The Ugly Monster
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The Ugly Monster

Playing Every Game in the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality

PEGBRJE: ‘Breakout Poetry’ and ‘Just Another Day at the Office’

Strange day.

Well this is odd.

Breakout Poetry is a strange narrative ‘arcade’ game created by Johan Holm, an indie dev based in the UK. Players are creating one of four poems but in the strangest of ways; through brickbreaker.

After selecting one of the poem titles, players will gain control of a paddle and see numerous blocks on screen with words. When the ball drops, players will hit the ball back to keep it afloat, and watch as it hits the bricks. Each brick hit will put the phrase on the side, and every subsequent phrase will go underneath to fill out the stanza.

If the ball falls out the bottom, then the game is over and the points collected from each brick hit are tallied together. If successful, knocking all bricks will end the game and showcase the poem on the side before returning to the main menu.

It’s hard to really explain all of the different factors at work here, but the baseline is the idea of emergent poetry. The phrases are all crafted to ensure that they can fit where ever they are needed, yet at the same time players will form their own ideas on how the poem should go and make attempts to make it a reality.

Once complete they’ll have a poem that they can read, and if they go again it may be completely different; give a different feeling, strike a different chord. It’s all about how these phrases enable players to feels differently about them, even though realistically the poems contain the same words.

Perhaps that is why the title makes so much sense in hindsight — you are effectively creating poetry on the fly through ‘breakouts’. You don’t necessarily know how the poem will turn out, even if you try your best to break certain ones. All you can do is marvel at your creation at the end.

If you like narrative games that give an air of experience and mystery, then this might be what you want — especially if you like poetry.

Yeah I get that.

Just Another Day at the Office is an action game created by Working Class Games, a solo indie studio. The player is a worker, any worker you can think of, who has snapped under the pressure of the world and decides that now is the time to revolt.

Starting from the office, players will collect molatov cocktails and make their way through three levels of bureaucratic hell in order to reach the ‘financial institutions’. Each level is full of businessmen, bureaucrats, police, and a rare shot of Putin — each and all of them can be torched while saying things about profiting from the poor, keeping in line, and hating their lives. If molatovs are not preferable, a flamethrower is also available via the CTRL button, which spreads fire and goes through walls for… reasons.

Each level becomes more congested with these villains, and since a single touch will destroy the player it becomes a strategic goal to collect ammo and see when it can be used to light things on fire.

I’m a little uncertain of how I feel about this game, as it feels like a slow action title full of commentary on today’s realities. Ideologically speaking it will resonate with some, but definitely not everyone — after all, you are killing businessmen, cops, and blowing up a financial server.

How you feel about the game may be the point, but that also makes it hard to recommend. That’s something for you to decide.




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Jacob ._.'

Just a Game Dev who decided to take on the monumental task of giving an overview of all 59 pages in the bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. We keep going.