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.