Fantastic Fest Arcade

Abraxas shakes off the FF withdrawals to talk about 5 of the, well we hesitate to use the word best but there is it, 5 of the best Indie Games from the Fantastic Fest Arcade.

I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking, “Abraxas, where have you been?  Jeesh.”

Well, kiddies, two words: Fantastic Fest.

For you longtime fans of the site, Fantastic Fest is a yearly ritual of cinema awesomeness.  For those just joining us now, Fantastic Fest is a week-long film festival that highlights the awesome, the obscure, and slightly off movies you never hear about but would want to see if you did.

Now, I know what you’re saying, you’re saying, “Abraxas, you do video games not movies.  Fantastic Fest is about movies.  What gives?”

And that’s because this year Fantastic Fest added a video game portion.  Now you’re thinking, “Oh, that makes sense then.”

Damn straight it does.  And wow, the crew at Fantastic Fest found some obscure, fun, disturbing, and out-right fun games for the Arcade.  I’ll be doing full on reviews of some of the games later on, but I want to tell you about some of the smaller games you’ve never heard of.

1)  Super Meat Boy.  The follow-up, sequel, re-imagining of the Newgrounds favorite, Meat Boy, is coming to your PC and XboX this November.  You’ll be able to download it through XboX Live first, and then available through other channels.   The Meat Team understood what made their game fun- lots of old-school side-scrolling jumping action involving a boy made of Meat.  Lots of ways the boy of meat can die whilst jumping, a girlfriend made of band-aides, and Dr. Fetus.  It’s rare I say this but they actually improved on the first game.  I say that because there are a lot more ways Meat Boy can die.

2) Ulitsa Domitrova.  The second most jacked-up game I’ve ever played.  The game is simple; You play Pete.  He’s a chain-smoking seven year-old homeless boy on the streets of St. Petersburg that has to boost car emblems, beg for small change, and hang out with prostitutes in order to get enough money to buy more cigarettes.  The game doesn’t have an end, or even keep score, but if you stop playing he sits down and freezes to death.  You can play it at: http://www.ulitsa-dimitrova.com/

3) Every Day the Same Dream.  If indie Art House movies could be a game, Every Day the Same Dream is it.  A surreal “game” about the alienation and isolation of modern cubical life.  Lots of hidden surprises in the game if you’re willing to step out of the routine.  But, I guess that’s kind of like hitting you over the head with a message or some junk.  Anyway, it’s available to play for free at Newgrounds.

4) Super Columbine Massacre RPG.  If you’re thinking, “Hey, is that a game about the worst school shooting in American History?”  You’re right.  It is.  And if you’re asking, “Do I want to play a game that explores the events of that day?”  That is a good question to ask.  The game uses old-school SNES level graphics in combination with actual video from those boys and that day.  And before you ask, yes you do play as the boys.

5) Now, I know what you’re thining, you’re thinking, “Wow, a game about the Columbine Shootings, a boy made of Meat, and a 7 year-old that freezes to death if you stop playing, what else could possibly be worth mentioning, Abraxas?”  And the answer to that is the most disturbing game I’ve ever played, and I’ve played some messed up games.  That Game?  Operation Pedopriest.    Now, before you ask, yes it is a game about Catholic Priests molesting children.  And, no, you don’t do that.  You have to stop them before the Media finds out.  You can play it for free at http://www.molleindustria.org/en/operation-pedopriest.

Maybe now you’ll believe me when I say that games can be more than be about Italian Plumbers, super soldiers, or whatever lame cliché crap the major studios keep spewing at us.  Indie Games, like Indie Movies, can really suck but it’s also where the best stuff is happening in games.  I recommend taking a look.

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