Yes, Everything Is Garbage. But garbage can be used to make turnips. Turnips can be sold or fed to cows or sheep, whose sweaters can feed the people who were born from trees and books and yet more turnips. So goes this delightfully simple supply chain builder from the folks behind Genital Jousting, a game where a continent of trash can become an obelisk to start-up culture.
Now, I’ve never really gotten into intricate conveyor creators like Factorio. Where pals will use Minecraft mods to build valley-spanning alchemy contraptions, the most complication machine I ever made just stuck rocks in the oven until they were smooth. Despite this, Free Lives’ free little trash-hurler has roped me in with some delightfully manageable little supply chains.
Created for this month’s Ludum Dare, Everything Is Garbage is very careful to ease you into turning a dump-filled archipelago into an effortless machine. At first, you’re just recycling waste into turnips to sell at market. Simple enough, really. But as the complexity grows, so does the condemnation of the entire process. You’re soon farming babies to send to schools, banks, mines and sweatshops, the luckiest thrown into university to be moulded into bearded start-up bros – constantly throwing cash back into the dumps to keep the system running.
By the time you’ve erected the solid black pyramid formed of start-up brain juice, you’ll have wondered what the point of it all was.
It helps that the mechanisms of capital are delightful to watch, mind. Everything moves with a lovely colourful bounce, the Genital Jousting aesthetic removed from most of its phallic roots. Garbage pops in, turnips pop out, and so forth for cows, babies, books, sweaters and cold, hard cash.
While short and sweet, Free Lives’ jammed-out factory did give an outsider like me an insight into why folks fall so hard into this genre. Everything Is Garbage is available for free (or pay-what-you-want) over on Itch.io.