Live Free Play Hard: In Case of Emergency Smash Glass And Take Sword

By Porpentine on September 8th, 2013 at 5:14 pm.

Interactive Voguing Experience. Venusian gangster rap FPS. Collaborative hypersound fiction.

 

Ballroom Battle by Clara Cullen, Convoy, Kevin JZ Prodigy

“Taking cues from ball culture and the hyperreal aggression of Japanese video games, today’s dance-off sees eight new-wave ballers walking it out to be named overall winner by the viewer.”

The game is watching two people dance and judging between them.

“…every dancer belongs to a “house”—their moniker is adopted from a leading fashion label and they are clad in their namesake’s clothes…”

Vogue and ball culture (important wikihole to go down) is fucking amazing and beautiful.

Robert Yang speaks in the comments: “It’s a great concept, but it’s also really sterile / detached from what how vogue balls actually operate: you’re surrounded by hundreds of people, all cheering you on, it’s a place of life. These performances feel kinda stilted, no energy, dancing in this white void with no context.”

A valid criticism. I’m glad such a game exists though, especially in stark contrast to the subject matter of most. Vogue the world.

 

Gun Godz by Vlambeer

Gangster rap-scored FPS set in the prisons and sewers of Venus. Gutspatteringly good twitch-shooting with Doom-style fixed perspective and 2.5D arenas of carnage. So fast, so immediate, so clean.

Find hidden gold triangles to unlock more levels (one triangle was hidden inside an invisible wall, but the empty room, in a game with such utilitarian level design where rooms are either for movement or picking up ammo/health, tipped me off).

I like the charging enemies best, the way they force me to jerk back or dodge to the side and make a precise shotgun hit on them.

Right click for knife when you run out of ammo.

 

Magnificent Planet by thecatamites

Thecatamites has been making a quick microgame every day. This one is about crash-landing on a planet drawn from marker and populated by eye people, snakes, and hopefully rocket fuel.

Also worth noting is the insomniac anxiety burst of AnxietyWorld. I love these tiny games, they give me a cozy safe feeling, like I’m holding a little bird someone made.

 

Spoken by chrisamaphone

Spoken is an audio-hypertext hybrid (“hypersound fiction” in the author’s words) about a visit to a bar where an event is being held. The event is a spoken word analogue to Twitter–everything must be said in 10 seconds or less.

Brief sound clips complement the text: musings on verbal versus textual communication, speakers delivering their micro-speeches, nervously figuring out what to order at the bar (liquid courage? water? nothing?). I like how the author created a space with voice and sound effects (crackle of ice, rustle of papers), and how the text was minimal so as not to overwhelm the audio nature of the game.

You can contribute your own sound files to the game by upping them to Google Drive. Spoken grows with your voice.

 

Exposure by zillix

Wandering through a linear, dualistic desert. Dark orbs, white orbs, and the warring tribes that love them.

Purify a dark orb by exposing it to the sun. Or you can use shade to save them from de-purification. (And if you walk backwards at the start, you’ll find something extra).

There is a huge golem at the end of your walk. It can sway the balance, depending on the orb you give it. But it needs power. Which means the altars along the way need to be juiced with delicious orbs.

Three golemtastic endings.

 

At the Cafe by pierrec

A series of romantic minigames. I only had myself to play with (lol) but this is best played by two people, because it’s a puzzle of coy glances and fumbling fingers.

The solutions are instinctual to what you’re actually trying to do–light a cigarette, hold someone’s hand–and figuring them out is a cute process, multiplayer flirtation done right.

 

Some Games by Jake Clover

A collection of small games by Jake Clover.

Taxi made me grin so wide with the flow of the glorious opening sequence, thrust into the life of a sky-cab driver with no explanation, just angry passengers and speeding aerial traffic.

