Have You Played… The Static Speaks My Name?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

The Static Speaks My Name [official site], like Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger, and The Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist, is a short comedy. Dr Langeskov, thanks to the narration of Simon Amstell, feels like a standup routine solidified into a brief story. The Static Speaks My Name is more like a pitch black comic sketch. The kind where the punchline hits you right in the gut.

I laughed out loud twice when I played. Given that the game is around five minutes long, that’s a better laughs-to-minute ratio than I get from most TV shows or films. This isn’t just a game that provokes laughter though, it’s a creepy experience as well. Much of the humour and the anxiety comes from the denial of expectation; objectives don’t work out quite as the text suggests they might, clicking to perform an action sometimes has unexpected consequences.

To say too much is to spoil the experience to an extent as the entire process relies on subversion of expectation. From the moment you open your eyes as the night begins to the moment you close them as the game comes to an end, everything that you see and do is coloured by the strange nightmarish context of this one peculiar night.

If you haven’t played this game, you should. It’s free. Prepare to laugh but prepare to be disturbed by your own laughter.

10 Comments

  1. padger says:

    This is horrible. No more games for me.

  2. Sarfrin says:

    Comedy?

    • April March says:

      Yeah, it was an interesting game, but I didn’t see any humour, black or otherwise.

  3. Chorltonwheelie says:

    Deary me.
    You do realise that when Rik Mayall was portraying the punk poet, the scourge of bourgeois thinking and conservatism…that he was taking the piss?

    • Sarfrin says:

      Do you have a point to make or just an urge to be patronising?

    • Dave Tosser says:

      I sometimes forget the RPS readership consists of people who use the word “bourgeois” as a pejorative. Like it’s 1917.

      • Merus says:

        I don’t think commenters on a video game site can really be talking much smack about bourgeois attitudes, although ‘bourgeois’ is one of those words where I’d imagine the vast majority of the people that use couldn’t quite explain what it means or why exactly it’s a bad thing.

        Hell, I’m pretty sure I’m misspelling it.

  4. MrBehemoth says:

    That was… deliciously grim. (Especially the part where you didn’t flush the toilet or wash your hands before breakfast.)

  5. mjsherman says:

    I made an account just to comment on this one. That was… incredibly affecting. Reminds me a lot of Presentable Liberty, and anyone who enjoyed this ought to go play that one immediately as soon as they have an hour to spare.

    I played this… wrong, I think. I found “it” before anything, on account of going through the wrong door and digging a bit too deeply. Here’s this situation before me, the pieces are all there, yet all my character wants to do is use the bathroom. Going through the routine after that, knowing what I did, was one of the most surreal experiences I’ve ever had. Highly recommended.