Playing Every Game in the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality
PEGBRJE: ‘Pocket Square’ and ‘Space Madness’
We’re all over the place today.
Pocket Square is a collection of minigames created by Cody Mace, a software developer and indie dev. Here, players will go through twelve different mini games that are all considered classics, but there is a minor twist: only one button is actually available to use.
The core concept is that each game’s mechanics have been altered so that only one button is necessary to complete the tasks. Let’s start with the most iconic ones in the list, such as Pong. The paddle starts at the bottom of the screen for the player, and the button brings it upwards so that it can hit the ball back. Upon releasing the button, however, the paddle begins its descent. It’s a movement style popularized by the Flappy Bird games and other FLASH games. Funny enough, a Flappy game is included amongst the 12. This mechanic is how the Brick Breaker game works as well.
Another variation on this singular button is the infinite runner/timed jump mechanic, in which the player must press the button at the exact moment that will fulfill the objective. The Platformer, Cave Jump, and Hurdles all need the player to jump correctly to win, while Basketball and Frisbee need the player to hold the button for just long enough so they can clear a certain requirement. Baseball also does something similar, but instead of jumping players need to tap the button in order to hit the ball at the correct time.
Then there are the Golfing games, with Golf requiring the player to hold to get the timing correct to launch the ball in to the evermoving hole — it has a similar feeling to Basketball but with less focus on the constant movement of the basket and player. Mini Golf is the same but with a change in camera angle, now trying to shoot around objects to hit the hole. The last game, and arguably the most unique, is Shooter. This requires players pressing to shoot, but being unable to fully control the movement of the ship — I cannot figure out exactly what triggers the back and forth as it appears to be tied to the amount of shooting. Don’t quote me on that.
Nevertheless, it’s an adorable collection of games highlighting the fun that can be had with just a single button. Its aesthetic is reminiscent of the old Gameboy days, giving that nostalgia some may be longing for. If you don’t have that feeling, it’s still a great way to pass a bit of time if you are looking to shoot some hoops or jump around.
Space Madness is an eccentric Point and Click adventure created by Spreadcamp, a solo indie dev from Germany and living in the UK. Originally released in 2011, this is a re-release to raise awareness of the possible 3D Remake that is in the works. So what exactly do we have here, and what does this ‘Ed’ have to do with saving the universe?
Gameplay follows the traditional narrative adventure style in which the player will use their mouse to interact with the scenes around them in order to learn more about them. The left click is used to interact with the items, confirming if Ed can do anything with them while the right click gives a brief overview of what Ed sees and feels when looking at them.
Ed can pick up items that are scattered around the wasteland, adding them to his inventory so that they can be used later either to solve puzzles or to create new items (that also are for solving puzzles). From here, Ed goes through each area to find where the items can be useful, usually by interacting with people to uncover what they need or what they know.
As with Point and Click games, the writing is the focal point of the game; it not only describes the items to assist in solving the puzzles, but it builds the world to suck players in to get invested enough to solve them in the first place. Ed’s world is a bizarre one, a wasteland full of mutants and rejects that speak in strange and insane ways, all hoping for something.
Ed himself is a bit of a snarky airhead, fitting right in with the general tone of strange and whimsical humor. Items are described in silly ways, Ed’s interactions are always cheeky and the people he finds are equally as strange in the best ways possible. Like the fortune teller, or the strangely evil door; there’s always something bizarre around the corner.
Couple this with a few strange mini games to fit with the hilariously flippant themes and you’ve got yourself a point-and-click that takes itself just seriously enough to be engrossing. It isn’t a massive project like we’ve seen before, and can be played as a relaxing break-time game, but it embraces this by keeping puzzles straightforward but occasionally challenging.
If you like narratives that feel like an acid trip going off the rails, this might be a good game to try out.
How do I put this… there’s only one game left. Tomorrow will contain the last game of the bundle, and the day after will contain the software of page 58 and 59 — after all, there is only one entry in 59.
I’m terrified. See you then.
12 classic games in one awesome package! Each game is a classic you know and love, but with a twist. Pocket Square only…