Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.
I have played Dropsy but sometimes I feel like I didn’t play it at all. It’s a peculiar game and it put me into a peculiar state of mind.
RPS Feature Free hugs
“Uplinklikes” is the term our Adam suggests for games presented as another computer’s desktop. “Uppies.” Whatever you call them, Hypnospace Outlaw [official site] has one of the nicest I’ve seen. It’s an AOL-y peek into a pastel-tinged, GeoCities-ish cyberspace with silly animated GIFs and plingy-plongy midi music. Lovely! Jay Tholen, creator of the clownventure Dropsy, wants to take us to the Hyponospace to cruise the dreamtime cyberspace as an Enforcer in search of outlaws. He’ll need a little help on Kickstarter to get us there, though. Watch this aceness:
Sadclown adventure game Dropsy may not have lived up to its excellent character design, but it had enough ideas in its strangely shaped head that I was curious what its developer was going to do next. The answer is Hypnospace Outlaw [official site], a “Future-Geocities/Angelfire Detective Cop Car Chase Game?” (the question mark seems important) that now has a devlog.
The games that fly under publisher Devolver Digital‘s banner are often funny, sometimes silly, and always quirky. Frantic shooter Not A Hero revels in its messy, hedonistic chaos; Dropsy tells the tale of sad, social misfitting clown; and The Talos Principle is a wonderful game about philosophy and mind-boggling puzzles, to name but a few. The Humble Devolver Bundle has them all and more and is live right now.
RPS Feature Clown in the dumps
Dropsy [official site] is a game in which kindness and love are hidden beneath smears and clots of greasepaint, and oedemic grotesqueries. It’s perhaps fitting that the game itself contains moments of strange beauty hidden in the cracks of its cumbersome design but I’m not entirely happy in its clammy embrace. Here’s wot I think.
Dropsy may look like a clown from your childhood nightmares, but he only wants to make people happy. From humble beginnings in a choose your own adventure comic run through the Something Awful forums, the fire-starting funster now has a game of his very own. Dropsy [official site] has the tagline “a point and click hugventure” because he’ll be giving out a lot of those as he roams an open world trying to redeem himself after accidentally burning down his circus. Oh it’s a bit dark all right, but also sweet and funny and yeah okay a bit nightmarish and surreal at times too, as its sing-a-long launch trailer shows:
“OMG” cried our John, showing a new trailer for Dropsy [official site] around the RPS treehouse. For those of you not fluent in middle-aged dad, I’ll translate. I believe he was trying to say “This upcoming adventure game looks funny and trippy and a bit gross and I really dig it but I’m a bit afraid of clowns and don’t want to look at Dropsy’s maw any longer and I don’t like writing news posts, so if someone does like writing news and isn’t afraid of baggy trousers would like to…?”
This is an odd little tale. Dropsy is a creepy but carefree clown living in a grotesque world. He has adventures of the pointy, clicky variety, although without the swarms of words that usually accompany such journeys. The people and things of Dropsy’s world communicate “through visual icons”, most of which are probably also creepy and/or grotesque. The clown is trying to clear his name following a fatal circus fire. Those three words rapidly conjure the odour of burning grease paint and the sound of screaming elephants. That’s not the odd part of the story though – the odd part is how the game’s production has unfolded. A failed $25,000 Kickstarter was followed by a successful $14,000 attempt, which is still running, and now Devolver Digital have picked the game up for publication, offering “additional development, marketing, and production funds”.
Dropsy is a clown. A very, um, not nice looking clown. I think I love him. He has a puppy and he draws his own, poorly painted face on everything – including said loyal canine companion. TV and my nightmares tell me that ours is a world full of sad clowns just trying to get by/devour my heart with crooked, yellow teeth, but Dropsy is an irrepressibly joyful clown in a sad situation. His family’s circus has been burnt to the ground, and he’s gone from local, animal-whispering hero to scrap-collecting outcast. His game, then, is a point-and-click adventure that wields sorrow in one hand and gut-busting humor in another, with a fascinating open-world structure gluing everything together. The personality is strong in this one. Hit the drop to have a look-see at Dropsy.