario tunes, the genius of Terry Cavanagh and an Indie Wonderland

This week on Spiffing Reads, we begin by fondly remembering when singles based on video games were very much a thing, long before the special edition vinyl video game soundtracks of today.

Looking Back On That Time When Mario Gatecrashed The UK Music Charts (Nintendo Life)

NintendoLife posted a great article about two video game singles I’d never heard of that were based on Super Mario Land and the original Tetris on Game Boy that were released commercially. I’m definitely going to be checking out Super Mario Compact Disco, the full-length release by the same people (listed as “Ambassadors Of Funk feat. M.C. Mario”, haha). Professor GreilMercs

This celebration of Runic Games’ greatest hits is late because I was playing Runic Games’ greatest hits (Eurogamer)

I still can’t quite believe that Runic Games, makers of Torchlight and Hob, have gone. Here’s the irrepressible Christian Donlan on why they were so gosh darn good. Lucius P. Merriweather

Super Hexagon Developer’s New Game Creates Surreal Worlds Through Typing (Kotaku UK)

We’ve already had a bit of a Terry Cavanagh love-in today with Map Schwarzberg gushing about Cavanagh’s amazing VVVVV. But the indie auteur has his fingers in many pies, and Constellation is a weird-as-flan browser game he’s devised where you simply type things in and STUFF HAPPENS. Cue wonderfully bonkers images of flying eggs and general weirdness. L.P.M.

What Ever Happened to Mass Effect: Andromeda? Part II (AmbiGaming)

The second part of AmbiGaming’s lengthy look at what went wrong – and what went right – with Mass Effect Andromeda is essential reading. But one line stuck with me in regard to a question that publishers should ask themselves: “Are you making games to make money, or are you making money so you can make more games?” It’s a simple point, but it boils down a lot of complex arguments about publishers’ motivations. Do you want to make games? Or do you want to make money? Obviously you have to make money if you want to make games, but the problems start when the money becomes the ultimate focus. L.P.M.

Walking in an indie wonderland (Polygon)

God bless the indie scene. Reading this article was a phenomenal trip through some of the stunning, off-the-wall ideas that indie creators keep spinning out. Everything from beat ’em ups in which you can only defend rather than attack to a world in which all the objects you see have been made by hand and scanned into the game. Wonderful stuff – and we’ll certainly attempt to bring reviews of the games here to AMAP in the near future. L.P.M.

Spiffing Reads is a regular feature where we pick out the best gaming articles of the week. If you’ve read anything interesting, please let us know in the comments.

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