220: Where the Funny Things Are

Where the Funny Things Are

Dark, edgy humor may be too risky for consoles and retail shelves, but thanks to one TV network and a ragtag collection of indie developers, it's found a home in browser games. Veng Xiong surveys the twisted catalogue of Adult Swim Games.

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Sounds like you're mistakinging Dead babies and fart jokes for actual humour.

These games TRY so hard to bring the funny that they come off as inane. Like the flash game version of a Setzer and Friedburg movie.

The reason a game like Portal is so funny is because the dialouge is written in a way that if you look at it from a serious point of view it still works as dialouge. Those adult swim games scream "THIS IS FUNNY, LAUGH DAMNIT!"

Dark and edgy? Every adult swim thing I've ever seen has been crude and disgusting.

Adult Swim stopped being funny when i realized it wasn't very funny

I wouldn't buy a game just for the humour content, however, I did play this and had loads of fun. But that's not really dark or edgy.

Also, thanks for removing the stripper-on-an-iPhone from the Escapist. I got funny looks in the library at school ;P

Page 2, first paragraph should be "cubicle". Not that a cubical farm wouldn't make the game about 40% funnier. I think my first game played for humor content alone was a shockwave game called Water Balloon Drop, but I think a lot of other games have been funnier. I personally think it's better not to make a game that presents material saying "this is funny", and instead to have a game that has a funny atmosphere.

KillerMidget:
Dark and edgy? Every adult swim thing I've ever seen has been crude and disgusting.

You should play the games first before just judging them to really get a feel for what they're about.

I wrote the article. My goal leaned more towards examining dark comedy and satire in video games, and Adult Swim seemed like a perfect choice. TheRealCJ, I'm not saying every game there is hilarious (some of their games isn't even about comedy). I realize Adult Swim's brand of humor can easily offend people, but I did enjoy playing HRmageddon and Amateur Surgeon. The gameplay was solid, it had good satire, so it was funny.

I think fans of Fire Emblem and other turn-based strategy games will enjoy HRmageddon, even if they don't find the humor (like the Salesman humping on people's faces) to be in their taste.

I assume that fans of Zero Punctuation would enjoy some of the games there. So far it seems like most of the forum posters here have never played the games at Adult Swim or they're just not a fan of that kind of content.

Ben There Dan That was the last game I found funny, and it's a free point and click. The humour was what kept me going through the game as point and clicks aren't really my first choice in gaming genre, however humour can fit in really well with those types of games. I think that's because there is alot of speech and characters to be met which keeps the general banter quite fresh. The puzzles tend to be combining objects, and combining a cat to a hoover to suck mice up for example could be animated in quite a humorous way.

Yeah, I think it was a poor choice. The Adult Swim's games section is very high quality, and it does a good job at playing with gamer's expectations and gaming clichés - like how HRmageddon is your basic RTS, except the fantastical magical creatures or the tough hardened soldiers are replaced by office drones, and gameplay remains the same, or how the highly awesome (most of the time) Amateur Surgeon can take a famous game, replace the names in the buttons you press, and turn it into something identical yet completely opposite. But most of the games just try to hard to be darker and edgier for no reason other than being darker and edgier. Like Bible Fight. It obviously didn't emerge from a discussion about what would be a nice place to get characters for a fighting game, it emerged from a discussion about how to make a game be very offensive without being objectively offensive.

That said, I agree in jist with the article, since the poster above me as I posted mentioned Ben There Dan That, in which the main character accidentally goes on a murder rampage through several alternate dimensions, and how to pick up urinal cakes without touching other men's pee poses a serious problem. Yeah, games that try to push the envelope will not be found in the realm of AAA games with their massive investiments and boards of directors, but in a couple of guys writing Actionscript in their basement. But didn't we already know that?...

Adult Swim is "Dane Cook" Funny.
Nothing more.

I do like playing Five Minutes to Kill Myself every now and again. Though, I do have to agree with most of this post--Adult Swim used to be much, much funnier. Now it's all just crude, tasteless, and tactless--balls, poop, penis jokes repeated ad nauseam for no reason, with no plot, no characterization. It's like watching the precursor to Idiocracy's "Ass". It needs a little bit more sophistication than just some ass farting.

TheRealCJ:
Sounds like you're mistakinging Dead babies and fart jokes for actual humour.

These games TRY so hard to bring the funny that they come off as inane. Like the flash game version of a Setzer and Friedburg movie.