Space Stooge takes me through a gamut of gameplay shifts [SPOILERS]: sidescrolling out of my bunk, crude 3D airducts, bored space captain interface sim, xenodiplomacy, and spaceship arcade genocide. I receive instructions that look scanned rescanned processed saved in low-resolution glitched out of focus and that’s the nature of communication in this universe.

Land Stooge is a big messy horrible battlefield where I’m constantly parsing my violent surroundings to figure the difference between shadows and ruins and death machines and everything is on fire or exploding and you can’t see inside buildings unless you go inside them and there’s grotesque yellow aliens shambling around but there might be guns so I should check.

My health is a gun. I lose my gun if I get hit. If I get hit without a gun, I die, head popping off in a spray of blood. I can only shoot forward. The warzone is so chaotic that I hold down fire at all times, killing my own side as well. No time to think.

HORSE PASTRY [HORSE STOOGE] is a screaming puzzle. The screams are so good. All of Clover’s games encourage experimentation (what are the rules of this fucked up scifi alien war universe this time???) but this felt the most condensed–[SPOILERS] I try to move around and I smash into the edge of the screen and I get stuck and I start screaming. How do I avoid this terrible screaming? Where do I move? Forward? Okay, but movement is weird. More screaming. SCREAM SCREAM SCREAM. It really hurts to be trapped between universes. It’s like I’m murdering data.

Wuste is a wasteland storm of staticky ash and sudden shapeshifting. [SPOILERS] The ending, unless I’m just stuck, feels like a transformation into a solemn painting. All that was left to me was seeing how the silhouette of my dog looked along the pale wall. Eery.

The term “stooge” makes sense. In most of these games, you’re dropped into the body of an entity that serves, obeys, moves forward almost mindlessly. This ties further into the lack of reference you’re given–you don’t need to know, because you’re a stooge.

I love seeing what Jake does with these handmade scrap metal alien nightmares. They feel broken or maybe they just don’t care about me. They are viscerally ugly. They excite and surprise and inspire me. I never know what will happen next, which is one of the most priceless feelings I could have when experiencing art.

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12 Comments »

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  1. Mr. Mister says:

    Are those swordchucks?

  2. tormos says:

    SPOILERS
    Thoughts on the ending of Taxi? I honestly enjoyed the walking around bit at the end more than the game. I would play a game set in that city.

    • Porpentine says:

      SPOILERS
      The ending symbolizes that turning into an owl is cool.

      Also if you want a game about walking around in a similar atmosphere (if by atmosphere we mean “giant glowing cats”) then http://www.freeindiegam.es/2013/02/sluggish-morss-jake-clover-jack-king-spooner/ is good.

      • tormos says:

        does anyone ever mean anything BUT “giant glowing cats” when they say atmosphere? Also if you walk right there is a man with SPOILERS toast for a face
        ADDENDUM
        in all seriousness i really like the way these games sound. Walking down the corridor in Space Stooge was fun enough that I restarted and did it again. More games should have this kind of frantic energy.

        • jorygriffis says:

          I love the sound in Jake Clover’s games so much. I think that everyone that makes games–even AAA studios–can learn something from them. The screaming horror of HORSE PASTRY, the hellish warzone of Ground Stooge, and the melancholic, oppressive drone of the underworld of Taxi were really powerful.

    • Premium User Badge

      Bluerps says:

      Until I read what Porpentine had written about Taxi, I wasn’t even aware that it is possible to do much in the first part of the game. I thought that the walking part was the actual game, and the flying part just an intro.

  3. jorygriffis says:

    Fuck, Gun Godz is so unbelievably good!

  4. Premium User Badge

    felisc says:

    Erm… Any rpser doing some youtube roundup of LiveFreePlayHard ? I know I know I’m a terrible lazy person, games should be played. I usually give a go to a couple of the picks every week but I’m getting lazier. Don’t judge me. … Anyone ? :)

    • tormos says:

      That’s really not a bad idea, although I’m not sure that anyone could match Porpentine’s commentary.

  5. tasteful says:

    Dude, I love you

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