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Insert Subtitle Here: Insert Title Here

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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Nathan Grayson

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