Episode Archive

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Idle Thumbs is a video game podcast full of in-depth discussion and absurdity. Between overly-enthusiastic dissections of their latest media experiences and baffling phonological explorations of Jeff Goldblum's name, the cast has managed to find a regular audience of dedicated readers. Scoop up the latest episode and hear us extol the virtues of whatever we've just watched, played, or read—then attempt to answer reader mail before getting sidetracked about robots.

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February 9, 2018 You look up from your keyboard and notice something's not right. It looks like the game you were just playing, but a little off. A little worse. Did you fall into a game within a game? "No worries," you think, as you resume tapping away at the keys, "I'll just finish up this little Easter Egg and be moving again in no time," and delve deeper. The police discover your skeleton, still at the keyboard, dead for who knows how long. The officer who found your remains enters them into evidence improperly, is suspended without pay, and must restore from a previous save. You look up from your keyboard and notice something's not right.

Discussed: Celeste, PICO-8 fantasy video game console, Celeste for PICO-8, Inside a Star-Filled Sky, The Veldt (Ray Bradbury short story), the game police, Police Quest, Duncan Fyfe's Police Quest article for Waypoint, Duncan Fyfe's podcast Something True, The Pixel Art Progenitors, They Are Billions, billions, Anno: 27 Billion, pinball, Cinco Paus, Flappy Bird, Bay Tek Games, MirraViz Multiview Display, gaslighting by cinema, Far Cry 2, Super Smash Bros., Nintendo LABO, Consumer Game War.Improved, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, hacking Donkey Kong high scores

Sponsored By: Squarespace (use offer code "thumbs" for 10% off your website), Casper (use offer code "thumbs" for $50 off select mattresses), MVMT (use offer code "thumbs" for 15% off watches and more)

January 26, 2018 Enjoy this bonus episode drawn from the Idle Thumbs Patreon Ruination Online! Each month, we do a livestream where all topics have been posed by high-tier backers of our Patreon campaign: patreon.com/IdleThumbs.

Due to popular demand, we're releasing the audio of that stream to the main podcast feed for easier listening.

We'll be back with a regular episode of Idle Thumbs next week!

Discussed: Wizard Jam, Idle Thumbs co-hosts, starting an independent game studio, guilty pleasure games, Flipflop Solitaire, Magnum P.I., playing Hearthstone single-player content, watching someone play Hearthstone single-player content, Black Mirror, how the internet ruins everything, deactivating your Facebook account, The Black Hole, V.I.N.CENT, Old B.O.B., Maximillian, Sleep No More, The Speakeasy, The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, TV theme songs, the theme from Matlock, the theme from Law and Order, Idle Thumbs recording processes, the awesome folks in the Thumbs community, Idle Chums, keeping fish alive, letting fish die

January 5, 2018 The year finally over, you drag your tired, ragged husk into your desk chair, flick on your monitor and reach for your mouse, but your hand slips and falls to your side, sleep finally overtaking you. Two days later you wake up, rub the gunk out of your eyes, drink a half gallon of water, and feel alive for the first time you can really remember. "Let's leave the past in the past," you say aloud as you flick through your podcast library, "show me something new, I've had enough of 2017." Your eyes scan the description for the latest Idle Thumbs, and after skimming over a familiar sounding story of someone falling asleep using a computer, you settle on the final sentence. Though you didn't think you would, you smile: "Join us for a loving look back through our favorite video games of 2017."

Discussed: Welcome to 2018: Take what you can get, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, Overwatch, Flappy Bird, Heat Signature, Super Mario Odyssey, Cuphead, West of Loathing, Thimbleweed Park, Oxygen Not Included, Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy, Gordon Freeman's Perfect Playthrough, video games academic curriculum, games you think won't be for you but end up loving, Civilization, Golf Story, Far Cry 2, Spelunky (2008), Spelunky (2012), Spelunky 2, Insufferable Pedantic Gamer With Chris Remo, the reason Sheik can't use Zelda's magic in Super Smash Bros, Star Wars, Weird Weird Popsenfarts GmbH

December 28, 2017 Enjoy this bonus episode drawn from the Idle Thumbs Patreon Ruination Online! Each month, we do a livestream where all topics have been posed by high-tier backers of our Patreon campaign: patreon.com/IdleThumbs.

