Where Is The Button For Love: Mechamom

By Nathan Grayson on July 11th, 2013 at 11:00 am.

Her name is Molly Deux, naturally.

Mechamom might just be the Surgeon Simulator of Molyjam 2013. It’s another tale of horrifically destructive ineptitude, except there’s a better reason for it this time around. See, you play as an ordinary mom who’s just trying to shepherd her daughter through this mad morass we call life, but she’s hit a bit of a snag. One day everything was normal, and the next she managed to trap herself inside a gigantic weaponized mech suit – like you do. But nothing will dissuade this newly nuclear-powered mom from doing her duty. Nothing. So hug your daughter. Go on. Do it. WHY IS THIS SO HARD FOR YOU.

Oh, right. Because you’re forever bound to the world’s most unwieldy bipedal tank – your arms icy, bereft of blood, and capable of felling all except the most formidable of elephants. The concept actually comes from a Peter Molydeux quote – specifically, “You play as a single mother who accidentally gets trapped inside a mech that she has been building. She must now bring up her child as a mech” – but oh well. It’s still wonderfully silly despite maybe not listening when the rules for this year’s jam were announced.

Mechamom makes aligning and delivering a warm embrace nigh-impossible via an in-game control panel that makes incredibly little sense. Why are there, like, six movement buttons all scattered across its furthest reaches? Because life is hard, and- oh god, you just blew up your bookshelf. And your wall. And then you have an awkward hug. You monster.

Perhaps Mechamom is a metaphor for the incredible disconnect between a mother and daughter. Standing a few feet from each other, you’re still miles apart. It’s like a howling void, except the void is a giant robot suit. Or perhaps Mechamom is a criticism of how incredibly difficult it is for us to do anything constructive or emotive in modern games. Each controller is an instrument of death, tiny tools that orgasm murder no matter how you stroke them.

Or maybe it’s just a silly joke about a mom getting stuck in a mech suit for no reason. Probably that one.

Regardless, there’s fun to be had here – brief and fleeting though it might be. Mechamom’s not quite on Surgeon Sim’s level, but it’s worth a couple minutes and a few laughs. Give it a go here.

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36 Comments »

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  1. Winged Nazgul says:

    Which begs the question: What if Octo-dad and Mechamom ever had a baby?

    • Inigo says:

      I think that was the plot of a Syfy Original Movie.

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        distantlurker says:

        Featuring Richard Thomas as Octo Dad and Amanda Tapping as Mechamom… this could totally work *grabs a pen*

    • SgtStens says:

      GET OUT OF MY MIND

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    Harlander says:

    That “give it a go” link goes to a jpg.

    That’s either a mistake or some kind of commentary I can’t get a handle on.

  3. serguma says:

    Give it a go here, as in seeing an image (the link is a .jpg)?
    Life is hard, indeed…

  4. faelnor says:

    Bleh.

  5. Low Life says:

    Luckily, the kid seems quite resistant to flamethrowers and missiles.

  6. Velko says:

    “Time until disappointment” should be a standard timer in every title that has to do with Molydeux?

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    lowprices says:

    Frankly, if you’re building a Mech that does not have a ‘tender hug’ button then you are doing it wrong and I will not be funding your research.

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      Gap Gen says:

      Pacific Rim is about humans building suits big enough to hug very large monsters.

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        lowprices says:

        But are the hugs tender?

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          Gap Gen says:

          From what I’ve seen in the trailers, it is clear that the mechs love the monsters very much.

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            lowprices says:

            Then I shall go see it posthaste! It sounds like the quirky, offbeat romantic comedy I’ve been waiting for. So long as they can avoid that tired old “Manic Pixie Dream Kaiju” trope. It’s so limiting.

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            Gap Gen says:

            I’m looking forward to the child soldier with daddy issues and some sort of nightmare Christian iconography.

          • Josh W says:

            I would suggest that at most one of you will get what you want.

            You could fight for it, using giant..

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            lowprices says:

            I’m a hugger, not a fighter.

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            Jackablade says:

            If not, I imagine there’ll shortly be an parody film available at certain stores featuring all the “tenderness” you can stomach.

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    Gap Gen says:

    Reminds me of the suggestion ages ago on the PCG forums of a game where you can only interact with the world using shotguns for arms.

  9. GernauMorat says:

    Hey Nathan, the link just leads to a screenshot

  10. KwisatzHaderach says:

    This should be the working link: http://www.ericbutler.net/media/projects/mechamom/mechamom.html

    But it needs a plugin I can’t seem to install (says unknown plugin)…

    • Low Life says:

      It needs the Unity web player, which you can get here: http://unity3d.com/webplayer

      • LionsPhil says:

        Why they heck would they needlessly cripple it inside the browser rather than just give a normal program download?

        • Low Life says:

          Because they know that a lot more people are willing to play a game when they can just play it in their browser, rather than first having to download then extract and/or install the game. Especially since it’s quite likely (this being a Molyjam game) that their target audience already has Unity web player installed, as quite a few jam games use that.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Shame. Trapped in its little virtual machine, the plugin just cries that it can’t change the screen resolution and crashes.

            Quite why a web page thinks it is acceptable to attempt to change my screen resolution is one for the advocates of Yet More Horrid Little Proprietary Plugins to defend, I guess.

          • The Random One says:

            Amusing hyperbole aside, it would be good ettiquette to also provide a standalone, even if the links directed to the browser version for the lazy people’s sake.

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    SMiD says:

    How can you hug your daughter with nuclear arms?

  12. KevinLew says:

    By accident, I actually managed to hug the girl and get the highest rating… I realized now that I wrote a spoiler so I removed it, but I’ll say that it made me laugh.

  13. The Random One says:

    Reminds me of the Anna Anthropy game in which you are a bulky space marine trying to buy some food without causing extreme damage to the convenience store. Or the sequel, in which he tries to adopt a puppy from an animal shelter that is also a spike depository.

  14. mondzi says:

    Two great ideas about this game: 1) show a robot but tell the player it’s a caring mother, 2) use silly controls to show how hard is to communicate emotions by some medium

    PS:The song at the end is excellent!