Unwinnable Monthly – August 2019

This is a reprint of the letter from the editor in Unwinnable Monthly Issue 118. You can buy Issue 118 now, or purchase a monthly subscription to make sure you never miss an issue!


Summer is on its way out, but Unwinnable Monthly is here to keep your spirits up!

Our cover, by Kyle James Patterson, fronts Mark Hill’s look at how Shanghai emerges as the central and most memorable character in two mediocre shooters of the past – Army of Two: The 40th Day and Kane and Lynch: Dog Days. You can also see more of Kyle’s fantastic art in our Artist Spotlight.

We have two more features for you this month. First, Evan Dennis ponders the age old question of what makes a good trash videogame. His conclusions may surprise you. Our final feature, by Unwinnable regular Jeremy Signor, is about finding a taste for submission in a surprising place: the quirky shooter Superhot.

In the columns, we have our usual odd mix of topics. The clash of warriors is an unexpected theme this month. Ben Sailer visits his local Tecmo Super Bowl tournament. Corey Milne manages a stable of ancient Roman gladiators in Domina while Sara Clemens looks at the (completely different) gladiators of the new season of GLOW. Thanks to Mortal Podkast, the weird world of Mortal Kombat lore is on Yussef Cole’s mind.

A lot of music in this month’s pages as well. Astrid Bugdor returns from her cross-country move with a lot of metal record recommendations and Noah Springer’s got more eclectic hip hop for you as well. Matt Marrone fills it out with his annual dispatch from the Newport Folk Festival.

Megan Condis wonders if the documentary on Herbalife, Betting on Zero, would have been better served with taking aim at the gig economy. Justin Reeve looks at the weird organic architecture of the latest Devil May Cry. Rob Rich takes a look at what might be the biggest, heaviest and most expensive Transformers toy of all time. Adam Boffa ponders how Deadwood slowly turned central character Al Swearengen from villain to hero and is poorer for it. Finally, Jason McMaster finds a gateway back to his videogame playing youth in the Wing Commander-like space sim Rebel Galaxy Outlaw.

That’s the scoop on this month’s issue. Stay cool out there, kids!


Stu Horvath
Kearny, New Jersey
August 14, 2019

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