It's Monday. The work day is over. The sun is slowly dwindling over the horizon, dinner is imminent and there are another four days to go before the arrival of the weekend. What do you do? Why, you check out cool games from the Molyjam 2013, of course!
Inspiration: "I wish I had some time machine and could go back two weeks. You live by your mistakes, for sure."
Time travel is tricky business. Step on the wrong ant and you may have end up precipitating the demise of civilization and the rise of giant honey badgers. Fortunately, Back to the First Date won't have you questioning the ethical treatment of insects. Instead, it will have you attempting to figure out a way to make a first date between two bespectacled time-travelers work. Of course, complications are inevitable. We are talking about time travelers after all. They're not terribly adept at suave conversation. They also cheat; both of them have been continuously going back through time in a bid to improve that first encounter. You're going to have play each of them in turn, tweak their awkward dialogue into something more profound by clicking on an assortment of hyperlinks, and hopefully engineer some hyper-intelligent love.
Inspiration: I want you to think of the sword as a conductor's baton. As you're fighting, we'll be introducing different musical elements, the more successful you are. And we'll be upping the tempo of the music, the more abilities that you unlock. So you not only get more of a score, you get a cooler soundtrack.
Games like Timecode are a reminder that some people are just plain genius. Created by a single individual, Timecode will have players, in the guise of a small black dot, trying to escape a number of levels. Now, here's where it gets interesting: everything you do is dependent on the beat. For example, there are certain squares in the game (appropriately marked with skull and bone) that can kill you if you move over them while you're pulsing. As such, you're going to have to time your movements around the palpitations of your rotund avatar. Timecode is a slick little product and you should totally give it a whirl, especially if you're big on the idea of high-action, minimalist puzzle games.
Inspiration: I want you to experience things like unconditional love – that's what I'm trying to get to.
Do you have a dog? Do you like your dog? Do you love your dog? If so, Fetch will either make you want to hug your resident pooch or shout, "You bastards!" at the screen. With the help of a rather adorable-looking canine, Fetch does an excellent job at depicting what unconditional love can be like: horrible.The visuals are simple yet endearing, the gameplay composed primarily of 'pick one thought bubble out of three'. The plot, however, will make you feel guilty about the notion about ever asking an animal to venture beyond 20 feet of you. Though innocuous-looking at first glance, it's probably best played by those who do not immediately sniffle at sad scenes in a Disney movie.
Inspiration: You play as a single mother who accidentally gets trapped inside a mech that she has been building. She must now bring up her child as a mech
Where is the Button for Love? is ridiculous in the best possible way imaginable. You're a single parent who has somehow trapped themselves in the mech that they're building. In spite of this, you need to continue expressing affection towards your daughter or risk enduring her disappointment. As you might have guessed already, this won't be an easy task. Contained now within a machine built for destruction, you must somehow work the various levers and buttons on the control panel to intimate something that vaguely resembles an embrace. Will you succeed?. The clock is ticking. There are a dozen colorful things to push, pull and press in your quest to be a good caregiver. Try not to kill your child in process, okay?
Inspiration: You have to sign a piece of paper
Even though operating systems have made the whole procedure far easier these days, installing new software remains a laborious chore. Now, imagine if the installation process wasn't just an inconvenience but an assault on your soul and patience? What if your new program was a snarky, grossly unlikable entity that would much rather delete the contents of a folder than share it with any other piece of software? What if it asked invasive questions? I Have Read and Agree to The Terms and Conditions is, I suppose, best described as a simulation of the most frustrating software ever. There's not much to it, but it's likely to elicit a grudging smile. Think Apple was evil? You haven't seen anything yet.
Inspiration: We've got tons of graphs and data coming in, and looking at that is the most inspirational thing I have seen as a game designer, ever.
The idea behind Super Chart Bros! is very, very simple. You're a weird, amorphous blob. Somewhere, on the level, is an X. Your task is, quite naturally, to move to said letter. In order to do so, you're going to have to navigate a number of platforms and this, in turn, is why Super Chart Bros! is so clever. Each level is unique. In one, you might find yourself controlling the height of a platform with the number of jumps you perform. In another, you may find dealing with a platform that escalates in size based on the amount of time you've spent on the level. Though it never quite becomes terribly difficult, Super Chart Bros! remains an imaginative interpretation of the developers' chosen quote.
Those are just a few of the many spectacular, smirk-inducing titles that came out of Molyjam 2013. If you're curious about the rest of them, you can find the full list of games over here. Should you come across something that you think absolutely deserves a write-up on US Gamer, don't hesitate to let us know in the comments! Enjoy the week, folks.