the artistry and psychology of gaming

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Appy 1000mg

Appy 1000mg

Welcome to Gaming on the House; don’t look down and and mind your step! Each week, we’ll be climbing the rooftops of the gaming industry to seek out great experiences that everyone can track down and play, and the best part is they’ll all be free! That’s right; FREE! Gratis. Comp’d. Unbound. Unrestricted. Zero-down. On the House!… we talk about free games here, is my point.

Many may be surprised at how many fantastic games are really out there that everyone can legally enjoy with no monetary commitment. Taking together all the flash and browser games, freeware downloads from the independent scene, speed programming archives, free-to-play business modules, and even promotional re-releases from big name publishers, there’s a never ending supply of great games new and old waiting to be played, and it’s our goal to play them all! So, if you’re strapped for cash or just waiting around for that next big release to hit retail, why not give these games a try? After all, they’re free; what have you got to lose!

The Ludum Dare October Challenge 2011 is on! In honor of the second year of the October Challenge, Gaming on the House will be spending the month celebrating some exciting games that have come from Ludum Dare competitions past. You can learn more about the Ludum Dare by visiting www.ludumdare.com.

Appy 1000mg

It’s hip to be square

Genre: halucinatory platformer
Link to Game: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/4952054/ludumdare20/postRelease/index.html
Game Info: Created by Sebastian Benard (within 48 hours!) for Ludum Dare 20 in April 2011, placing 1st in community, graphics, and overall. The theme for Ludum Dare 20 was “It’s Dangerous to go alone! Take This!”. The game was later updated for an enhanced version.

Prior to the opening of Appy 1000mg, you will receive the following message: “Please consult your doctor before taking this medication.” Appy is not for everyone. I’m not quite sure who it’s for, but I can definitely say it is not for everyone. Those subject to chronic depression, motion sickness, heart disease, those who are pregnant, have been pregnant, may become pregnant, or exist due to the result of a pregnancy, may or may not find enjoyment in playing through Appy 100mg. What you may take out of it, is more or less up to you.

What I can tell you is that Appy 100mg is a very interesting experience to take in, one that may benefit from at least a second playthrough to better comprehend. All in all, it’s about a 5-10 minute experience, being primarily a platformer that likes to play some serious head games. At the very least, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem had the added benefit of a visible sanity meter while proceeding through (granted that no one will be experiencing such a meter again due to a lingering Nintendo patent). Part Portal, part Dig Dug, and part Matrix, the contents of Appy 1000mg are riddled with lies, deception, rude awakenings, and interesting turns that will have you questioning what the heck is going on, all the while presenting itself across the most commonly used goal in the platforming genre: moving from left to right.

What happened to the happy, er, appy stuff?

I do not wish to give too much away about the game, but in order to provide some level of expectation, you begin as clueless as your character does. You start out on a ledge, unsure of where you are or how you got there. You progress by controlling a small glowing character who can walk, jump, and most certainly can not swim. Eventually you will come across a jetpack that can be used in short bursts in order to reach new areas. The enhanced version also features a drill that once found can break through certain walls to create new paths, however is optional.

The graphics of the game are all built out of large pixel blocks, and are quite stylistic. Animations flow in the foregrounds and backgrounds, and object color shading is brilliantly handled considering the visible limitations of remaining within the game’s block-based format. There is no sound in either the original or in the enhanced release, however the author recommends your finest ambient music to play along.

The pink one is Pixelle…I think

Outside the obvious psychological trauma that may result from playing through the game, I should also warn that the digging mechanic can be a bit dangerous. Digging does not happen right in front of you, however a few pixels ahead, so you can run the risk of getting stuck in a wall with no way to dig out.

Eventually you will reach the game’s inevitable end (it was built in 48 hours after all), and a little more of the game’s overarching mystery will be relayed along the way. The enhances version also includes an alternate ending based on an action from earlier in the game. Either way, the journey is a fascinating one for your character… or should I say… test subject 612.

One Comment

  1. Bwoaugh!? That was a pretty crazy trip, alright. Once I figured out what was going on, it didn’t mess with my mind so much, but man; the metaphors! This tells a fascinating, true-to-life tale that applies not only to drug addicts, but for just about anyone in our hedonistic culture.

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