Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
“An endless stream of game recommendations,” says whoever wrote that intro when we started this. This, however, is a more literal question: have you played Skeal? (Now in browser form too!) Because I’d like to talk about it or maybe just laugh together if you have, but if you haven’t, well, I wouldn’t want to ruin anything. It’s a short, free, absurd, and awfully janky game about downhill skiing which becomes quite the thing. How do you feel about R&B singer Seal, by the way?
If you’re in here, I assume you have played it. I don’t know why else you would be. Surely there are no interlopers here. Skeal is quite the thing, isn’t it! The successive reveals and developments still have me cackling as I replay it. I had forgotten all about the unfurling banner. But it’s tricky to talk about. All one can really do is wait until one finds oneself in a conversation about Kiss from a Rose then casually ask, “Say, have you played Skeal? I think you should play Skeal. Oh… no reason.”
I went in totally blind myself, finding it on my usual morning round of downloading and playing the past day’s lot of free games and demos. I was delighted. But it’s not a simple “haha I remember that thing from the ’90s” reference gag, it’s timing, staging, and sheer absurdity too. Telling people a detail or two would still leave them a lot to enjoy, but you don’t want to build expectations too high.
Skeal is a small game that’ll give you a few good laughs over about five minutes. That’s all, and there’s no need to be more. Have you played it?