I’m so sorry, itch.io fans. Last week the team was out at GDC and I missed our Games of the Week appointment. Hopefully none of you were waiting by your computer or phone hitting refresh. As an apology, here are three great games for you to play over the weekend.
As a vector for storytelling, virtual desktops have really come into their own in the past few years. I’m not sure what kicked off this trend, but I’m glad it’s here. Hypnospace Outlaw takes this design idea and turns it toward solving crimes via an internet solely made up of geocities-style pages.
If you’ve played any other game using a virtual desktop, you’ll know pretty quickly how to operate the world of Hypnospace. You’re clicking around fake websites, finding clues, and exploring your way around a goofy versions of late 90s graphic design. And…. that’s kind of it. Hypnospace is a hilarious romp with a variety of great touches (the game slows down if you haven’t restarted your in-game computer in a while) and the music kept me bopping along through my time with the game.
When I saw Pilgrimage get uploaded I thought “Surely it’s not a game by the band La Dispute, it has to be a coincidence.” It wasn’t a coincidence. That’s right, post-hardcore superstars La Dispute released a game to coincide with their new album and uploaded it here for free.
I’ll admit I’m not the most knowledgeable about the band, so I came into the game as a clean slate. Pilgrimage takes the form of an explorable world based on the game’s soundscapes, and asks you to engage with the album in a tactile way. I’ve seen this done a few times before, but Pilgrimage is easily the best album-turned-walking simulator I’ve ever played.
If you have around an hour and a set of headphones, Pilgrimage is a really interesting cross-media adaptation that actually works.
Like any good creative medium games allow us to explore fantastical worlds that are impossible in reality. Wild adventures into fantasy realms of magic, deep space explorations, or in the case of Factory Town: a reality where unchecked capitalism and environmental irresponsibility is great and fun for everyone!
Extract the natural resources around your factory! Mass Produce goods! Automate a series of systems to make your business as efficient as possible! All of this can be yours in Factory Town!
If you couldn’t tell, I have some gripes with Factory Town’s theming, but it’s paved over by the fact that the game is just so good. Building complicated systems one piece at a time appeals to my lizard brain, and it’s great to zoom out and see your growth over time. Factory Town isn’t terribly complicated in theory, but as paths criss cross across the map you’re constantly forced to contend with your past mistakes and try to design around them. If you’re at all interested in systems-management style games this is the best one I’ve played in quite a while.
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