Pie in the Face

Pie in the Face
Where the Funny Things Are

Veng Xiong | 22 Sep 2009 13:03
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Peter Evan Ginsberg, a game designer at THUP Games, says the opportunity to make HRmageddon, a turned-based action game on Adult Swim about two teams of employees bashing each other for control of a cubicle farm, happened when the TV network was looking for a developer to make a game about office warfare. "Adult Swim got in touch with us based on a previous game we had made, Campaign Game, a game we created connected with the 2008 election," he says. "In that game, we had the candidates fighting for control of the country using campaign funds for their attacks."


According to Ginsberg, other gaming portals can bring a mixed bag of games that range from great to awful because of the "free-for-alls populated by user uploads." He says, "Digging around through those sites, you'll get a real random assortment of games with wildly varying quality. With Adult Swim, all their games are hand selected, and so the experience is way more consistent."

"There are a lot of places you can find game content on the web, but Adult Swim does not seem to be content with putting up a running list of flavor-of-the-month-clones," says Jim Nichols, the art designer at THUP Games. He's right; many of Adult Swim's games have solid production values, with appropriate music, well drawn characters and deep gameplay that keep them from being just another collection of one-off jokes.

While people who enjoy watching the shows on Adult Swim will probably "get" the games on their website, they seem to be more directly aimed at a gamer-specific audience, especially the games that take jabs at familiar titles. Take Amateur Surgeon, for example, a dark and sinister parody on Nintendo Wii's Trauma Center. Here, you will always hear your patients scream when you accidentally puncture their skin with a sharp tool or pull out an object too fast. The game stars Alan Probe, a pizza delivery boy turned surgeon who, unlike the doctors in Trauma Center, doesn't rely on actual medical instruments. Instead, his medical kit consists of everyday tools like a pizza cutter for making incisions, a stapler for closing wounds, kitchen tongs for pulling out pieces of glass and a car battery that doubles as a defibrillator.

But animated blood and cartoon violence isn't all Adult Swim has to offer. There's also sex. Dungeons and Dungeons is a platformer in the same vein as Castlevania, but instead of being a whip-wielding hero, the game's two main characters are S&M enthusiasts who must make their way through six dungeons, fighting scantily-clad enemies, pleasure-bots and naked ladies who like to bend over to taunt you. Some of the more memorable weapons include a vibrator that can be tossed at foes, a nine-tailed whip for long-range attacks and a candle power up that enables your sidekick, a gimp named Max, to shoot balls of fire from his rear end.

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