A Bat, A Cat, A World Of Weird: OFF

By Adam Smith on May 28th, 2012 at 4:00 pm.

OFF could be this year’s Space Funeral, except that it wasn’t released this year. It’s an RPGMaker 2003 game made by a group going by the name Unproductive Fun Time and everybody at all interested in the wonderfully weird world of bizarre and creepy SNES-style RPGs should have played it already. The only barrier to entry was the Frenchness of it all, which isn’t a way of referring to a certain Gallic oddness, but rather the fact that it was written by French people in the French language. A heroic group have now finished their translation so it is surely time to play. Listen to the battle music below and then see if you can resist downloading.

Ragtime roustabouts in rollicking rumpus!

In OFF, you play The Batter, who appears to be a baseball player who is trying to purify a world of odd zones, some quietly nightmarish, some strangely bureaucratic and stubborn. It would be more accurate to say that you play yourself playing The Batter because you are referred to, by name, as the entity controlling the oddly compliant chap.

There are smoke mines, necessary because what would people breathe if they didn’t pull smoke out of the ground, there’s a feline guide who looks a little worse for wear but talks a good talk, and there’s an increasing sense of skin-crawling regret. I’ll be the first to admit that regret doesn’t normally make my skin crawl but the flesh was definitely undulating up and down my arms when I reached the later zones, even as I frowned and doubted the purity of my purifying actions.

You can download the game here and when you’ve unzipped it you’ll need to install all the font files that are in the base directory. You can also find the soundtrack here, although I’d recommend playing through the game first.

Thanks to the ever-lovely Terry Cavanagh for recognising the brilliance of OFF and posting about it over at the fantastic Free Indie Games.

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19 Comments »

  1. Grygus says:

    File is blocked on the download link.

    • Adam Smith says:

      Hmmm. Works fine for me. Have you tried going through the hyperlink on the game’s name in the first sentence and finding the download link there?

      Although i think that’s the same link…

  2. drlemon says:

    Blood.

  3. lordcooper says:

    Oh my, this looks deliciously bizarre.

  4. wodin says:

    Music similar to the electronic sound pioneer group SIlver Apples.

  5. Milky1985 says:

    Hearing the battle music and seeing the screenshot gives me a bit of an earthbound vibe.

    Also the player character wielding a baseball bat, the wierdness, the player being a entity other than the main character as well jsut remind me of that game, which is a good sign for this game really :p

  6. costyka says:

    You guys should do this more often – link to crazy odd fluffy french things.

  7. Hyperion says:

    Goofy RPGs only serve to remind me of Arfenhouse.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Props. I remember Arfenhouse. Hell, I even downloaded some manner of RPG maker redist to play it.

  8. siegarettes says:

    Good call on linking to that music. Immediately sold me on the game. How can you resist?

    Similarly, reminds me of this French Electro Gypsy Jazz band:

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    freakoftheuniverse says:

    Adam isn’t kidding about installing the Fonts, kids.
    The game is unplayable without this vital step.

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    li says:

    The baddie in the cutscene after cleaning the Barns reminded me of Trondheim’s Lapinot et les carottes de Patagonie a lot. Drawn graphics are a bit similar, but also the ambience, bizarre and oniric, is very reminiscent of the book. I guess it’s not been translated into English, it’s a major work in French comics in my opinion.

    • Ori says:

      <3 Dedan. Unfortunately, some of his awesomeness is lost in the language switch. He’s still cool, though. Regardless of minor things like this, it’s a very faithful translation.

  11. Septimus says:

    I’m in love with this game already and I’ve only been playing for a couple hours. One problem though: when trying to enter a section of Zone 1 called “Alma” your character is quizzed by an NPC – except i have no fucking clue what the answers are, and neither does google it seems. Could anyone help? I’d love to progress, but this is a huge fucking brick wall.

    • Ori says:

      That quiz is a *little* twisted, even in French – I gave up after screwing around for a bit and looked up a FRENCH walkthrough. There doesn’t seem to be one in English. :(

      Here are the answers:
      (French version of OFF)
      1. Le troisième vient d’Orta
      2. Roses
      3. Sixième
      4. 22
      5. Jonas
      6. 7

      (English version of OFF)
      1. Third comes from Orta
      2. Roses
      3. Sixth
      4. 22
      5. Jonas
      6. 87. (They actually changed this one between the two versions.)