Netrunner demake. VVVVVV + Flappy Bird. The best way to solve a missing person’s case is by tossing bombs everywhere.
Dale: Lost in the City by magicdweedoo
Find Dale by wandering around throwing bombs. Bombs blow up pink stuff. Make more stuff pink by finding star cards.
You can even blow up other lifeforms, which I am contractually obligated to mention as a Videogame Word Puker, something we simply did not have the technology for until recently, making it a great demo for the increasing ability of videogame engineers to disable the anti-violence chips embedded in all computers. I blew up people by accident and on purpose. No one cared.
A soothing progression of explosion-exploration, finding scribbly little items that Unlock New Areas like Beach and Part of City Where Snakes Live. The fluorescent colors are very pleasing (you can independently change the color of each element at the beginning).
There was an angry screaming argument going on outside while I was playing so we closed all the windows but it was still pretty loud so I turned the volume up and tried to distract myself, which the contained microworld full of bombs and colors and mindless sassy NPCs did a pretty good job at. I definitely give the domestic dispute a low score and can’t recommend a buy on that one, maybe rent at Gamestop and see if you like it.
CUBICSPACE by Adam Saltsman
CUBICSPACE is intimidating at first, what are all these pixels, what do they do, but after studying up I found a tight scifi-themed dice strategy game. Here’s how it works:
Everything is made out of dice.
Counter the red dice floating in front of your ship, by clicking the red dice then clicking on your blue or green dice. Get through sixteen dice to go to the next round.
You have green shields, blue lasers, and yellow rerolls. They’re dice, so they can go up to six. Blue lasers dump all their energy when used, so it’s optimal to match the number up to the red die or you’ll waste some. Green shields subtract one for one, working more efficiently. Yellow rerolls let you reroll the four dice in front of you (as long as you haven’t clicked any of them yet). Overloading your shield/laser dice gives you rerolls.
Pressing the little button at the bottom of your ship converts 3 laser and 3 shield into a point, which functions in the traditional fashion as a number that represents how amazing you are.
Get hit once without shields and you die.
ODDWARG’S BIRTHDAY 2014 by HUBOLHUBOLHUBOL
A birthday present! To start the game you feed the fox a piece of trash. Literally trash, like drag something from your desktop into the game where Tails will devour it. Besides being a game that requires destroying your data to continue, it’s full of vivid colors and patterns and minigames where you hurl carrots at Oddwarg, who is apparently some kind of wicked shapeshifting fiend who must be punished.
Action Painting Pro by Ian MacLarty
Platformer that creates a painting. Power-ups alter your paint style and keep you from running out of energy. The platforms rearrange every time you grab a power-up, molding the painting along certain lines of possibility.
A pretty painting slashed in half by the abrupt downward arc of my death.
Lights Out, Please by Kaitlin Tremblay
Takes familiar, thinly sketched stories and tells them from the perspective of women, that dimension of horror we know so well–stalking, sudden violence–and tells them so well I didn’t notice what they were until near the end.
The author says: “…the typical fear and terror in urban legends and ghost stories is a daily fear for many women, especially those women who have been the victims of sexual harassment or violence. I wanted to show that it’s not always monsters and the supernatural that cause the greatest worry — but that instead, it’s sometimes the people we know and that are closest to us that are the biggest threat.”
FFFFFF by Daniel Linssen
VVVVVV + Flappy Bird. Completely cruel wicked game. The pain of jumping off the floor and realizing you messed up by a few pixels and you’re going to hit the spikes but you’re hurtling helplessly across the screen unable to slow down. Feels a bit like one of Terry’s other games, Super Hexagon, in that you’re developing twitch muscle memory for a series of randomly selected patterns and it will make you want to PUT YOUR HEAD IN A VICE AND SQUEEEEEEEEEEEZE UNTIL YOUR BRAIN BURSTS OUT YOUR EARS LIKE A STRAWBERRY OTTER POP EXPLODING AT BOTH ENDS AND
CYBERGALLOP by Michael Brough
A demake of Netrunner, the glorious cyberpunk card game, CYBERGALLOP successfully distills that cerebral bucket of fiddly bits into a crunchy arcade game.
Efficient design. Doesn’t need HP when one kind of enemy can delete the program you’re carrying instead, allowing an instant kill enemy and an enemy that doesn’t kill you instantly. That’s 1 enemy more than 0.
reProgram by Soha Kareem
Hypertext about the use of meditation and the erotic in fighting trauma. I felt like I was suffocating, the way Soha captures the claustrophobic, intrusive thought loops of abuse, and didn’t catch a breath til the story was done. After abuse, there are so many thoughts spinning through your head, gears turning in the greasy rancid dark. If only I’d done this or that, I must have deserved it, how could I have saved myself… these endless simulated battles with causality that leave us exhausted and change nothing.
Glitches are the failure in a system, bursts of violence interrupting its ordinary workings. These pictures inflict aesthetic violence on her virtual body, in the same way she permits erotic violence to distort her physical body. Both are the use of violence to achieve a certain feeling. The difference between your hard drive crashing and the chaos-blooms of glitch art. The difference between being beaten by your abuser and consensually choked by your lover.