A few of the games we showed Now Play This 2017, which ran at Somerset House in London from 7-9 April, as part of the London Games Festival. Get a taste of the festival if you couldn't make it in person, or revisit some favourites if you could...
A hostile place to explore, a long time into the future. Jagged green spikes point into the sky; monoliths and gentle slopes with sudden chasms surround you; a small cat follows you around.
A short game about the moments we spend passing through unfamiliar places. It's based on illustrations Fourneau created on a train journey through Sacramento, and those watercolour glimpses inform the whole work: impassive flamingos, distant conservatories, windmill flowers, a bright sun watching over it all.
Wish Fishing invites us to ask questions, and then gives us answers and hints about how to interpret them. Players type in questions, and receive symbols in response; the interpretation of those symbols is down to them, aided by a simple glossary.
This is a writing game played to a metronome - one insistent reader forcing three writers to speak words in unison, writing down only those words that they all agree on. If the writers didn't have their own secret aims as well, it might be easy...
Tangled Paths is another tabletop storytelling game, but a much less hostile one! The stories players tell are laid out in images, intersecting with each other and interpreted by others. It's inspired by Calvino's "The Castle of Crossed Destinies".
Not the game, but a guide to running it. Deadbolt itself is a game about conversations and questions and telling the truth, in a small group of friends or strangers who you may know much better at the end of the game.
This turn-based connect-four curling game, played among a selection of variably obstructive animals, is one of the games in our multiplayer corner. It's one of the gentlest (quiet, calm, no sense of the hectic about it) and also one of the most vicious (players ricocheting each other's pieces off the field and into the mouth of a waiting alligator).
Breakup Squad is another game in the multiplayer corner - a thrilling asymmetrical team game for five players, two of them ill-advised exes trying to get back together, three of them friends who know better and who are determined to jostle and get in the way and prevent love from reigniting at all costs.
And 12 Orbits, another of these, takes up to twelve players, each of them entering and leaving the orbits of different circles, navigating around each other and the playing space with just one button each.
The fictional precursor of cricket, perfect for half a dozen people with a softish ball, a bat, and somewhere to run around.
This game places you at the end of the world, and gives you ten seconds to decide what to do - but players tend to try again and again, making their choices faster and faster, desperate to find the best ending, to cram as much as they possibly can into those ten seconds.
The most important thing in this game is to get all your makeup on before your time runs out.
Getting it in the right place? Not smearing lipstick down your foreheard? Making sure that the roses of your cheeks are two separate blushing circles, not one huge line across the centre of your face? Way less important.
A slow, gentle game about the sometimes sad lives of vegetable people, and the difficulties they get into, and their journeys, with beautiful black-and-white illustrations set against a colourful world.
A lovely picture book of a game, with burly seafaring men and calm villages and a mysterious map that invites you to explore. We'll be showing it alongside a real life paper book version of the story, tracing out one possible path through the adventure...
The Awkward Arcade, a series of purpose-built arcade cabinets by James Medd, will be at the event with a couple of selections: first, three short games by Vaida Plankyte...
...and second, Istanbul, Texas, a game about destroying things, regretting things, decisions you can't take back and decisions you can.