This season, indie game designers play by their own rules
That's a question most Twine games ask, as the text-based games mostly resemble the choose-your-own-adventure books of a 1980s childhood. Climbing is one of the better, briefer ones, and though the adventure ultimately is linear, the branching paths will make you chuckle and make you think.
Climb. Climb. Climb. And when you're done, check out twinehub.weebly.com for even more text-based Twine games. You can also learn how to make your own.
By Merritt Kopas, music by SCRAPS/Laura Hill
Available at www.mkopas.net; free to play in Flash-enabled web browsers
Have you ever sat with someone playing Halo, and heard the TV calling out "triple kill, KILLING SPREE!" and other lovely hyper-masculine achievements? Well, now's your chance to go on a hugging spree.
HUGPUNX is described as a "fluoro-pink queer urban hugging simulator" — and indeed, players basically run around doing just that. Hugging. People. Lots of them. The music is fun and light, and you'll be shimmying in your seat while you play. The game is simple to control — use the arrow keys to move, and Z to hug. Plus, you can hug giant cats. The world needs more games where you can hug giant cats.
CRYPTWORLDS: YOUR DARKEST DESIRES COME TRUE By Cicada Marionette Available at www.cicadamarionette.com; free in PC, MAC, and LINUX versions Missed Burning Man? This game may be a nerdy substitute to the insanity of the desert. Played a bit like The Legend of Zelda, the game (created by a Texas-based developer) begins with the player talking to the folks in surrounding towns and crypts, performing fetch quests and collecting inventory items. Unlike Zelda, though, a crypt filled with human sacrifices (who all sort of look like Indiana Jones), a horse-god, and a "programming hell" await you. Hundreds of nerds in plaid pants stand by their desks around a flame, or a volcano, I can't quite tell. But don't worry — once you escape, there's a pulsating monster that resembles somebody's liver just above you. Bring your favorite Burning Man party favors and play this game in the dark for hours. * For a podcast interview with Dy5phoria's Anna Anthropy, visit www.sfbg.com.
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