By Nathan Grayson on November 13th, 2013 at 10:00 am.
No, really. It’s not. While Arcane Kids have proven quite capable of leveraging serious design savvy in games like Zineth and Perfect Stride, they are also the diabolical duo that drowned us all in snakes that one time. What I’m saying is, their minds inhabit some floating eyeball fire skull ghost realm of the patently absurd, which brings us to Bubsy 3D: Bubsy Visits the James Turrell Retrospective. Yes, that Bubsy. This pseudo-MMO, um, tribute is about art appreciation, giant talking frogs, nostalgia, hell, futility, everything, and nothing. Also snakes. There will always be snakes.
It’s a free browser game that begins with Bubsy awkwardly ambling and gliding to a museum exhibit. A real one about the light-based works of James Turrell that is faithfully recreated. Also, there are other players just sort of… around (some of them in the sky). The controls are abysmal, the collectibles are pointless (though hilarious, given that they bounce around the screen and collide into each other), and the graphics look like someone took a PlayStation 1, ran it through a woodchipper, and then shat vomit onto the remains.
None of those things matter, though, because Bubsy proceeds to embark on a journey of body and spirit the likes of which you absolutely must experience/suffer through.
The exhibit is only the beginning.
Oh god. What does any of it even mean? What does anything mean?
[SPOILER]Bubsy dies in the museum. Then he descends into hell by way of a coffin-based bobsledding minigame. After that comes the imagery. Also, an incredible soundtrack choice. I think maybe it’s about our inability to escape life’s tedious hardships through art? Like, art is about life, and we should appreciate the power of that fact? And maybe there’s an embedded commentary on games in there too? I have no idea. Oh yeah, you can also do a second playthrough as a ghost. With ghost level-ups and in-game ghost chat. There are tons of other “cheats” too, but I yanked my mind out of the black hole of a rabbit hole before I explored all of them.[END SPOILER]
[SPOILER]NEVER MIND. I LIED. I TOTALLY TRIED ALL OF THEM. GO DO ZOO MODE.[END SPOILER]
Anyway, go play it. Go play it go play it go play it go play it go play it go play it go