When the developer Richard Hofmeier won the grand prize at the Independent Games Festival that year for Cart Life, he celebrated his win by spray painting the words “HOWLING DOGS” across his booth, replacing his game with hers and telling people to play it. “I don’t want to say that it’s fun or I love it — it’s instilled me with what I call ‘holy dread,’ ” Hofmeier said in an interview after the festival. “It’s a very special kind of territory. Pragmatic, mechanical games can’t touch that kind of territory.”

November 25, 2014