They Came From A Communist Planet opens when you’re abducted from your miserable inner city room by aliens who tell you, among other things: “Capitalism offers no future. It can only seal off the exits.”
TCFACP is better because the aliens are not saviours. They do not come down to fight for us. They show us that the tools are already here. The people already need a better way. The old system is worse than beyond saving, it’s the source of the problem, and in order to create something better we must first destroy the old.
The relief of tension when you’re finally able to let loose and hurl a molotov at the riot cops. The pride you feel when the others around you start to fight back. The strangely haunting, stringy soundtrack. It’s also available for free now on Steam.
It makes me more weary than ever of studios (or, more often publishers) who desperately pretend they’re not making any explicitly political statements, or insist they can’t possibly reflect on current events without rebuilding things from scratch. How that could be true without being utterly oblivious to the entirety of the last decade is beyond me, and yet here’s a game made before this summer’s still ongoing Black Lives Matter protests that could have been about them.
Colestia’s latest game, A Hand With Many Fingers, is about digging through archive material to unravel a CIA conspiracy. It looks excellent, and after working in multiple archives, right up my street. It’s over on Itch.io. Astrid Jonhson (RPS in peace) also interviewed them about all their games as it happens, and it’s well worth a listen.