November’s game choices ranged from socially conscious to sheer madcap insanity, and that’s just the way I like it. Oh yeah, and a little game called Super Mario Galaxy (aka the Best Game Ever) hit the shelves in November to boot. But in the spirit of keeping me from writing 6000 words on the awesomeness of Mario in space, let’s just get to it…
Against All Odds ratcheted up the social context by putting players in the shoes of political dissidents and refugees, while never once shying away from the horrors (both visceral and seemingly innocuous) that displaced persons face every day on this planet. In addition to a strong lesson, Against All Odds just happened to be a well-designed game, albeit one that left us a little less chipper than when we started.
While certainly not as socially pressing, Elv is Black went the other way entirely, with goofy music, even goofier graphics, and a weird kind of whack-a-mole in reverse gameplay. I, for one, await more games starring this oddball.
Thule Trail delivered advertainment by way of an updated Oregon Trail game which turned out to be a hell of a lot more fun than I would have expected.
Moon Master: Rahkon wouldn’t have seemed out of place in your local arcade circa 1983, but that’s what I loved about this little goofy gem.
Which brings me to the madcap insanity portion of this rundown: Jason Nelson (the gent behind ‘Game, game, game and again game‘) aimed his schizo palette at shooters with Alarmingly, These Are Not Lovesick Zombies, a game that can only be described as Duck Hunt as imagined by Frank Zappa* and Captain Beefheart.
Honorable Mention: Pac-Txt, which gets a nod on sheer gumption alone. After all, who would expect that Pac-Man would translate so well to the text adventure of old?
Sooooo…. Game of the Month? This time around it’s social consciousness FTW as I’m giving that (probably not so) coveted title to Against All Odds for being such an effective learning tool about a very real problem.