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One of the accusations that my inner voice has levelled at me this year is that my columns have been overwhelmingly dominated by PC gaming. Another has been that I don’t spend enough time talking about actual games, preferring to wax lyrical about whatever issue is hot on Polygon right now. So to prove the latter wrong, and the former utterly right, I want to discuss some of the weirdest games I’ve played in the last few weeks. When I wasn’t playing the Destiny beta, naturally.
The first is a browser game from Orteil, the creator of Cookie Clicker. It’s called Nested and it’s been around for a while, though I only discovered it recently after a write-up on one of the bigger gaming websites. Basically, it’s a text-based procedural universe generator, where you explore existence through the wonder of the nested folder system. And it’s addictive as hell, particularly once you start reading the innermost thoughts of your random ‘verse’s tiniest inhabitants. It can get a little overwhelming once you get drawn into its only-slightly-gameish interface, and to be honest, you’ll probably walk away frustrated, wanting a little more. To quote a giant squid I found on the young sea of a telluric planet: “chug chug chug. okay too much party.”
Following on from the theme of games that were released quite a while ago, Octodad: Dadliest Catch is something I have been meaning to play for a while but never quite managed to. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a game where you play as an octopus, pretending to be a human, hiding your true identity from your wife and kids. Just go with it. Having finally picked it up for a song in the Steam Summer Sale, I’m so glad I finally gave it a go. There’s something you can really appreciate about a game that is a long way from Call of Duty, and while it’s not that hard to explain why the game is so much fun (tentacles are hilariously difficult), it does draw into focus the fact that there aren’t that many games about anything other than killing and conquest. Don’t be surprised if that changes dramatically very soon.
The landscape of games is widening pretty quickly as production costs fall. Sony and Microsoft have been embracing indie developers, while Nintendo just fired their number-one indie liaison. I’m in no position to question multinational companies’ business decisions, but when you can sell quirky, interesting games to demographics outside the gamer stereotype for the price of EA DLC, why would you want to lose that income stream?
Also, Destiny was pretty sweet but I really don’t have the time to foster an MMO addiction anymore. I mean, I might even have a job by the time it comes to PC.