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Surreal adventure game Tales From Off-Peak City Vol. 1 is out now

Point & click and all that jazz

You can get yer mitts on this wacko adventure game Tales From Off-Peak City Vol. 1 now that it's fully released on PC. It was a Humble Choice subscriber exclusive previously when RPS review slinger Nate took a crack at it. Fortunate for me, as I'm not sure I could explain the surrealist jazz romp without his assistance. It's out on Itch and Steam now, so you can snap it up if it's your brand of odd.

In the words of its creator, Vol. 1 sends players to "visit the unforgettable street corner of July Avenue and Yam Street, as they plot to obtain a saxophone from longtime pizza-maker (and former saxophonist) Caetano Grosso." It's set in the same universe as Cosmo D's similarly odd games The Norwood Suite and Off-Peak.

In his Tales From Off-Peak Vol. 1 review, Nate calls it a "first-person point and click game, set in an intellectually formidable surrealist landscape." There's jazz. There's a pizza-making activity where orders are delivered to you in abstract statements. It sounds a bit absurd, though Nate makes a good case for enjoying its relentless oddity. It even made him rethink some of his distaste for point & click adventuring.

"Was it all crushingly, intimidatingly intellectual? Well, yes and no. Actually, if I’m being honest: no," says Nate. "It was extremely clever, but never confrontationally. It was clearly rammed full of symbols and implication, but it never made me feel like I was missing out if I didn’t grasp any of it. Indeed, it seemed very clear that that it was 'enough' just to enjoy the game on a purely abstract sensory level."

Vol 1 is apparently just the first self-contained story in what's planned as an anthology that will "build towards the larger over-arching narrative of what’s really going on at the corner of July Avenue and Yam Street and what role you ultimately play in its fate."

If that all sounds like your jam, you can find Volume 1 over on Steam and Itch. There's a free demo on both stores, though you can nab it for 10% off on Steam until May 22.

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Lauren Morton