Insert Subtitle Here: Insert Title Here

By Nathan Grayson on January 19th, 2013 at 4:00 pm.

When you stare into the void, etc.

Insert Title Here‘s a very bizarre game. It’s also a bit annoying – in part because it repeatedly prattles on about how it’s not sure if it even is a game, like an insecure teenager who’s trying way, way, way too hard to cover up the fact that they’re completely uncomfortable in their own acne-ridden skin. But in the 20-or-so-minute first-person thing‘s better moments, it’s so effortlessly strange that I didn’t care. In short, it positions itself as an “experiment,” sending you on an oddly stifling stroll through a variety of themed rooms to see how you – the player – will react. Sometimes, it gets super meta. Other times, it asks you to evaluate yourself as a human being. There are a couple potentially problematic moments, but I appreciated it for the patently uncomfortable state of mind it put me in.

Insert Title Here vacillates wildly between trying too hard and hitting just the right notes, but maybe that’s part of the charm. I’d underestimate what it was capable of thanks to poorly translated dialogue and juvenile jokes like “drug rooms,” but then I’d suddenly end up in a stark white room where cameras were practically probing my eyeballs and nearly leap out of my seat. It’s short enough that saying much more would spoil the whole thing, but here’s a quick tip: take the “authorized personnel only” door right by the exit. It’s quite a thing.

I do have to take full, spoilerific issue with one bit near the beginning, though. I was asked to specify if I was a boy or girl, but the girl option only led to an inescapable doom pit because, apparently, girls aren’t allowed to play. Due to poorly translated sign-posting (English doesn’t appear to be the creator’s first language) about “misogynistic jokes,” I couldn’t tell if the game was trying to be subversive or straight-up offensive. Either way, it didn’t really work.

On the whole, though, Insert Title Here’s a pleasantly bizarre, perhaps too-meta jaunt outside the box and into some different, potentially unsettling boxes. It’s not earth-shattering, and it ends up eating dirt itself a couple times, but you’ll still be entertained – if nothing else. It’s free, so grab it here if you’re feeling so inclined.

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37 Comments »

  1. mr.ioes says:

    There’s a scare at the end of the video. Fuck that.

    • wcq says:

      Yeah.
      I was going to play this, but since they put up a huge sign saying THIS GAME HAS JUMP SCARES, I don’t think I’m going to bother.

    • VA1N says:

      whoa. thanks for the heads up!

    • Hmm-Hmm. says:

      Ugh. *rolls eyes*

    • Kitsuninc says:

      Not really a jumpscare…it’s loud, obnoxious, and sudden, but not really ‘scary’ in much of any sense. It seems like something I’ve seen in a lot of other trailers, where you jump to another image or scene after the credits. I wouldn’t give it a pass without at least watching it yourself, anyhow.

      • Kitsuninc says:

        The game itself doesn’t have jumpscares either. Well, there are some bits that could startle you a little, but they’re very signposted, and only pop-up when you click to move to the next room.

      • MrUnimport says:

        I’m pretty sure distorted screaming and frightening humanoids are the very definition of a jump scare.

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Dear [Insert Author Here],

      Thank you for ruining my speakers with your trailer. Would you like me to watch the trailer again with headphones, so they can be ruined too? If you want, I can even turn the volume right up to ruin my ears too!

      Kind regards,

      VelvetFistIronGlove.

    • fuckthat says:

      Exactly – fuck that.

      Nathan Grayson’s contributions to RPS have been nothing short of odious – first the hilarious Internet tough guy article about Nathan’s fantasies about beating people up and now a link to a shit mod with a screamer at the end.

      Some of us wear headphones or are listening to music while browsing RPS – think through your actions just a little bit, and you’ll see that there’s a reason that no other site posts screamers.

      Juvenile and not at all what I come here for.

      Last time I’ll ever visit RPS.

      • Ruffian says:

        Seriously? The last time you visit? That’s like refusing to listen to a band because you don’t like the sound of one instument on one track, or refusing to view a movie because someone’s wearing a shirt you don’t like in a scene. Not that you don’t have a right to, but that seems a bit…extreme. There’s a lot of good reviews and articles to this one bad one.

        Ahhh, well, happy trails and best of luck. :)

      • feighnt says:

        I’d just like to state that, while I won’t likely be trying this game *precisely* due to the stupid ending of that video (not scary, just super annoying), I’m perfectly fine with Mr. Grayson, I think it’s silly to reduce that previous backstory post as an “internet tough guy” article (yes, when people tell me about their past, I think of it in terms of “backstory”, oh god… -_-; )…

        Fella’s free to leave and all if s/he wishes, but I think it’s a terrible overreaction, and I’m basically posting this just to say that his/her view on Nathan Grayson is not unanimous.

        • MondSemmel says:

          I still don’t understand how Nathan’s article could be interpreted in that way. I didn’t read the mentions of violence as ‘I’m a tough guy’, I read them as ‘here are some mistakes I made in the past’.

      • Eukatheude says:

        Actually i have to say Nathan’s articles are the ones i’ve been enjoying the most.

