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New Flash Game Is Either Terribly Clever Or... Not

| 2 Dec 2008 18:42
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I made this. You play this. We are enemies. Stop trying to get it.

Did that make sense to you? No? Then neither will I made this. You play this. We are enemies, a "new game type creation" by Jason Nelson. The game is a scribbly platformer featuring levels built around screens from Google, Yahoo, Fark, Disney, Mininova and others, and yes, that is its real name. The author describes it as "an artwork/game/digital poem/world of scribbles and ideas from the back of my brain, way-way back in a storage room for contextual whims."

Gameplay is fairly straightforward, although there is an annoying glitch at the beginning of level seven which can cause you to fall off the map entirely, forcing you to restart the game from the very beginning. Random snippets of videos, grating sounds and hand-drawn effects all feature large in the game's ten (or possibly 11) brief levels, with new bits making themselves visible as you progress through each screen. There are also ponies.

"There is conflict, an Appalachian-style battle between the game maker and the game player, the artist and those wanky enough to like art, the poet and those that sing-song themselves through bittery selfish sexual whatnots," Nelson wrote in the game's "documentation." "And remember 'figuring out' is for control centered hedonists and sharks with bees for hair, such fast stinging chomping machines. Play, READ and explore."

The whole thing has a whiff of cleverness and at first I thought I glimpsed some form of satirical commentary about consumerism in there, but the longer I played it the more I began to think that it's not clever so much as just random, a stream of consciousness approach to game design. Unfortunately, when I finally took the author's advice and stopped trying to figure it out, all that was left was a half-assed Flash game. Maybe figuring it out is important, after all. Can you?

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