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Have You Played... Pony Island?

Brechtian Strangeness

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

I will fight to the death anyone who tries to stop Pony Island entering the RPS Advent Calendar this Christmas. This extraordinary oddity could potentially be misunderstood as a gag, when it is in fact one of the cleverest, most peculiar and splendidly delivered games of the year.

This exploration of jumping unicorns, Brechtian estrangement and Satanically possessed gaming succeeds on all fronts, and despite having puzzles based around “hacking” the game’s own code, thank the Lord isn’t yet another game that wants you to be a game programmer to play it.

It’s so many levels deep, so funny, so unsettling, and so completely strange, that I promise it’s not like anything else you’ve played. And most importantly, it’s clever too. Cleverer than you think it’s being. I deliberately called this “the smartest game of 2016” on the 5th January. I think that may still be holding up.

It’s but £4 for all this, so it’d be madness not to buy it.

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Who am I?

John Walker

Senior Editor

One of the original co-founders of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I'm now a senior editor and hero of humanity. Old and special.

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