Gaming

Indygo: A game that talks about depression

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Indygo is simple, quick, and easy, but it cuts deep.

It’s an immersive point ‘n’ click game designed and illustrated by Fine Arts Academy students, members of Pigmentum Game Studio, that dabbles into the topic of depression like no other.

Indygo game how to play

Straightforward gameplay

No fluff, no bluff. This game starts with a befitting trigger warning. When you first play the game, it already sets you in a miserable mood. All the graphics are half-recklessly sketched in black and white; the music is slow and sad; and the voice over is deep and dull.

Thomas' workshop, Sketched bedroom, Indygo workshop

The game cuts quickly into the plot: You play as Thomas, a famous painter struggling with depression. Thomas refuses to leave the confines of his small room while he encounters letters from his girlfriend Ana who desperately tries to help him. What you decide to do with every passing day, how you choose to respond and what you choose to do in-game, will affect how the story unfolds.

Cruel suspension of disbelief

When I first played the game, I had the gutted feeling that if I didn’t play it safe, Thomas would kill himself. Most people can easily dispense their suspension of disbelief and handle the game distant from the protagonist which can make the game boring.

Thomas' bed, Indygo, Sketched bed, Dark bedroom

The truth is Indygo has no incentive, and in that sense, the game grounds itself to the sinking reality of depression: no incentive, no sense, nor any will to do or simply be.

Easy play, tough decisions

I’ll confess: I was irrationally emotionally attached with Thomas. He was a character that needed help and I did anything I could to make sure he would cheer up. Unfortunately, halfway through the game, I became morbidly curious to see how far the game would push its realism, so I purposefully played to see if he’d kill himself. And, the result was mortifying.

ripped artworks, Indygo game, ripped paintings, Thomas' work

The game doesn’t really take long nor is it challenging. You can probably finish the game in an hour, so it encourages you to play more than once after each play-through with this prompt:

Indygo, Indygo game, different endings, game endings

Dangerously oversimplified?

There’s a sickening myth that it’s tough for any medium to hit the soft spot where people address mental health without either trivializing it or romanticizing it. Despite that, the worse route would be to scrap all effort and disregard the issue altogether.

medicine cabinet, Indygo game

Mental health isn’t just complex due to varied and undetermined causes, symptoms, and treatments; it’s been time and time again been swept under the rug, as much as it’s been stigmatized; not to mention, how certain people question its legitimacy. It’s a tough topic to address and how Indygo presents it can seem too simple, but it gets the point across well with its simplicity.

Not everything is as gloomy as it seems

Indygo shows genuine concern for both you and the character you play.

trigger warning in Indygo game

As Thomas’ story unfolds, you’ll find Ana, his girlfriend, desperately trying to help. Besides the trigger warning in the beginning of the game, you’ll also find a subsection in the Menu where they delve into what depression is and ways you or anyone can seek and be of help.

Should you play the game?

I say, try it out. When you’re not high-strung and on a self-destructive tirade, go ahead.

Indygo game Menu section

Take the trigger warning seriously and don’t forget that it’s just a game. Keep in mind that despite it being just a game, how you take it lightly shouldn’t be carried over to how you treat people with the condition in real life.

Indygo was released on October 24, 2017. It’s available on Steam for US$ 5.99.

SEE ALSO: 7 scary games to freak you out on Halloween

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Features

What does the GPU Turbo do to your phone?

Is it more than just a marketing gimmick?

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It’s been two months since Huawei rolled out the GPU Turbo update to its smartphones. Promised with a 60 percent increase in performance and reducing 30 percent on power consumption, a lot of fans and users were excited after the announcement.

Back then, everyone (including me) was hyped about lag-free games and longer battery life while playing. However, upon receiving the update, I began to wonder: Has GPU Turbo delivered what it promised?

What’s inside the update?

GPU Turbo was originally marketed as an improved gameplay experience, available only to PUBG and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.

The Game Suite app, which comes with the update, offers an uninterrupted gaming feature, hiding all notifications when enabled (except for calls, alarms, and low-battery alerts).

Mistouch prevention is another feature to avert users from clicking the back and home button while playing — perfect for when you want to focus on your game.

Screenshots by Miguel Pineda, Huawei Mate 10 user

To some older smartphones like the Huawei Mate 10, the Game Suite App offers three performance modes: Gaming mode, which improves game performance but increases power consumption; Smart mode, which balances performance and power consumption; and Power saving mode, which saves power but reduces game performance.

