Little Games, Weird Ideas


Eschewing the consoles for a quick fix of online gaming.

While the consoles and PC get most of the glory in the world of games, there is an ever-growing culture of small-time indie companies and homebrewed flash titles that, while tiny in scale and retro in presentation, play on big ideas that sometimes even games that cost millions to produce gloss over. XLR8R takes a gander at some of the best on the net.

Bloody Fun Day
This simple strategy title hearkens back to 16-bit sprite goodness. It puts you in the position of one of three variations of Death him/herself as you harvest the souls of various creature types without letting your own lifeforce (deathforce?) dwindle. Ultimately, Bloody Fun Day begs the question, “Can even the Grim Reaper resist the adorable allure of cute and cuddly critters?” The answer is yes—yes, he can.

The Majesty of Colors
About as weird and wonderful as they get, The Majesty of Colors starts off with the following prologue: “Last night I dreamed I was an immense beast, floating in darkness. I knew nothing of the surface world until I fell in love with the majesty of colors…” Heavy. Playing as an undersea leviathan, you must guide your tentacles to either help or harm everyone on the beach—from children in floaties to divers out to kill you. With a hauntingly simplistic soundtrack and multiple endings, Majesty of Colors will leave you scratching your head in wonderment for some time.

Don’t Look Back
If you can imagine Pitfall, but way more somber and creepy, then you can get an idea of what Don’t Look Back is all about. Playing on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, you must take your little pixel man to the Underworld as you avoid many snakes and spiders along the way. However, you may be your own worst enemy, as the designers took the title of the game very seriously. Bonus: This one can also be played offline.

You Have to Burn the Rope
You Have to Burn the Rope puts a twist on the 8-bit-esque platformer. You take the role of a bowler-wearing, marshmallow-like little gentleman who throws axes and must traverse one short dungeon to defeat one boss, the Grinning Colossus. There are a couple ways to do this, but the easiest is to just pay attention to the title of the game (sensing a pattern here?). The game presents text hints to you the whole way through and you can’t die. Simple, addictive, and weird. It’s also worth mentioning that this dev offers a Dance Dance-type game that features a Viking with his cock out and a title that involves not making direct eye-contact on public transportation.

Don’t Shit Your Pants
Yet another game that takes its title seriously, Don’t Shit Your Pants is both the name of the game and about all the instruction you are going to get with this one. Playing similarly to old Sierra titles, DSYP puts you in the role of a schlub resembling Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force who is only 40 seconds away from a deuce disaster. The only things you have to work with to accomplish your goal are a door, the clothes on your back, and good old common sense. So, like the old Sierra games, looking around and trying everything is the only way out of your backdoor problems. The game offers several different achievements that reward different outcomes. Get them all and you become the Shit King. Really.