OK/NORMAL is a PlayStation-era vaporwave nightmare
ERROR 420: A E S T H E T I C not found
Have you ever dreamt about games? Fragmented memories, mashed together into a semi-coherent whole that evaporates moments after waking? OK/NORMAL feels like someone's fevered dream of early PlayStation-era 3D gaming, condensed, bottled and ready to drink deep from. The first game from prolific YouTube demake artist 98Demake, it's a short and sweet little interactive nightmare that channels fuzzy memories of blurry CRT screens, early polygon graphics, warped textures and early CD audio, spiced with a dash of vaporwave weirdness.
OK/NORMAL isn't 98Demake's first game project. Those of you with sharp memories will recall that he was attempting to raise funds to create an LSD: Dream Emulator-inspired game called BVoid. Sadly, it seems that it didn't bring in enough cash to get made. Rather than abandon plans entirely, we got this smaller, sharper game in its place, but still built on the same abstract maze-exploration template. Hopefully with the release of this, it'll drum up a little more interest and money available for BVoid, as 98Demake hasn't given up hope on the larger game yet.
It's not a very long game, maybe 30-45 minutes total depending on how accurately you navigate its mazes, but worth the trip. Starting out relatively innocuous, the quality of the software faux-degrades like an over-used VHS tape. Visuals and audio and even game characters deteriorating into unnerving forms as glitches slip in and become more overt in their effects. Any more talk would be spoiling it, so just take a peek at the trailer and decide whether a debuting developer has earned a few of your precious Earth-dollars.
OK/NORMAL is out now on both Itch.io and Steam for £3/$3. Itch lets you use the dollar price, gives the developer a bigger cut and gets you a Steam key, just so you know.