Idle Thumbs

Idle Thumbs

United Kingdom

A weekly video game podcast full of in-depth discussion and absurdity. Hosted by Chris Remo, Jake Rodkin, and Nick Breckon, with occasional guests!


Idle Thumbs 285: Candor, Expertise, and Candor  

The future arrived and for once, we liked it. This is very confusing, but it's definitely happening now. This is really when it's happening. Nick and Jake get their hands on PlayStation VR and play the heck out of it. Chris, who prefers a more traditional immersive themed environment, visits the immaculately produced Tokyo DisneySea and can't contain himself. Where does VR sit next to the rest of gaming? Is there space for the player in stories that aren't about them, especially in a medium fixated on literally putting players in the heroe's shoes? What does this have to do with a fictional New York in the middle of Japan, with a janitor who, when your back is turned, starts emitting cartoon sound effects and giving high fives to everyone around him? Find out moments from now. Step into this pod, press play, immerse yourself, and please tell a friend about what you experienced here.

Idle Thumbs 284: Live From The Past  

Welcome to episode 4186-0000-028C-E9F8! We bring you word from a simpler time. A better time, before the mess we're in today. A time when you played World of WarCraft. Join us in this life until Chris Remo returns from Japan and tells us of what he saw there.

Discussed: Virginia, World of WarCraft: Legion, Nidhogg 2, GameMaker, Nintendo NX

Idle Thumbs 283: Fantastical Tactical Spectacular  

Before Chris boards a plane to Japan we take a trip to Hitman Con 2016, where there are no talks, and no one wears a badge, but the cosplay game is off the charts. Join us for a brief look at the most recent two Hitman episodes, talk of episodes yet to come and episodes that will never be (outside of our dreams).

Idle Thumbs 282: Winnie the Putin  

Slap on your 3D scanned face, check your latest upgrades, don some really expensive stupid sunglasses, and hit the streets: it's time for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Then, slap on your 3D scanned face, check your latest upgrades, don some really expensive stupid sunglasses, and hit the streets: it's time for NBA 2K17. We do all of these things, and tell you how it went.

Idle Thumbs 281: The Marfing Barfo  

Hey, over here. Yeah, it's me. My friends call me Wide Boy. You can call me Wide Boy 64. So where's that other goatscaver? What? It's just you? You uncle-terder. You wod head. You goat-jashiping crassmicker. Fine. Let's get going. Take this pill, put on this nice mask. Try to blend in. Look happy. And hey, clotwizard: if you get caught, you're dead. I'm not coming back for you. You marfing barfo.

Idle Thumbs 280: Hamburger Mode  

If your controller has a hamburger button, you should press it. Chris pressed the hamburger and watched as his copy of Halo traveled in time from his Xbox 1 to his Xbox One. We also pressed the hamburger button in our minds, mentally transporting ourselves to the mid '90s with Obduction, the latest from Cyan. Meanwhile, Nick, starting up his third new game studio in as many years, demanded his employees add hamburger buttons to all their latest product in Software Inc.

Idle Thumbs 279: Horrible Adorable  

High up in the clouds, the best pilot you've ever flown with leads you to your next target, a target the two of you cut through like it's made of tin foil. You're the front gunner, pretty new to the job, but already you two are working like clockwork, knocking fighters out of the sky left and right. "I'm hungry," says the pilot over text chat. You see he's named Nick. You're hungry too. Maybe there's somewhere to eat, maybe the two of you will go together like the great friends you've become? You look up and Nick has left the pilot seat. You're alone. The mountain fills your viewport and you wish you'd joined Jake and Chris at PAX instead. (Despite what we say at the start this truly is Idle Thumbs 279, not 280.)

Idle Thumbs 278: Beef Chief  

Beef Chief [3/5 stars] We visited Thumbsland this weekend, and while riding Beef Chief I had fun with my son! So many ghosts every time I go down there! (Which is certainly not a problem.) I heard that burgers are real. I heard they're from burger church. I think about Thumbsland in my head, and it hurts, so I don't think about it for many years. Anyway, enough with the pleasantries! Come to our PAX meetup! (Saturday at 7pm at The Diller Room.)

Idle Thumbs 277: Coming Attractions  

Finally, time for video games. You settle down for a long night of cyber-hacking and theme park design. This is going to be so immersive, you think. But the experiences are fleeting, fractured. Not quite what you expected, in ways you can't pin down. Your memories feel...misplaced. No wait, they're just in that drawer over there. You can't help but feel there's a more complete version of this, if you could only focus. You close your eyes, but they blink back open against your will. Now you are dunking a basketball—blink—you are sorting ever-taller stacks of hats—blink—you are button mashing for your very life. Over it all, a haunting piano repeats a single note. Coming soon.

