Twist And Tumble: All Of Our Friends Are Dead

Eek, skull.

There’s something great fun about enjoying something without having the faintest idea what it’s about, or quite why you’re enjoying it. All Of Our Friends Are Dead offers this experience. It’s a side-scrolling platformer, movement with WASD and aiming your cursor with the mouse. And it’s strange.

Think Abuse from a far more wrong dimension. Using a fantastic mix of scratchy pixel art and twisted ambient gloom, what is essentially a simple platform game becomes something of a headfuck. I haven’t been able to make sense of the confusion of words written on the backgrounds, nor the freakish flashes that occur in the middle of levels. And I like it that way. It’s also got one of the most satisfying guns in forever. I would have liked the jumping to feel a little more solid, but rather than repeat levels after failing to clear awkward gaps, you can save and load with F5 and F6. It’s the work of Amon26, posting on the TIG Forums. You can get it here and here. Thanks to TIG Source for the spot.

10 Comments

  1. clovus says:

    That’s the sort of thing movie characters say after they realized they just travelled 1000 years into the future.

  2. MadTinkerer says:

    “There’s something great fun about enjoying something without having the faintest idea what it’s about, or quite why you’re enjoying it.”

    This is precisely the thing that catapulted a certain other famous platform game from a mildly successful arcade series into a ridiculously successful home console franchise. The name? Super Mario Bros., of course. Playing SMB back when it first came out was a trip and a half.

  3. Tonic says:

    makes the unforgivable sin of putting the quicksave and quickload buttons right next to each other. on purpose, I suspect

  4. Melf_Himself says:

    Also, the restart level button is within fat-finger-mashing distance of the ‘move left’ button.

    But yes, holy shit, that is weird. I challenge anyone to play this with the sound up, at night, alone in your apartment, and not get the willies.

  5. Hybrid says:

    This game is absolutely amazing. It seems like something out of a H.P. Lovecraft story.

  6. Dominic White says:

    Played this a while back. It’s a good half hour of fun – the gameplay itself is nothing to write home about, and the gun you have is almost too powerful for its own good (what with you tearing through everything when instinct tells you to avoid and hide), but the atmosphere is fantastic.

    The three-colour palette (black, white, red), the amazing sound/music/nightmare noise and the jarring, deliberately discordant pacing of the whole thing make it a fun little romp through a glitchcore hellscape. I’d just like to repeat that the sound is amazing. Turn the volume up, the lights off, and let those tones unsettle you as they’re meant to.

    It’s not that there’s anything jump-out-and-shock scary. It’s just that the oppressive, jangling ambience of it all gets under your skin.

    I’d love to see this developed into something larger. Not MUCH larger, but higher production values on the coding front (the developer is an artist, and was using a pre-made platformer engine someone created for/in Game Maker), and maybe stretch it out to an hour or two… Yeah. I could see that working.

  7. Bhazor says:

    Sadly, Qwantz has already nailed the most emo title ever.
    “Happy Dog the happy dog in Your whole family is made out of meat.”

    Refusing to read the article itself until I’ve played the game.

  8. TauQuebb says:

    For some reason, this leeps to mind…

    LISTER: Where is everybody, Hol?
    HOLLY: They’re dead, Dave.
    LISTER: Who is?
    HOLLY: Everybody, Dave.
    LISTER: What, Captain Hollister?
    HOLLY: Everybody’s dead, Dave.
    LISTER: What, Todhunter?
    HOLLY: Everybody’s dead, Dave.
    LISTER: What, Selby?
    HOLLY: They’re all dead. Everybody’s dead, Dave.
    LISTER: Petersen isn’t, is he?
    HOLLY: Everybody is *dead*, Dave.
    LISTER: Not Chen?
    HOLLY: Gordon Bennett! Yes! Chen, everybody. Everybody’s dead, Dave.
    LISTER: Rimmer?
    HOLLY: He’s dead, Dave. Everybody’s dead. Everybody is dead, Dave!
    LISTER: Wait. Are you trying to tell me everybody’s dead?
    HOLLY: I wish I’d never let him out in the first place.

  9. Jazmeister says:

    I tried showing Red Dwarf to my wife. I ended up turning it off with embarrassment. I couldn’t understand it; I mean, reading that transcript, it’s patently hilarious. The bit where Lister left money in his account for millions of years, and left a lightbulb on, so he’s the richest human being in the galaxy and the electricity company is the second richest entity – that was fucking hilarious. But you watch the episodes and what you thought were nob jokes are, I dunno, nose jokes. Oh dear.

    Also, this here game thing is right excellent, especially the sounds.

  10. Joe says:

    I’ve been “sold” ever since I saw the screenshot! Will have a smoke later and try this out, oh yes.