Author Topic: Games you just don't know how to talk about.  (Read 1429 times)

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Offline pokepal148

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Games you just don't know how to talk about.
« on: February 26, 2022, 03:56:10 AM »
Am I the only one who's gotten into these weird games that are difficult to describe? In large part because you feel like you can't talk about them without spoiling what makes them special? From weird meta narratives to just plain weird let's recommend eachother stuff like that here.

Doki Doki Literature Club is not remotely for the faint of heart. Those content warnings that generally surround the game are very well earned. However it is a memorable and well crafted experience unlike any other that is well worth checking out if you think you have the stomach for it.

Moon or Moon Remix RPG is a PS1 era satire of RPGs where your character is sucked into an RPG world and has to try to gather the love of the inhabitants of moon world and undo the damage done by the so called "hero" who is generally something of a nuisance to the people of the world in order to return home. The game is a sort of spiritual predecessor to the Chibi Robo series.


Daniel Mullins is a developer who revels in this sort of thing. He seems to enjoy putting these subversive meta narratives In his games and he is really good at it. His games are only on PC but they are well worth checking out.

The Hex is a sort of murder mystery type thing. There are these six game characters in a bar and you are told that one of them is planning a murder so you basically go through each of the characters, play the games they were from (which generally satirize existing game genres like Platformers and 2D fighting game) and by doing so you learn more about who these characters are and what brought them to where they are today.

Pony Island came out before The Hex and while it is nowhere near as ambitious it is an equally worthwhile and memorable experience. You play as someone who is trapped playing a game called Pony Island and the whole thing is you trying to escape from the game. Also, Pony Island fucking goes places and I am honestly shocked that I managed to describe it without mentioning the elephant in the room that's revealed very early on.

I haven't played his third game, The Inscription yet but based on those previous two I suspect it will be a hoot.

Offline Mop it up

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Re: Games you just don't know how to talk about.
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2022, 01:15:11 PM »
I don't think I really play these kinds of games although one did immediately come to mind upon reading this topic: Outer Wilds

I'm not even certain how to classify Outer Wilds, though to me it feels like an open world point 'n click adventure game. The entire focus of it is simply exploration and discovery; there are no abilities to learn or keys to collect, the only obstacle denying access to an area would be lack of knowledge in how to get there. A lot of things tend to tie together, so I feel like I can't even give an example of something in the game without taking away some of the fun one would get in figuring things out.

Offline Adrock

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Re: Games you just don't know how to talk about.
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2022, 02:42:57 PM »
Point and click games intrigue me. I picked up Shadowgate Classic last year. Depending on how I feel about that, there are a few others I’d be interested in.

I check in on Her Story, an interactive crime film game, every so often. It’s on PC, Mac, and mobile, but I only really play games on gaming consoles so I’ve been waiting for a Switch port.

Offline M.K.Ultra

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Re: Games you just don't know how to talk about.
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2022, 12:28:24 PM »
I sort of felt that way talking to some people about Journey and similar games. I would run into people that just play FPSs and try to describe these pacifist games and they did not seem to get it.
I also think The Witness is tough to talk about without spoiling it so I just tell people to play it because it is amazing.

Offline Order.RSS

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Re: Games you just don't know how to talk about.
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2022, 04:53:37 PM »
I think what Pokepal is describing would mostly fall under metafiction.
The idea of a metagame, in which the game interfaces with its players beyond its own ruleset is quite common in boardgames I imagine. There's always that one friend who always tries the same strategy in Risk, or has a strategy in card games you recognize before they got to use it.

Since video games kind of need to operate within the boundaries of their programming, purposefully exceeding the rules it appears to follow requires them to sell the subversion of expectations well. This in turn makes them difficult to talk about, since, well... gamers care a lot about spoilers and maintaining the element of surprise. I don't know how we bridge that gap without either spoiling things/the sheer presence of metatextual elements anyway. Ideally you'd want the premise to appeal on its own, like Moon Remix RPG for example, and then sneak in subversive elements while the player isn't looking.

I'm not too familiar in this space, but Stanley's Parable, Metal Gear Solid and Eternal Darkness would be my points of comparison to signal a shorthand for a game's intentions .