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Monday, May 10, 2021

Interesting games on itch.io: May 10


List by Matt S.
  
I'm a big fan of itch.io for the freedom and open platform that it allows for developers to be creative, experimental, and directly canvas the audience for feedback for games that are not yet ready for primetime on Steam and its ilk. In addition, itch.io allows you to be transgressive, subversive, and downright dangerous. It's a true "art gallery" for game ideas and creative developers, and it should be celebrated for that.

What makes itch.io a little difficult at times is finding things that are interesting to play. Discovery is a real issue when great ideas are buried among high school projects and nasty little efforts to scam a quick buck from players. With that in mind, I thought what might be helpful to readers would be if I did a brief write-up of interesting games that I've come across on itch.io each week. In many cases these games will be unfinished or "in development," but I'm highlighting them because they promise something special and are well worth keeping on the radar.

Note: I also haven't played these games. I highlight them as interesting based on the itch.io description and concept. Where I find the time to do actual reviews or other coverage, I will compose separate articles on the game in question. These aren't so much an endorsement (or piece of criticism) as they are a head's up.

Naturally, if you want to pick up a couple of the Dee Dee visual novels while you're there on itch.io to support our work here, I would be eternally grateful! There's a new one that recently came out, Sade!

A Quaint Tale

Well, according to some Apple lawyer, currently battling it out with Epic Games, itch.io (which is available as an app on the Epic Games store) is "unspeakable" thanks to the utterly perverted content that is available on it. So let's start this week's coverage off with a game that will make the poor puritan dears blush. A Quaint Tale is a game that is "very horny" (developer's words, not mine), but it features all kinds of classical art, so it's okay. This is culture, folks.


This is a super-short (20 minutes per "run") visual novel of sorts, which is designed to be highly replayable, with allegorical use of the great paintings of yesteryear to make it "the pretentious experience we all secretly long for." I swear to you all I didn't make this. Anyway, it's totally free and by downloading it you're going to make Mr. Tim Apple really sad. After all. Only degenerates use itch.io.

Fish Or Chips

So, here's the thing. I live fairly close to a beach that is very tourism-orientated. That means all kinds of hot food stands right up to the beachside and... it means seagulls. So many damn seagulls. I'm not sure if Fish Or Chips is meant to be a nightmare or something that I love, but I think I've got to give it a chance because, in all seriousness, it looks like a delight.


This is a cooperative game for two players. Basically, because all the humans have gone into lockdown, the hot chips that form a less-than-healthy core of the seagull diet have disappeared. Now you need to find a way to feed your starving flock. This game is a student project, and if the art is anything to go by... these students have a long history in game development ahead of them. This game really does look premium.

Wonhon: The Beginning

Well now, does this have some real potential or what. Wonhon is a stealth-action, top-down game about revenge in 1920's-era Korea. You play as a young girl who is killed in an attack on her village. The Korean God of Death appears, giving the girl the ability to turn into a ghost and possess living creatures. She needs to use that ability well to pick her way through hordes of enemies and exact her revenge. 


The concept is compelling, taking place in a real period of horror for the Koreans (Imperial Japan occupied Korea in 1910 and they were... brutal... in an effort to eliminate the culture). Games like this are forever important in reminding us of periods of history that shouldn't be forgotten. When the game looks as dynamic, exciting, and intense as Wonhon does, so much the better. 

Pizza City

Remember Crazy Taxi? Of course you do (or at least should). It is one of the all-time great arcade "racing" games. Pizza City looks like it's a riff on that, and that's just perfect. In Pizza City, you need to deliver pizzas, as fast as possible, by driving your motorcycle around while also maintaining the balance of the pizza boxes, so they don't fall over. In other words, this game is the ultimate training simulator for Dominos Pizza delivery "experts", and they should probably play it, because they don't often get either thing right.


Looking at the game, it looks like it's quite refined for what it's looking to do, which is especially impressive when you consider that it was made in about 40 hours for a game jam. Playing it will remind you that we don't get enough Crazy Taxi-likes. What a game that was. 

- Matt S. 
Editor-in-Chief
Find me on Twitter: @mattsainsb


Interesting games on itch.io: May 10
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