Princess + bomb = cake. Wasteland baseball brutality. Endangered hypertext preserve.
Princess Chardonnay in Bomb Kingdom by Ishisoft
A princess, some cake, and some bombs. Of course, you need the bombs to get the cake. That’s how life works!
Chew on some hard facts, buddy: life is a series of floating brick platforms and you gotta push the bombs to get the cake or you starve to death, because there’s no other food, except maybe grass, but princesses know better than to eat grass. That’s why we bomb the shit out of everything.
Princess Chardonnay doesn’t introduce new elements, it just figures out increasingly clever ways to use the bombs. They can destroy stuff, knock stuff around, blast you into the air, that’s all it needs. And it’s cute as fuck.
Conversations with my Mother by Merritt Kopas
Conversations is a letter from Merritt’s mom. Or rather, it’s a letter possibility space.
It’s about misgendering, or maybe not, because you decide, clicking words to cycle through “daughter”, “son”, “child”, that kind of thing. Love. Denial. Fear.
Most playthroughs lead to tweets from Merritt’s Twitter, grounding each ending in real world bursts of emotion, ephemeral lines frozen like snapshots.
John Brindle has an excellent analysis here that articulates many things about Conversations that I could not. Thanks.
Lethal League by Reptile
So you hit the ball. It starts bouncing off the wall. It gets faster each time it bounces. Oh, and it kills you on contact. So it’s like playing tennis against the garage door except you can die.
Challenge Mode is about getting as many bounces as you can without killing yourself.
Versus mode adds a computer player or another human and you try to kill each other with the ball.
The sound is sexy, big SLAMS and CRASHES. I left the game running just to hear the music.
Fragments of Him by Mata Haggis, Tino van der Kraan, Elwin Verploegen, Henriette Sande
A man’s partner dies and he starts deleting his memories, throwing away his things so he won’t have to dwell on the pain.
Click the ducks. Gone. Click the pillow. Gone.
Maybe there’s a little too much clicking, I think it could have communicated itself by the removal of big objects without me hunting for little books and such. Robert Yang has another take though: “I thought so too, at first, but then I thought, “how can a candle or a fence post remind you of someone?” and then I was okay with how, uh, compulsive obsessive it is.””
And by the end I was moved, no mistake.
Undercolor Agents by farmergnome
Arena shooter where the level is filling up with colors and you have to destroy color generators to save the world, by which I mean get rid of all color, which is kind of grim, but maybe these colors had it coming. These are the angry cube-shaped colors that kill people after all.
Seems best with multiple players, as each agent is good against a certain color and you can shoot to free fellow agents Left 4 Dead-style.
ROM CHECK FAIL by Farbs
Not exactly new but we finally got around to posting it on the site, so here it is!
Carefully place a dozen arcade classics in a large mixing bowl.
ROM CHECK FAIL rapidly cycles three variables: the environment, the enemies, and the player. So maybe you start as Mario fighting Pacman ghosts in Breakout but every few seconds everything crackles and mutates and you have to instantly adapt to your new body and environment. Hectic brilliance.
The Parasite by Jimi Ahlgren
Platformer where you have to eat the ground or starve. This being a platformer, you come into conflict with your appetites real quick.
On top of this, you have a stamina meter, which limits your ability to chomp ground. So you’re balancing stamina, and chomping, and chomping the right pieces of dirt, and not dying of hunger, and trying to reach the exit.
-You can double jump
-You can dig into wall sides mid-air.
-Hunger carries over to the next level.
Mondrianism by Jezzamon
A cross between a Mondrian painting and a piano.
Each color can move diagonal, horizontal, or vertical. You want to merge colors with other colors.
I was clicking around to move at first but then I realized you can just hold the mouse button down and kind of roll around, which feels a lot nicer.
Movement generates music–slow, halting tones of trial and error turning into rippling melodies of discovery.
Minimal 2 Player Game by NiallM
Just a simple game of Pong.
OR IS IT
Some of the most fun I’ve had with a two player game for a while.
Breakfast on a Wagon with your Partner by bananafishtoday
A conversation with your wagon buddy as you ride across the post-apocalyptic countryside, and maybe it gets kind of serious.
The cool thing is that Breakfast is all dialogue. No scenery, just two lines, you and your partner, painting a world through words alone.
Like Conversations With My Mother (both were made independent of each other), you tweak words then push the scene forward by clicking a symbol. One link, many possibilities–ranging from breakfast to how you spend the rest of your life.
Mandala by arrogant.gamer
Mandala isn’t here anymore. Just the idea of it.
It was an old Japanese house.
the game is about the effect of tourism on the beautiful place of the world. Mandala is a curious, tiny world that begs to be explored… but the more people enjoy and explore it, the more damage they do.
Electronic media is pretty fucking immortal by default. Once it gets out there, it’s linked, reblogged, excerpted, mirrored, cached, entombed in the Wayback Machine. If you’re an American, your tweets are buried in the Library of Congress. After a certain point, you couldn’t delete yourself if you tried.
Traditional media has all these preservation needs–storing manuscripts out of sunlight, installing paintings in carefully curated spaces. Entropy in games, on the other hand, is an act of deliberation by the creator.
A game that fades like sidewalk chalk.