For the newer Huawei P20 Pro (which I’ve been using) and Honor Play, it only has a gaming acceleration mode to toggle on or off.

Thoughts on the reduced power consumption

Because I used the Mate 10 before and recently transitioned to the P20 Pro, I’ve experienced the GPU Turbo update in both phones and I can guarantee that they’ve delivered on lowered power consumption.

With Game Suite, I can put my phone on power saving mode to further save battery. For instance, I was only able to drain the Mate 10 down to 15 percent during a 12-hour road trip despite switching between the games I play and other apps, such as Messenger, Netflix, Spotify, and taking photos and videos every once in a while. The same goes for the P20 Pro.

As a power user, I already get a lot of things done with these highly efficient smartphones and GPU Turbo; these allowed me to do more on a single charge. However, it’s a different case for gaming.

Improved gaming experience, but there’s a catch…

When I started playing games on gaming mode (or game acceleration mode on the P20 Pro), I could run Mobile Legends: Bang Bang on a high frame rate with the highest graphics setting available. Compared to how the game stuttered and lagged during 5v5 clashes, with GPU Turbo, it now runs smoothly, as if I have a smartphone made for gaming.

System notice when enabling the high frame rate on Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and the effects it may have on your gameplay

As shown above, most mobile games will notify their users about the possible repercussions of higher frame rates and using the best settings available. To prove that a smartphone with GPU Turbo can handle this, I sought out to confirm my suspicions.

After asking fellow Huawei users, I found out that after installing GPU Turbo, energy consumption is a lot faster than before. Their smartphones also heat up more easily, especially when playing games with the game acceleration mode on. This isn’t part of what was promised, and it’s pretty disappointing.

It’s not yet perfect

In my experience, GPU Turbo tries to boost performance above a smartphone’s limit hoping that users can experience better gameplay.

GPU Turbo can’t choose when to perform its best. It’s an update that is constantly running in our smartphones without any way to switch it off. We can only hope that Huawei will address these issues for the next batch of updates.

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Gaming

ASUS ROG Phone receives US pricing

Last piece of the puzzle

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ASUS is certainly taking its time with the release of its one and only gaming phone. First announced at Computex 2018, the ROG Phone finally has an official price to go with its US release.

For the model with 128GB of storage, you’d have to shell out US$ 899. For the larger 512GB storage variant, the cost goes up to US$ 1,099. Both come with a high-end Snapdragon 845 processor and 8GB of memory.

Of course, there are accessories to go with it. First is the ROG Mobile Desktop Dock, which costs US$ 229; the ROG Phone Case retails for US$ 59; the ROG Professional Dock is valued at US$ 119; you can buy the ROG TwinView Dock for US$ 399; the ROG Gamevice Controller is at US$ 89; and lastly, the ROG WiGig Dock goes for US$ 329.

Those are a lot of accessories for one phone, but that’s what makes the ROG Phone a truly gamer-centric device.

As stated last week, the ROG Phone will hit US shores starting October 18, with other regions to follow soon after.

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Gaming

PlayStation’s PSN Online ID change coming soon

Full rollout coming early 2019!

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You’ll soon be able to retire your DarkWarrior1214 PlayStation ID. In a blog post, Sony PlayStation said they will soon begin testing the PSN Online ID change feature as part of their preview program.

Beta testers part of the preview program will be able to change their PSN ID as much as they want. However, once the feature rolls out to everyone, only the first name change will be free. Succeeding name changes will cost US$ 9.99 for regular users.

PS Plus users will be charged a smaller fee of US$ 4.99. The online ID can be changed through the profile page on your PS4 or at the Settings menu. There’s also an option to display your old PSN ID alongside your new one so your friends can recognize you right away.

Not for all games

The feature isn’t available for all games, though. Only PS4 games published after April 1, 2018 along with other most-played titles that were published before that date will have the feature. PlayStation also warns that changing the ID might cause some issues with some games that can be fixed by reverting to the old ID. Here’s to hoping PlayStation finds a way to address those issues some time down the line.

The planned full rollout of the feature is in early 2019. What will be your new PSN Online ID?

SEE ALSO: Sony unveils PlayStation Classic, comes pre-loaded with 20 games

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