Due to popular demand, we're releasing the audio of that stream to the main podcast feed for easier listening.

We'll be back with a regular episode of Idle Thumbs next week!

Discussed: Making a comfortable office, borrowing animal features and giving them to robots, podcasting remotely, web-based applets, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Marvel Heroes, working on licensed games, intellectual properties, the books of David Mitchell, books we like, applying the rules of basic arithmetic to the Twelve Days of Christmas, international cuisine, lab-grown food, the future of food preparation, The Nutcracker, gift giving, learning a new skill, getting distracted and not learning anything, wanting to get into something that seems cool but being unable to

December 1, 2017 Four hours since leaving home, who knows how many 'til you get there, and only the idle putts of the outboard motor have broken the silence. Silence so thick it's suffocating, to the point that you don't know what will happen if you actually do say something. You almost did early on, but you saw it in its eyes: the nervous anticipation, the anxiety, the fear sweating out of that cartoon cap when it saw you open your mouth, and spared you both the embarrassment. But... Maybe it's not both of you, maybe it's just you. Maybe the cap has no clue what to say to you because you never say anything to it. Maybe if you opened up a little, people would be interested, they'd reciprocate, they'd share too. Maybe you'd be able to start making friends again, have a goddamn life. You realize you've spent so long thinking about this that it wouldn't make sense to talk now, so you just stay quiet. The puttering slows then stops, replaced by the hissing and servos of the ship’s landing gear, as the door whizzes open and meets the ground with a clank. You sigh and reach for the cap, avoiding its gaze as you put it on your head, then look out onto a new world. "Let's-a go."

Discussed: The number 314, Super Mario Odyssey, Nintendo Switch, the Wii U Curse, Doom (2016), Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Waluigi's Demon Keeper: A Doom Game, backseat game development, Super Mario Bros. 3 McDonald's Happy Meal Goomba, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Time, ugh those Super Mario Odyssey rabbits, Super Mario Mumblecore Roadtrip, Donkey Kong, Pauline's revenge, upcoming Mario film, Minions: A Feast for Bacchus - Total War, Crusader Kings II: Minions Nation DLC, Charles Martinet, the triple-A game design spectrum, fine-toothed special-case comb, Steam Link, Thimbleweed Park, Bomber Crew, Steam, Terroir, wacky upbeat klezmer, boosting the marketing phrase, the arc of microtransactions over time, J Allard, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, World of Warcraft, Xbox One X, game fatigue, Nick Breckon

Sponsored by: Squarespace (with offer code "thumbs" for 10% off), Omaha Steaks (enter offer code "idle" into the search bar for a special offer)

November 23, 2017 Enjoy this bonus episode drawn from the Idle Thumbs Patreon Ruination Online! Each month, we do a livestream where all topics have been posed by high-tier backers of our Patreon campaign: patreon.com/IdleThumbs.

Due to popular demand, we're releasing the audio of that stream to the main podcast feed for easier listening.

We'll be back with a regular episode of Idle Thumbs next week!

Discussed: live episodes, our favorite things, Patreon postcards, San Francisco sightseeing, muting your family, our (questionably) deep knowledge, something confusing about a thief and a genie, buying stuff for your dad, Twin Peaks, Jonathan Blow, FPS Myst, RPG Doom, "Let Us Melt" soundtrack by Jessica Curry, "Switched-On Bach" album by Wendy Carlos, game designers and job titles, platforming, Jodorowsky's Dune (Amazon, iTunes), escape rooms, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, Eternal September

November 1, 2017 This episode is an artifact of a simpler time. Buried in the ground for mere days, when you excavate it now, you barely understand what is discussed. "Why aren't they talking about the new Mario game for half this episode?" you wonder, your brain unable to see what is right before you. Eventually you settle in and enjoy what you have and are a better person for it, but only because you listen to the episode while playing Mario.

