The Vault №154
With the success of recent 72-hour development competitions and game jams, not to mention how there has never once yet been a bandwagon I won't jump on and cling to as if for dear life, I'd like to announce Trickum Dare: The 72,000 Hour Game Jam! I'm certain that the pressures of such a time constraint will bring forth the innovation and creativity these competitions are known for. Or at least we'll find out when the judging period starts in 2022. But if you can't wait that long for gaming excitement, might I suggest these wonderful interactive fiction, puzzle, and arcade hits from the JayIsGames Vault? Be quick, though: the clock is ticking.
- Slouching Towards Bedlam - Co-Winner of the Casual Gameplay Award for Best Interactive Fiction of 2009, Slouching Towards Bedlam, by Daniel Ravipinto and (the dearly missed) Star Foster, would be an ambitious work in any medium. But placing it in a form where you control the action (or do you?) makes this mesh of science fiction, steampunk, political conspiracy, suspense, and cosmic horror truly memorable. You are but one gear in a larger machine, and yet you are given the power to change the world. Plus, the Triage Personal Analytical Engine, your faithful companion in the game, is the greatest robot buddy character this side of Floyd. A must play for anyone with even a cursory interest in IF.
- You Are Lucky - I have a personal affection for games where one gets the sense that even if the text was in your language of origin, it would probably not make that much more sense. So until I convince the beleaguered editorial team to make "Untranslated Japanese Game Thursday Doki Doki" a regular feature, I will rest content with pointing you in the direction of You Are Lucky, a 2007 puzzle game by Shuichi Oshida that's one part point-and-click, one part Grow, and thirty parts utter insanity. A feverish dream of the most adorable kind, You Are Lucky will have to clicking things to make cuddly animals with colored-turd hats appear, until all sense of cause and effect is lost to the mists of time. And it will be awesome.
- MAD: Mutually Assured Destruction - Trying to determine the genres of games created before said genres were codified can be a frustrating task. Take 1980's Missile Command: it debuted in arcades, so presumably it is an "arcade" game. And you're shooting things, so one supposes that makes it a "shooter". But you're shooting to defending multiple resource-supplying targets, so calling it "defense" doesn't seem that far off the map. But under that logic, might Missile Command then be called proto-real- time strategy? Perhaps that's taking things too far, but Nic Daniel and Brian Baum's 2007 remake MAD: Mutually Assured Destruction, blurs the lines further, and the results are glorious. Pumped-up art and music blends perfectly with the addition of upgrade and resources management mechanics, and nuclear armageddon has never felt so awesome.
While we welcome any comments about this weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!