The reason a game like Portal is so funny is because the dialouge is written in a way that if you look at it from a serious point of view it still works as dialouge. Those adult swim games scream "THIS IS FUNNY, LAUGH DAMNIT!"

Really? I loved 5 mins.

But... I don't regular them.

The first two Fallout games were filled with dark and sometimes subtle, sometimes crude humor, before Bethesda turned Fallout into just one more Zombie shooter.

And KillerMidget, you think KillerMidget is a funny name. What does a moron mouthbreather like you know about Humor? You probably like Dane Cook.

So it's a bit like Newgrounds?

Oh, and by the way, I'm not sure Adult Swim's games are really indie games. Or maybe they're really indie but not independent. After all, independent games means the makers worked on the game without a publisher, and those games were obviously worked on at Adult Swim's behest (which, if memory serves, is technically part of the AOL Time Warner communications megacorporation). The HRmageddon even said he was asked specifically to do an office-themed game.

D4zZ:
Ben There Dan That was the last game I found funny, and it's a free point and click. The humour was what kept me going through the game as point and clicks aren't really my first choice in gaming genre, however humour can fit in really well with those types of games. I think that's because there is alot of speech and characters to be met which keeps the general banter quite fresh. The puzzles tend to be combining objects, and combining a cat to a hoover to suck mice up for example could be animated in quite a humorous way.

Ben There, Dan That is a fantastic game and I would definitely like to see more humor in that vein in video games.

Humor in games is usually a tricky proposition - too bad it's not more widely accepted. It looks like Brutal Legend might satisfy people's needs for "darker" humor, though.

After playing a number of the games linked in the article (namely HRmageddon and Meowcenaries) I can safely say that the level of quality in these free-to-play-on-demand games is nothing short of inspiring. You can easily see that some TLC has been taken by someone somewhere to make an idea a reality - and to make that reality work correctly as well.

The freedom of being able to put nigh on anything in these games is refreshing too. Some of the humour (HRmageddon's "sexual harrasment" attack comes to mind) is crude, garish and often entirely inappropriate, but if the humour offends the audience then simply switching the game off is always an option. Censorship is somewhat tiring in this day and age and to have a source which is free and able to present whatever it may choose is a welcome addition to the Tubes. Granted, there will always be the downright pathetic attempts at "videogames" which took a bored 30 year old two days and a folder of porn pictures to create, but Adult Swim goes to prove that the quality is out there, and is worth playing.

Who knows, maybe the developers of some of the best games will be recognised and be hired. You never know.

Now That looks interesting. I'm going to have a look into that.
Might find some fun games :D

I still find Bible Fight hilarious.

Well, these are the same people that made such gems of ultraviolence such as Metalocalype and Superjail (the latter being the epitome of dark humor).

CantFaketheFunk:
If you want funny games on consoles, you have a few options. But if you want games filled with dark humor, you'll need to turn to the Internet - like Adult Swim's game section.

Hey, how do strict "think of the children!!!" regions like Australia handle censorship of games digitally distributed over Xbox live? I'm guessing they can't do much when it comes to what people do on the internet, but Microsoft is an actual entity that they can sue...

I play game on there all the time. Between the shows and the games, it's one of my most frequented site. Other than The Escapist of course. :p

Five Minutes to Kill Yourself actually reminds me of my working day.

CantFaketheFunk:
Snip.

Er... what just happened? Why was this thread merged with another one?

scotth266:

CantFaketheFunk:
Snip.

Er... what just happened? Why was this thread merged with another one?

Because they should have pointed to the same thread in the first place, and I goofed :P

CantFaketheFunk:

scotth266:

CantFaketheFunk:
Snip.

Er... what just happened? Why was this thread merged with another one?

Because they should have pointed to the same thread in the first place, and I goofed :P

Ok, thank goodness. For a second, I was worried that something crazy had happened.

So blood, strippers and Jesus are funny? Meh. No wonder that kind of ''humor'' in games is banned.

It shouldn't be banned, it just needs to be done well.
Really I think Newgrounds and Armor Games are better for the dark, well-made games. Games tend to have adopted the dark humour of Portal there... sure you have to wade through a lot of crap, but it's no different than finding good console games (aside from the fact that it's free).

Conker's Bad Fur Day was good times in my opinion. Kind of a prime example for this.

Problem is always that the more mature the content, the less of a crowd you can market to.

Mind you, with the our gaming generation growing older that will be less of an issue.

 

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