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Verge Favorites: Andrew Webster

Verge Favorites: Andrew Webster


I'm a sucker for whodunits

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The Verge staffers aren't just people who love technology. They're people who love stuff. We spend as much time talking and thinking about our favorite books, music, and movies as we do debating the best smartphone to buy or what point-and-shoot has the tightest macro. We thought it would make sense to share our latest obsessions with Verge readers, and we hope you're encouraged to share your favorites with us. Thus a long, healthy debate will ensue where we all end up with new things to read, listen to, or try on.

Venus Patrol


Once upon a time Boing Boing had a gaming offshoot called Offworld, and it was pretty great. But sadly it didn't last long. However, thanks to a little help from Kickstarter, editor Brandon Boyer recently launched the site's spiritual successor in the form of Venus Patrol. It's sort of like a really, really good Tumblr that focuses on the art side of games — so expect to see plenty of beautiful, often pixelated things each time you browse. Boyer also happens to be the chairman of the Independent Games Festival, so there are few people with more insight into what’s happening in the indie game community, making Venus Patrol an excellent way to keep track of the latest and greatest.

The Keeper of Lost Causes


I'm a sucker for whodunits, and I picked up a copy of this Jussi Adler-Olsen novel to read on a flight and just couldn't put it down. The writing is a bit stiff — though I'll give Adler-Olsen the benefit of the doubt and assume some things were lost in translation — but the story itself is engrossing. There are two separate narratives that very slowly become connected, and it's incredibly satisfying watching all of the pieces come together. And like the pre-eminent "nordic noir" series The Millennium Trilogy, there's some pretty messed up stuff that happens along the way, which just makes it harder to stop reading. And luckily for me the sequel came out not too long ago, so there’s plenty of Department Q in my future.

FTL: Faster Than Light


FTL scratches an itch I didn’t even know I had. It’s part spaceship simulator, part roguelike role playing game, and the kind of game you go into planning to play for an hour before you realize that it’s 4:00 AM. Each game starts out the same: you need to make a delivery while evading a fleet of rebel ships, but in order to do so you’ll need to make your way through some treacherous regions of space. There’s a nice balance between exploring the galaxy, battling other spaceships, and constantly upgrading your own ship with plenty of new features and weapons. The thing is, as deep as the game is, each round is pretty short, largely because you’re going to die a whole lot. So not only does FTL combine the addictive qualities of a space sim and an RPG, there’s also an arcade-like mentality of constantly going back to play just one more time so that you can beat your previous score. Few games have made dying so addictive.

Critter Crunch


I've already played a whole lot of Critter Crunch on the iPhone and PlayStation 3, but the recent Steam re-release was the perfect excuse to jump back in. The Mac and PC version appears to be identical to its PS3 counterpart, but that's just fine — Critter Crunch is one of the more inventive and addictive takes on match-three puzzle games that I've yet played. Plus, it's absolutely gorgeous, with beautiful hand-drawn art to go along with an adorable sense of style. Don't let the bright colors and cute critters fool you, though — there's plenty of challenge here so you'll definitely get your $6.99 worth.



The silly season is here for sports fans — the World Series just ended, the MLS playoffs are kicking off, the European soccer season is in full swing, and if the world doesn't hate me the NHL will be starting eventually as well. Keeping track of all of your favorite leagues and clubs can be a pain, but ScoreMobile does an excellent job of keeping everything in one place. It covers a huge range of leagues — seriously, there's everything from Canadian football to professional lacrosse — but more importantly lets you focus only on the teams you care about with the "My Score" feature. It makes checking scores and stats on the go a whole lot easier, though sadly it doesn't make being a Toronto sports fan any less depressing.

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