  2. Kasab says:

    Is that a projection of British households in ten years? They’re surely underestimating the amount of security cameras.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      It’s not for security. It’s for other people’s entertainment. A minor difference, I agree.

  3. zind says:

    Even though the vertical look doesn’t have a very big range, not being able to find a way to invert it combined with the thread of a jump scare means I think I might just forget about it x_x

  4. SuperNashwanPower says:

    I don’t think you tried the “I am female” option, or this game would never have passed RPS anti-sexism muster.

    Other than that, the whole of the way through I couldn’t get this kid I knew at school out of my head, the one that was passive / aggressive hostile and once painted his own face like a cat with tipp-ex in the middle of biology. Thats who I felt the author of this game to be – passive aggressive emo tipp-ex cat boy

    • Kitsuninc says:

      That was mentioned in the article.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        Totally missed that.

        Also there’s no way to escape out of the game if you are in fullscreen mode, beyond alt tabbing and ending the program. Quite annoying.

        • Bhazor says:

          If you fall during the platforming sequence you’ll never die and have to alt tab out to start at the beginning.

          Oooh, edgy.

    • Premium User Badge

      strangeloup says:

      I might have to appropriate Passive Aggressive Emo Tipp-Ex Cat Boy as a song title or username or something because it’s just too good not to use. Sadly it’s too long to use in its entireity as a Steam name.

  5. norfolk says:

    Not to be a dick, but the game’s writing is really poor, so much so that it ruins whatever atmosphere or meta-commentary the game is going for. As Nathan mentions, the gender thing also fails at whatever it’s trying.

    Otherwise it’s a cool concept.

  6. buzzmong says:

    I wonder if this was inspired by The Stanley Parable.

    • Ross Angus says:

      I assumed the “psychological game” was a full-on reference to The Stanley Parable: the wall textures were pretty similar.

      • laddyman says:

        Possible, but the shiny beige wood walls are a default Source texture, if memory serves me correctly.

  7. ZIGS says:

    Why is this kind of trash getting attention from RPS?

    • Ross Angus says:

      Because it’s trying something different.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      I gotta say I did think it was rather bad. Stanley Parable was trying something new, and did it cleverly and with style. This doesn’t really – it just comes across like an angry teenager drawing cocks on his neighbour’s fence posts and pronouncing it provocative art. I dunno. maybe thats all part of the “experiment”.

      • haruspexile says:

        I’m usually the guy to defend “trying something different” to anyone who calls out “this isn’t a game,” but… I don’t think that criticism applies here. The Stanley Parable may or may not have been “a game,” but it DID say something at least vaguely interesting (and at most, quite interesting). This simply doesn’t. It’s poorly written, poorly constructed, and doesn’t make any sort of philosophical claims as far as I can tell.

        I’m glad that these kinds of games are being explored, but just because a game isn’t Manshoot III doesn’t mean its gameplay OR its meaning is worthy of a full RPS post.

        • bjohndooh says:

          This game was a bit worse than I expected, and I didn’t expect much. I didn’t bother to screenshot, but I caught at least one texture with a watermark. The escalator shape.

      • realitysconcierge says:

        Agreed.

  8. mihahalu says:

    until I saw the bank draft of $8485, I didnt believe that my friend woz like they say realie taking home money in their spare time on their apple labtop.. there dads buddy had bean doing this less than thirteen months and just paid the dept on there appartment and got a great new Toyota. we looked here, http://www.Cloud65.com

  9. Premium User Badge

    maninahat says:

    …Well, I quite liked the chalk drawings in the psychological rooms. And that’s about it really. Tries far too hard, achieves very little, and brags the whole way through.

  10. Bhazor says:

    Oh god.

    Please, to all designers out there using Unity, please lock the cursor to the center of the screen. Its one frickin’ line of code.

  11. soldant says:

    Utter crap. Technically it’s pretty abysmal – seems to use the default Unity first person character resource, which by default isn’t particularly good, has a lot of poorly used art assets (some ripped from other games, some from free resources, none original save for the signs), has a terrible floating camera in the way which does absolutely nothing… and as Bhazor said they didn’t even bother to lock the mouse cursor… or even change the name from New Unity Project 4.

    Game-wise… it’s terrible. There’s nothing interesting or fresh or thought-provoking at all. It’s a random sequence of content with no purpose at all. No doubt the dev wanted to be enigmatic, but instead came off as random or confused at best. This represents the worst of the art game movement. It’s worse than The Path. It’s worse than anything Tale of Tales has come up with. No effort, no coherent theme, nothing appealing whatsoever. And it still got praise. This is why I hate indie art game posts.

    EDIT: Actually the scribblings in the Psychological Game part might be original but are clearly based on that old HL mod Afraid of Monsters. The entire thing reminds me a little bit of Half Quake Amen, except nowhere near as good in terms of art or fun to play.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Also, Microsoft Sam doing all the “comedic” voice acting. Its like when you were 10 and discovered you could make a calculator write BOOBIES.

      This actually might all be quite unfair. I honestly think this was done by someone in their early teens as a mess about and never really intended to see the light of scrutiny. It’s only got put up for a bashing as a result of this post