The Ugly Monster
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The Ugly Monster

Playing Every Game in the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality

PEGBRJE: ‘The Spark of One’ and ‘Lacrymo Tennis’



The Spark of One is a narrative arcade game created by Prince Jones, Benjamin Burnes, Shin, and Miguelito. This game was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and what he was able to do during the civil rights movement.

Players are represented by a large square, and are tasked with attracting specific shapes to the movement while other shapes are unmoving. The space bar causes the attraction, but must be held down at all times in order for the attraction to continue; letting go will cause all of the shapes to stop following.

This might seem a tad odd at first, but there is a large multi-coloured location in the centre of the map that is not explained. Once players have collected all of the people, they can enter it. Then the screen goes funky weird. Suddenly players are back at the beginning, and those previously unmoving shapes are now willing to be attracted.

It’s a game about performing change no matter what, rallying those around you even when your first attempt goes up in strange flames. It starts with a poem, presumably created by the team, and is the inspiration for the game itself; ‘all it takes is the spark of one’.

It’s not very long, only taking 5–10 minutes to complete — but the point is more about the thought and idea behind it.

I don’t remember this part of the Tennis Court Oath.

Lacrymo Tennis is a protest arcade game created by Les Jeux d’la Tête for the Jeux-Debout Paris gamejam. Players will join the ranks of the protest, but not as a sign-bearer or member of the group. Instead, our trusty Parisian has a different idea in mind, and it involves putting all of that tennis practice to work.

As tear gas is thrown at the protesters in a vain attempt to stop them from protesting — they are French, when has that ever stopped them? — the player dons their headband and favourite tennis racket to whack tear gas canisters back to their senders. Each tear gas sent back out of screen counts as a point, and the other score metric is the number of people that are able to get to the protest sight without worrying about their health.

Unfortunately for our racket-man, they are taking the full brunt of the tear gas, so every cough lowers their lung health, seen as a percentile at the top. Whacking the tear gas back faster means less residue is on the ground, but standing on top of that residue is a surefire way to lose quickly.

Instead, players need to constantly move to hit the canisters back while ‘avoiding’ the clouds as much as possible. Leaving tear gas will let it expand, meaning there is less space to move, so keep hitting them back over and over until the lungs give out.

There are actually two ‘versions’ of Lacrymo Tennis. The original 2016 version is completely in French and has our illustrious tennis player unable to stop their arm from constantly windmilling over and over. What this means is that players need to time when the racket gets to the bottom of its rotation so that they can hit the cannisters, or perform god-gamer moves and hit the cannister midair.

The updated version of 2018 alters the gameplay slightly as now players must press and hold to bring the racket up before releasing it to swing. Both are interesting, but if I had to pick one I’d probably prefer the constant windmilling as it gives this hilarious image of some unable to stop racketing while giving a strange challenge in lining up the shots. The 2018 version contains translations for ENG and FR, and also a toggle to switch between the 2018 and 2016 version which is also handy.

Nobody does revolution like the French, and this is definitely a way of doing it. The absurdity of watching someone volley back tear gas is hilarious, and in our currently ridiculous climate I’m looking forward to whatever strange ways people will come up with next to batter back the tear gas.

Nevertheless, if you love games about revolution while also being somewhat silly in its execution, then this is the game for you.




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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.