Discussed: the past, Cuphead, Battlestar Galactica Deadlock, Super Mario Odyssey, Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, video game curricula, [Half-Life 2:] Epistle 3, Marc Laidlaw, Mike Laidlaw, Laidlaw & Laidlaw, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

October 19, 2017 Enjoy this bonus episode drawn from the Idle Thumbs Patreon Ruination Online! Each month, we do a livestream where all topics have been posed by high-tier backers of our Patreon campaign: patreon.com/IdleThumbs.

Due to popular demand, we're releasing the audio of that stream to the main podcast feed for easier listening.

We'll be back with a regular episode of Idle Thumbs the first week of November!

Discussed: Curb Your Enthusiasm, what we're doing with our lives, our favorite robot friend, memorable convention experiences, Rock Band, Guitar Hero, gaming peripherals, video game packaging, The Mystery of the Druids' amazing cover art, Dishonored Halloween, old-timey costumes, F/M/K, systemically-generated narrative, Firewatch, questions we won't answer, well-known movies we haven't seen, autotuned karaoke, living in Maryland, dealing with consumers, Jeff Goldblum, considering your unquestioned poisonous views

October 7, 2017 It's like he can see you, the little face in the corner of your screen. Your cursor hovers over a unit you think looks cool - a little plastic orb car you bet you'd have fun riding around in if this wasn't a game - and he frowns. Correction: He looks you in the eye, and frowns. He sighs. "You're going to pick that? Really that one?" You roll your cursor over a few others and he holds his breath, clearly not wanting to say whatever he's thinking about your choices, because they're clearly not nice. Finally, you scroll a few pages back in the build list and come across a fancy visitor's center, some brightly colored automated safari vehicles, and accompanying tour track. You watch him for any reaction, and it happens so quickly, so subtly, you barely notice it, but it was there: a quick bob of the head, an affirmative. You drag the units onto the map, arrange them in a pleasant way, and are immediately killed by a dinosaur then swept away by an unprecedented tropical storm.

Discussed: Heat Signature, nightmarish self-imposed social media torture channel, StarCraft II, nightmarish multiplayer voice chat, ninth anniversary of the Idle Thumbs Podcast, Heat Signature launch trailer, Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy, Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy announcement trailer, infomercial-like Rockstar Games trailers, Red Dead Redemption 2, Thimbleweed Park, Jurassic World Evolution, hypothetical Jurassic Park Tycoon game, one B.D. Wong unit, the duty of a game to communicate its full systemic depth

October 2, 2017 Enjoy this bonus episode drawn from the Idle Thumbs Patreon Ruination Online! Each month, we do a livestream where all topics have been posed by high-tier backers of our Patreon campaign: patreon.com/IdleThumbs.

Due to popular demand, we're releasing the audio of that stream to the main podcast feed for easier listening.

We'll be back with a regular episode of Idle Thumbs this very week!

Discussed: virtual reality, augmented reality, being replaced by androids, traveling, candy, the Kit Kat for assholes, moving, choice moist hoistings, bad apartments, inscrutable communication, funny domain names, imposter syndrome, video game sophistication distinctions, Idle Thumbs Patreon postcard update, Kraft products, keeping journals, The West Wing: The Video Game, The Shitty Wizard: The Video Game, inadvertent hoistings by way of generosity

September 7, 2017 You sit down, strap yourself in, and wait for the feels. You turn a knob until the bass integrated into the back of the seat starts to thrum and buzz. "Ah, I can feel that for sure," you say aloud to no one. Your mouth turns down at the side, half a frown, as you look through your options. The hosts said they recorded this a while ago, but you think they might have been too kind. On the screen: A collection of lost games for an 8-bit console. A new video game system called the "Xbox One X." A... new... 2D Sonic the Hedgehog. Suddenly the thrum is not just in your back, but everywhere. The hum unbearable, you swat at your gamer harness, but the five point lock holds you strong. The hum is everything, everywhere. "What year is this?!" you scream out into the night street, before it all goes black.

