Dropsy

This week I discovered a great game while trawling through the Humble Bundle store, and despite my ever-growing library of unplayed games (and my ever-growing queue of undone work), I felt an urge to immediately dive into this one. I was rewarded with immediate feelings of sadness, self-loathing, and an urge to hug the nearest clown, despite the creepy-crawlies that clowns induce in me.

I suspect that a large percentage of the world’s population fears clowns, and that this game was designed to make people feel guilty about their fears and prejudices by having them play as a bedraggled representative of the clown species, the eponymous Dropsy. 

Dropsy deals with relevant societal issues.

Dropsy looks horrifying, like something out of a scary-clown movie (do any other types of clown movies exist?). At first, I suspected that this would be a game where the goal was to scare as many people as possible, but I was pleasantly surprised (and then immediately consumed with guilt) to find that Dropsy just wants to hug people, and I mean that in the nicest, non-perverted way possible.

Can hugs make portable toilets happy as well? Dropsy is willing to try!

The game plays like a fairly standard point and click adventure where you gather items, put items with other items, move items, and give items to people, but with a few twists. Dropsy cannot understand language very well, and I suspect that he cannot speak either, for the dialogue throughout the game is represented entirely by pictures. However, Dropsy still wishes to make everyone happy, either through hugs or solving problems. One of the mini-goals of the game is to make as many people happy as possible by hugging them. Dropsy also has a knack for befriending animals, who then help him on his quest to perform random tasks.

The lack of dialogue and the process of learning Dropsy’s way of thinking (interpreting the dialogue pictures) essentially sets the tone for the entire game. Dropsy lives a sad, sad life, and most others around him seem to as well. I’ve never related to a clown so closely before in my life, and while I certainly never wish to do that again, I admire the game’s designers for their ability to make a game about a clown relay some poignant messages about human communication and difference.

We all have a little bit (or maybe a lot) of Dropsy in us.

Kickstarter for Galacollider!

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We are moving into (a successful) day three of the Kickstarter campaign for GalaCollider! If you love strategy 4X or digital card games, be sure to check it out! We have some great minds in on this project, including team members from Magic: The Gathering and Ender’s Game (the movie).

Make sure to get your early bird specials before they run out!

Depth

Do you love multiplayer FPS? Did you love playing as the special infected on versus mode in Left 4 Dead 2? Chances are, you’ll love Depth, which takes a multiplayer shooter, shakes it up a bit, adds some sharks, and throws it all into the ocean. It’s like Sharknado, only with guns and without the tornado bit! Or, something like that anyway.

Depth is a game of divers vs. sharks (four vs. two, respectively), and you guessed it, you can play as either. Obviously, this all takes place in the ocean. Basically, four divers are lowered into the worst kind of shark-infested ocean, and their goal is to swim around and protect a machine named S.T.E.V.E., who also swims around and opens treasure chests and basically makes a large target of himself. The divers are equipped with guns, knives, and other shark repellents in their quest to pick up all of the random loot scattered across the ocean floor.

The goal of the sharks is to obviously kill the humans and mess S.T.E.V.E. up. While swimming around, picking up loot, and shooting sharks is obviously a great recipe for enjoyment, there is little more satisfying than having a huge mouth full of horrifying teeth and using said teeth to rip the shreds out of some soft, mealy humans.

Aside from the sharks vs. humans aspect of the game, the mechanics remind me very much of Left 4 Dead (2), which is great. Teamwork is less important in Depth, but still a very integral part of gameplay. The developers did a great job of balancing out the asymmetry between the shark and human teams with various different skillsets and objects. Unlike Left 4 Dead, the online community hasn’t built itself into a team of rabid mega-trolls. This is also great. Oh, and the music and sound effects are wonderful. Very scary.

This review came a bit late, as the game is no longer on sale on Steam. Totally still worth the price, though.

China Lifts Ban on Gaming Consoles

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China has lifted its ban on gaming consoles! The country imposed the ban in 2000, which cut the market off from companies like Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. The ban release was preceded by a relaxation of the regulations in Shanghai last year, but now all restrictions have been lifted for manufacturing and sales.

What does this mean? Check out an article from the Wall Street Journal here, or from Forbes here.

What are all of your thoughts?