Five Strange Games
Some people like their games straightforward. Others are looking for something different, a game that’s weird in a good way, a game that stands out. You might even say they’re looking for… stranger things. (Eh? Eh??… oh, you’re no fun.) With thousands of games in our library, Armor Games has seen a lot of things that are more than a bit unique over the years. Some of them are scary. Some are silly. And some are… well, you’ll see.
These are just a couple of games that are all a bit strange in their own way. What are some of your favourite weird titles?
A physics-based puzzle platformer? So far so normal, I hear you scoffing. But how about a physics-based puzzle platformer… where you play a sentient blob of goop that uses its own vomit to solve puzzles, then gobbles it right back up? What then, smart guy?! Crafted by Edmund McMillen and Eli Piilonen, Spewer is about a cuddly(?!) pink ball of goo in a lab who’s running through a series of tests for a scientist whose end of level evaluations seem really passive aggressive.
It’s barf that makes little Spewer’s world go ’round, as you can use it to do a variety of things. Puke down while jumping to get some added height or distance and velocity, hurl your guts at a distance switch to press it, the possibilities are endless! And hey, if you need more vomit for another task, just schlurp it back on down. It’s… *urp*… it’s the miracle of n… n… nature… *gag*
Imagine that the world has been dominated by a race of super-aggressive, violent werewolves who have absconded with the one you love. What do you do? If you answered anything other than “hurl yourself bodily atop them like a small, bloody, human chainsaw grenade”, you may not be cut out for the startling craziness of Vox Populi Vox Dei – a werewolf thriller, by Pablo Weremczuk. It’s a short but, um, striking action game where you use the element of surprise to rip your werewolf oppressors to shreds before they can do the same to you.
Vox Populi Vox Dei is one of those games that makes up for its brevity with sheer shock value. It’s ridiculous and over the top in a way that will leave the slightly twisted cackling with delight. If you asked Guillermo del Toro, Quentin Tarantino, and Haim Saban to make a werewolf movie, you’d probably get something that was quite a bit like this. It might not be that difficult or long, but gosh if it isn’t wild in its own unique way. It’s own unique, horrifying, bloody way.
It’s creepy. It’s beautiful. Thomas Brush’s artsy, moody adventure game Coma begins in a silent, shadowy house as a boy sets out to find his missing sister. Outside, the world seems lush and peaceful, but there’s something unsettling about the landscape even when it’s pretty. You explore the land, figuring out how to advance past obstacles, but it ain’t all gleefully popping fruit and tinkling the ivories. There’s something rotten going on here… even before you get to the weird landscape orifices. You heard me.
Coma is one of those games that shows how great Flash creations can be at communicating mood and atmosphere. It’ll make you feel unsettled, intrigued, and even a little awestruck from time to time as you discover its secrets. Secrets like weird landscape orifices. Look, I’ll stop harping on that when it stops being so gross, okay? If this sort of thing strikes your fancy, make sure you check out the upcoming game from the same creator, Pinstripe.
You know how when you’re enjoying a picnic with your best friends, and some jerk comes along and kidnaps one of them, razing the land to the ground in the process and forcing you to go on a quest to gather rubies to defeat him? And your friends are a sentient pet rock and a magical stuffed giraffe that lives in your backpack? Super Adventure Pals is like that, and I think we can all relate to it.
Playing Super Adventure Pals is a lot like being a kid again, gorged on your favourite sugary cereal, and blasting Saturday morning cartoons during summer vacation. (I know there are no more Saturday morning cartoons. Leave me to my yooooooouth!) It blends action-packed, sword-swinging platforming with RPG elements as you search through increasingly madcap levels for the gems needed to unlock the boss’s lair. If it’s your brand of kooky, then maybe the Kickstarter for the sequel, which has already been Greenlit on Steam, is worth a peek?
You may not think a game about soft, fuzzy ducklings would have you belting out Eye of the Tiger, but you would be wrong. Wix Games’ DuckLife 4 serves up simulation-style arcade racing as you train your little ducky to be the very best, like no one ever was, and let me tell you, friends and neighbours, it is grind-tastic. Dodging falling rocks, throwing yourself down caves, leaping over obstacles, all for the sneering approval of your fellow ducks… it’s harsh, man.
DuckLife 4 is one of those games you either get the appeal of or you don’t. It’s simple, sure, and repetitive, but for some folks, the satisfaction of seeing the intrepid feathered fighter they’ve painstakingly pushed through training after training, not to mention outfitted with a really sweet fez, finally winning the big tournament is going to be worth a fair amount of celebratory hooting, and maybe a round or three of We Are the Champions. Hey, some people juggle geese.
Writer: Dora Breckinridge / Dora has been writing about games for the better part of a decade, and playing them for even longer, using the glow of the monitor to keep her warm in the frozen wilds of her native Canada. Her website is here!