Discussed: UFO 50, Tacoma, Steve Gaynor's stupid websites, Xbox One X, Xbox One X box (1), Subsurface Circular, StarCraft Remastered, buying a house with the money you saved by not buying avocados and instead saving 20% on flowers you millennial idiot, sugar-free shit-inducing gummy bears, stuff moms hate, tactical gamer chair, Sonic Mania, Sonic depression, deformable terrain, Myth, Sonic the Hedgehog, Pyre, UI polish, game spectator views, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, Salty Bet, MUGEN, Deceit (Steam game), Bungie, Battle.net, Japanese video games

Sponsored by: Squarespace one-stop website creator with the offer code THUMBS, ProFlowers flower delivery with the offer code THUMBS

August 31, 2017 Enjoy this bonus episode drawn from our Idle Thumbs Patreon Ruination Online! Each month, we do a livestream where all topics have been posed by high-tier backers of our Patreon campaign: patreon.com/IdleThumbs.

Due to popular demand, we're releasing the audio of that stream to the main podcast feed for easier listening.

We'll be back with a regular episode of Idle Thumbs next week!

Discussed: Thumbs survival instincts, The WIZYs, Nintendo Horsebag, music composition, streaming, tiki drinks, hobbies, anticipated upcoming pop culture, arcade machines, Major Havoc, Marvel Cinematic Universe, being curmudgeons about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, video game trades, shoes

August 3, 2017 They're out there. They're at the gates. You can hear their indistinct scrabbling and inhuman gobbering. scrabbling and It's a strange and hostile world—dinosaurs, self-replicating weird car homunculi, The Thing—but that's why you built your house out of stone, after all. There's nothing to worry about…is there? One of the voices pierces the night and, pressing your ear against the thick walls, you strain to hear.

"Come out, you piece of shit!"

Discussed: West of Loathing, ideal game rating system, Production Line, self-driving car robot capitalist nightmare, The Isle, Rust, fair betting on competitive spectator games, hypothetical The Thing online multiplayer game, Grand Moff Tarkin

Sponsored by: Squarespace, with the offer code "THUMBS" for 10% off

July 24, 2017 Enjoy this bonus episode drawn from our Idle Thumbs Patreon Ruination Online! Each month, we do a livestream where all topics have been posed by high-tier backers of our Patreon campaign: patreon.com/IdleThumbs. This month it's a lightning round: two minutes an answer for maximum efficiency.

Due to popular demand, we're releasing the audio of that stream to the main podcast feed for easier listening.

We'll be back with a regular episode of Idle Thumbs next week!

Discussed: The future of VR headset adoption, indie comic books and adapting comics to other mediums, the origin of the "baboo" sound, making an RPG character sheet for yourself, Legion, vowels, visiting and living through an event from history, the moon, Lord Nelson's final words, what makes for a good ruination question?

A note: One answer on this podcast makes reference to Important If True Episode 24, a podcast which has not yet been released. Whoops! We forgot how our schedule works. Look for that episode on Thursday, July 27 for the answer to Reggie Clark's intriguing question, "If you were really a robot would you want to know?"

July 7, 2017 The game begins and this time, you are him. You look out through the holes in your mask, through the trees, and see the teens scattering across the camp. "They fear you," you think to yourself, gripping your iconic machete tighter, your extra senses already picking up their noise, their movements, their smell. "You are the only hunter in these woods and they fear you." A branch snaps behind you, and you whirl around. A small goblin-like man in a hat and overalls looks at you, bobbing slightly, his face expressionless. The goblin man removes his hat, his gaze never leaving yours, and throws it at your face. You try to scream but there is just blinding light, and then nothing.

Discussed: PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, Super Mario Odyssey, Friday the 13th: The Game, the internet as distressing confessional

Idle Thumbs

A video game discussion podcast full of in-depth discussion and absurdity. Join us!