Are you ready to talk about the perils of labor? What about the strength of community? Ok but what if I told you we're actually talking about games? Yep, it's time for Games of the Week! Read on for our recommendations of what to do with your free time!
In our current system it's hard to avoid having the value of your labor stolen by your boss, but it's rare to see a game that really understands that. Time Bandit is one of these uncommon gems that really understands the precarity of laboring inside of the capitalist machine.
With some rare design that ties your real life time and weather to the game, Time Bandit is (mostly) a game in two distinct parts. When the game decides you're on shift (determined by real-world time) and when you're not. When you're on shift you're allowed to be on the in-game jobsite, but you're expected to perform tasks. Of course these tasks take real time. Need to move a box? That could take half an hour. Why does it take so long? Maybe it has something to do with the Time Crystals that you're producing.
When you're not on shift you're playing a stealth game and without spoiling too much, you can steal the fruits of your labor. This is a quicker way to progress but the risks are significantly higher.
What will you do, seize the means of production or peacefully labor in the sunlight?
Well all that talk of Labor got pretty dour, didn't it? Well what if you could play a laborer who was also a cute duck?
In this postal arcade game, you're trying to get through levels as efficiently as possible while chucking packages left and right trying to get your packages where they need to be safely. Naturally this is done by keeping your duck aloft by tapping a button repeatedly Balloon Flight-style (or Flappy Bird if you're younger than me). This of course is contrasted with the scoring system that rewards you for trickshots. Yep, the cute game about a duck with a helicopter backpack is a score attack player's dream with combos, tricks, and more.
Even though I knew all of this when I booted the game for the first time, I was still surprised as I began to dig in. There's a level of care put into the design of this game that makes it simultaneously as kind or as sweaty as you want it to be. If that's not enough the game also has a massive suite of accessibility tools so you can really dial in the perfect balance for you.
Deliver some packages in Ducky's Delivery Service!
Sometimes you want to build a cozy world, sometimes you want to build community, sometimes you want both at once! Communite is a buildable world where everything is done together. Sure you can start building a variety of decorations in this top-down world, but the only way to finish it is if someone else contributes progress. This means that on paper you're building a creative area, but in action it's a lot more like maintaining a communal garden.
When you log into Communite you get a pop up directing you immediately go to wherever is most under construction? What does that mean? It means you can immediately go where your contributions can most help. This means you can immediately see the plans laid by other players for you to contribute to.
Now you may have noticed that I've avoided really talking about the mechanics of Communite, and that's for good reason. Communite is a game that is mostly played by not playing it. With its stamina system you have a limited amount of construction you can take part in at any given time. While this may seem like a limitation, it means that you log out and come back and you can see what your community has built while you were out. In practice this really drives home the feeling of being a small part of a collective.
Communite is one of the most relaxing ways to spend time, and I recommend everyone join me in building a beautiful world!
What have you been playing? Let us know in the comments below!
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