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DID YOU READ

Insert Credit: “From Dust”

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Insert Credit endeavors to suss out where you should be allotting your video game allowance, sifting out a single title from many and crowning it as The One Game You Need to Get This Week. Don’t consider these reviews, gentle reader. Rather, think of Insert Credit as a mix of hands-on time, informed opinion and intuition.

For the week of July 25, 2011, you should insert credit into: “From Dust.”

The newest downloadable Xbox 360 release in Microsoft’s Summer of Arcade promotion is, in a nutshell, SimCity as filtered through an aboriginal lens. This visionary game comes from Eric Chahi, the pioneering indie developer who made the classic “Another World.”

In “From Dust,” players get to embody a Higher Power known as the Breath, summoned by a wandering tribe of brown folk to shepherd them on a journey to reconnect with the legacy of the Ancients. The Breath earns the ability to manipulate the elements, with knowledge of such transmitted through music. So, you have to unlock songs to create various feats of wonder like creating a force field that shields villages from giant tsunami waves.

From Dust box art.jpg You’re essentially creating a series of homelands for the people in “From Dust” and you do that by gaining and wielding power over the elements. So, you’ll move massive mounds of earth to bridge chasms, redirect the flow of water for irrigation or control the spread of fire to raze hostile vegetation. It’s heady being this virtually powerful but you never feel omnipotent. Whether it’s creating seawalls out of molten lava or evaporating all the water on a huge map, there’s too much to do in any given level.

The controls can feel sketchy, and “From Dust” is practically screaming out for the precision of a mouse-&-keyboard set-up. God games made their marl in the earlier waves of PC gaming and “From Dust” feels like it still wants that style of control. But the game’s puzzle-like structure will keep you playing despite the idiosyncrasies of input.

Despite being made with and playable on cutting-edge technology, Chahi’s latest work still manages to feel folkloric in tone. There’s touchy-feely, New Age-isms all over the place but, those aside, “From Dust” feels both fun and profound in totally unique ways.

If you’re playing or played “From Dust,” what do you think of it? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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