Freeware Garden: Tarantella Sicilienne

Freeware Garden searches the corners of the internet to highlight one free game every day.

Ah, yes, the Sicilian Tarantella. The wonderfully upbeat, allegedly poison-curing and impossibly catchy music from Southern Italy that’s a perfect match for weddings, revolutions and the freshly released Tarantella Sicilienne by George Schweinfest. Or is that by the Catamites and their Harmony Zone thing/initiative as part of the Harmony Summer Hardpack Tape 11-in-1?

I am frankly confused, but you really shouldn’t care too much. I’m prone to confusion.

Better care about finding a few minutes to play and, if possible, to whistle to the tunes of the terrific Tarantella Sicilienne: an idiosyncratically yet beautifully illustrated web-game that initially seems to be all about harvesting corn and, surprisingly, is all about corn. From the perspective of a rural family.

Thing is, no matter how picturesque, jolly and even healthy a farmer’s work might seem to someone hunched over a keyboard, it’s a harsh and poor life only the ignorant could romanticize. Tarantella Sicilienne is, of course, far from ignorant.

It is a short and expertly told interactive story that shatters preconceptions instead, but also a story that never fails to sardonically look at life. An elegant little game that uses simple arcade-like controls to help you (and apparently me) get a glimpse of a difficult reality.

Either that or I got it all wrong and it’s all about war. Or a moral. Play it anyway.


  1. SuddenSight says:

    Another interesting game – I love this column!

    This game feels like a puppet show. It is short and low on details, but the details included are perfectly chosen to reinforce the difficulties of life. Its amazing to me how the game manages to communicate such a depressing message in less than 5 minutes, and all set to up-beat music.

    It also makes me wonder what the inclusion of controls adds to the experience. I’ve certainly see actual puppet shows done in a similar manner (but with no interactivity, of course). I suppose the inclusion of controls makes the player feel more responsible for the outcome?

    I know I tried very hard to dodge things like the snake, but it doesn’t seem to be possible. I also felt bad when my actions caused one of the twins to die, even though I don’t think there is another way to progress?

    • Konstantinos Dimopoulos says:

      Hey, thanks a ton for the kind words!

      Also, I quite agree with you. It does feel like a puppet show… As for the controls, I believe they simply add a sense of agency. A control of pace and an illusion of decision making, that simply makes the game’s message easier to get.