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Sleepwalkin' Guy: Braindead

The internet has been full of happy things to say about Braindead lately, and having just played it, I can see why it caused so many whoops and coos. This free micro-download is a retro-esque indie platformer, but wait, come back! This is not yet more tiresome retromancy of the kind that regularly floods indiedom, but instead a smart, one-button inversion of the genre. Rather than control the character, you control his world.

The character is, as the title rather more bluntly puts it, no longer in control of his actions. All he can do is walk forwards, slumped, unhappy, barely there. So you, with just the Z key, your wits and no HUD to guide you, must activate platforms, jump-pads, air vents and all sorts to ensure he can continue without meeting disaster on drops or spikes.

It is, in some ways, a familiar concept - the ancient Sleepwalker, and more recently the well-intentioned but oddly clinical Lucidity - but pairing it with what nods towards VVVVVV levels of sadism and an eventually magnificent but also headache-inducing visual style makes it a singular entity indeed.

Braindead was created for a 'Piratekart' compilation intended for this year's IGF by Mark Johns, aka Doomlaser. DOOMLASER. There's a name for an indie developer.

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Alec Meer avatar

Alec Meer

Co-founder

Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about video games.

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