Sunday, August 23, 2015

Radical Plaything 2: Claw Champion Earth, Alien-Stalker from Pluto, and more!

I really do intend to write Radical Plaything posts at least on a bi-monthly basis - my apologies for their absence over the past nine months. Let's get to this month's recommendations.

All of my freeware game picks for this month are from the Indies Vs Gamers jam at Gamejolt (a jam in which I entered Bloodjak, which placed in the top 10% of entries and got a little mention in Fireside, by the way)! I'll be focusing on games that didn't win the jam but still have a ton of character.

For me, game jams are often an excuse to create experimental, personally expressive, and/or ugly games and get away with it. So, this isn't a list of what necessarily I think are the best games of the jam. Instead, this is a list of games from the jam that, in some way or another, deviated from my usual experience of what a video game is, either mechanically, thematically, or aesthetically. Here we go:

Alien-Stalker from Pluto by Jord Farrell


Heres the finished game. Finished with 5 min left so there might be bugs 
Controls: X to Capture, C to Kill, Arrow keys to move around

I've heard people who've played video games before the 1990's describe retro and arcade games with a certain nostalgia and reverence that, as a young twenty-something, I've never been able to relate to. There's a level of abstraction in archaic games that leaves a lot of potential for your mind to fill in the missing spaces and go wild with your imagination in a way that you can with reading a novel - for whatever reason, most old games fail to realize that potential for me. 

I don't know what it is about Alien-Stalker, but its crude pixel labyrinth and the monsters that inhabit it somehow seem more real than the labyrinths from similar games made in the early 80's. 


Mr. Pigcat by IsmoLaitela


Move Mr. Pigcat by using 'ARROW KEYS'.
Shoot/Puke using 'Z'
Press 'X' to use special when available. Increase your score during the special attack by smashing the keyboard!
Be aware of burdocs, hoovers, waterballoons and red lasers!

You're a fucking Mr. Pigcat who vomits on things. The game has screen shake in it. It also requires that you smash your keyboard. Any question?
(Also, I'm currently the highest scoring Mr. Pigcat player in the world!)


The Secret World of Arcade Game Repair by the Wzzard


TSWOAGR is a 2D infinite procedural wave shooter bullet hell nightmare game! Play with a gamepad or keyboard! Get the High Score by destroying glitches. Grab powerups to help with your repairs. Try again when you can't dodge any more!

At its core, TSWOAGR is a standard, but well done, side-scrolling shmup game. Aesthetically, it's a real treat. Stuff's flashing and shaking and blowing up all of the time. Many of the songs from the soundtrack kick ass.

Download TSWOAGR for Windows!

Claw Champion Earth by Taylor Bai-Woo (FromSmiling)   


Do you want to become a champion?

Maybe even a claw champion?

Please, search no more for your ride to becoming the champion of claws. A fierce claw-battling campaign. Climb your way up to becoming a champion and beat as many other claw-playing-opponents as you possibly can. The champion's throne awaits you.

You know those bullshit claw game machines they have in restaurants and amusement parks? Imagine a world in which there are competitive, multiplayer claw machines. Now imagine a world in which you can be a champion of the competitive claw machines. This is a pretty seductive world we're talking about, right?

Claw Champion Earth is charming, humorous, and well written. I wish most video games had just half the heart that it does. I'll take genuine, goofy stuff like this over Gears of War any day.

Download Claw Champion Earth for Windows, Mac, and Linux!

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