Idle Thumbs 276: Hype and Anticipation  

With tens of thousands descending on Seattle's Key Arena to bathe in the spectacle and drama of The International 6, and hundreds of thousands more barreling towards the uncertain center of No Man's Sky, ears are ringing and plugged in equal measure as hype, anticipation, uncertainty, and excitement fight to drown each other out. We are joined by Sean "Famous" Vanaman to try and talk it all through, to figure out what we think.

Idle Thumbs 275: The Robot's Lips  

The cockpit lid closes, the engines fire up, the atmosphere melts away, and the infinite vastness of space is laid before you. "VHERH THOO?" flap the disgustingly real rubber lips protruding from your cockpit dashboard. "STHOMWHER NICE I THOOPE." You know the lips are still learning, but this knowledge does not endear you to them. You zoom out to check the galactic map, enter a destination for yourself, and prepare for a long trip. "DTHID YOU KNOW" the lips started, "I KNOOW THREE DITHVERENT PLEPLE NAMMED SEAN MURRAY?" You violently claw at the cockpit lid, spring it open and are sucked into the void, barely missing a resplendent space whale that happened to be cruising by. You think there's something written on the side of the whale, but before you can read it, you die in space.

Idle Thumbs 274: A Good One  

"This has happened, look what you've done," the robot wrote. Chris sent Danielle to her death in deep space, but her estranged husband still comes to visit. "It's just garbage," the robot continued. Smirking, a besunglassed Nick Breckon catches a ride on a dolphin and breaks the surface in a graceful arc. "Video game & pop culture cast, hacking and robot-mongering awaits," the robot concluded, incorrectly. "It's a good one!"

Idle Thumbs 273: "Batman Loves Him A Parallelogram" or "I Considered An Oeuvre"  

Join us on two very different journeys to the future... of the past. We crack open our briefcase-sized laptop and hack through layer after layer of security in the 80s cyberpunk world of Quadrilateral Cowboy, then take a wrong turn and find ourselves in the polished fiberglass and shag carpet Fondlarium of Headlander. Batman is destroyed.

Idle Thumbs 272: Sorrow and Horror  

Dear Mom: Life in the new colony sucks. No one knows how to hunt, the clothes they give us keep falling apart, every night there are literal wolves at the door, and Nick (or "Goldblum" as he has fashioned himself) can't keep a handle on his most basic impulses. The cable package only has ESPN 1, so Evo's out of the question. I had a pet rat for a while but I don't know what happened to it. Probably something terrible. I never thought space would be like this. I hope I can go home soon.

Idle Thumbs 271: Cool Blob Future  

You pass someone on the street and immediately you know. The light hitting their face, the way they amble forward, aware of the world but maybe simultaneously inside a totally different world too. You pass them and keep to yourself, knowing that you are apart from them, not of them, but you also know, deep down, that you could become one of them at any time.

Idle Thumbs 270: BIG GAME HUCKSTER$$$$  

This week we do our best to unpack the criminal scandal surrounding Counter-Strike: GO gambling sites and the streamers who secretly own them while publicly promoting them, then we play a game exclusively about criminals packing things.

Idle Thumbs 269: Robot Russian Roulette  

The robot hovers silently in front of you; its micro-props keep it nearly still in the hot evening breeze. System Shock buzzes on the screen behind you. Next to it on another screen, the new Hitman runs idle, waiting. You've made a little easy cash from the robot tonight already - no big scores but better than the alternative - which means your luck has to be running thin, but how thin? You're not sure if you imagine it but as your hand approaches the palm acceptance plate the robot seems to pause, as if to breathe in. You lower your hand, slowly slide the balcony door shut and go play video games.

Idle Thumbs 268: Cheatin' Hitman  

Look, I am amazing at sneaking. Everyone knows I’ve always been amazing at it. It’s breathtaking–just incredible–how well I hide in a box. Cheating’ Hitman has all the codes and tricks, and everyone still sees him. Ruins all credibility of the franchise. Just pathetic. Can’t even find the secret ghost window. Sad!

Idle Thumbs 267: Real Slyboots  

It's E3 time again. This is a weird E3, landing in a transitional time when everyone might have preferred to not come but felt the obligation all the same. We untangle our own understanding of Sony and Microsoft's announcements, get stoked about Zelda, and visit the world's largest bag of Doritos.

Idle Thumbs 266: Memeify McCree  

Maybe, somewhere beneath the games you play, somewhere too deep to feel, there is another battle taking place between forces so staggering, so total, as to be invisible. You choose a hero, enter the arena and attack, then hear a faint echo coming from miles away, or maybe the past, the future? An assailant vaporizes before you, your leaderboard lights up and you smile, but way down deep in the earth, deep in your bones, you hear the muffled cries of the Heavy and all the heavies that came before and after him, and you know what you are a part of. You change loadouts and respawn.

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