Some news, important changes, and stuff

I learned everything I know about indie games while writing here on Creepy Gaming. It's been my 'launching pad'. The only place where I kept coming almost daily throughout these 3 years to practice my writing skills. Thanks to this site, I managed to meet a lot of great people in the industry. Some unknown, some that they're finally receiving the deserved recognition, and even other well established individuals that were so kind to guide me through the up and downs of my slightly depressed life.

Today I started writing for, and whereas I'd love to keep on pulling off lengthy posts both here, and there, the time at my disposal isn't quite enough. There, I'm finally free of reviewing whatever kind of game I liked. While here on this site, sometimes I felt like the boundaries given by its name were becoming simply too overwhelming. I'm still in love with the gems you can find in the obscure corners of the indie scene. However, shaping my articles in order to make the games look like a natural fit within these pages isn't something I was enjoying anymore.

So, here's the plan. From now on, you can start looking for my daily in depth article on Moreover, whenever I'll find a game that is suitable for Creepy Gaming, I'll mention it here with a short description so that you know at least what's it all about.

The best way of keeping up with my finds is anyway my Twitter. If you're not following me, well, this might be the perfect chance to finally do it.

Ode to cactus, this is cloning gone right

It's interesting to see the many possible approaches that the participants of the latest Clone Jam have gone with. FORESKIN FUSION, for instance, was an original concept that was merely reflecting Cactusquid's grotesque style. Whereas Talha Kaya, with his ode to cactus, chose to follow the game jam's rule much more literally. In the end, the goal was to make a game reminiscent of the mentioned developer's works, and after this one, I bet that nobody will ever get any closer than that.

This is an adventure game generated by a mixture of scenes that are taken straight from some of the most famous Cactusquid's games. Above all, the reference to Mondo Medicals appears particularly obvious. However, what makes this game still a clone rather than a copy, is the fact that the developer has anyway kept his very own visual style that I'm lately loving. Dull colors, imprecise outlines and a clever secret used to make things look astoundingly compelling despite them being heavily unpolished.

Ode to cactus combines also different game genres. At first, you're in Mondo Medicals' world. It's a 3D exploration scenario where if you listen closely, you will probably realize that every single sound you hear is simply voice recorded and looped endlessly. Then, as you reach the end of your quick journey through that tribute, you suddenly find yourself in a gaunt platformer. This time there's really nothing you're supposed to do. Common sense suggests that it's good to move towards the only allowed direction. And this, will lead the tiny individual to a spaceship that will become the main protagonist of an intense shoot 'em up scene shortly after. That one, is focused on destroying as many gigantic cubes as you can. It's also the only part that even the ordinary people would be able to label as a video game.

More unrelated events are going to happen. Though for the sake of not spoiling 100% of the content, I'm not going to add anything else. Ode to cactus can be pretty disorienting if you're not accustomed with the kind of games we like here. But even so, trying it is free. You can grab it for Windows or give it a shot directly on your browser on Game Jolt.

FORESKIN FUSION, is it just you or the world has come to an end?

If you're either prone to seizures, or you're simply too susceptible to themes related to unhealthy habits, you should consider to leave FORESKIN FUSION aside. Feliks Balzer, which is also known as Pizza and has made the excellent Skullz, developed this quick one for this month's Clone Jam. A 48-hour game jam where the only rule set, was to make a game inspired by Cactusquid's titles.

It's a very shot adventure game where not only you can't shape the story as you'd like, but it really comes with a major lack of actual decisions to take that makes the player feel powerless. Horrendous events will take place, and you're forced to watch. The lo-fi scenes will prove to be a challenge even for the most trained eyes, as their extremely bright colors plus the even more psychedelic animations, will most likely stick within the burnt surface of your pupils for sever hours. The more it hurts, however, the more it almost feels like you're supposed to watch. It's a unique way of facing the developer himself, to be honest. If you look away he wins, but if you resist the urge that, I promise, you'll experience, you would become the living proof that you've defeated his evil plans.

Gameplay-wise, FORESKIN FUSION isn't as surprising as its look. Though its seemingly senseless trail of events is presented in such an ominous way that there's no time to question what's the meaning of it all. A meteor crashes on earth unleashing a powerful explosion. However, you and your buddy are too busy smoking crystal meth to mind. Clicking on the screen is the only way of interacting with the game, and as you proceed skipping scene after scene, you'll eventually end up in a delirious dream world that's the depiction of the illegal substance's effect.

Even the hallucinations don't last too long. The game, in fact, isn't going to take you more than 2 minutes to show everything it has. Though give the nature of any addict, FORESKIN FUSION doesn't simply close itself. Instead, it will start over. So that you can experience the momentarily relief that only the drugs can provide all the times you want. The game can be played online on Game Jolt.

Absence of Is, performing a dangerous experiment

Among the 15 games made for the curated sci-fi themed game jam Antholojam I, Absence of Is is probably the one that can be enjoyed by everyone regardless of its genre. It's a sharp first person experience, which developer Ice Water Games has certainly put a lot of effort in the making. You can tell by the level of detail. But also by the noteworthy execution of a concept that feels truly innovative considering that they didn't need to bring in any alien shooting business.

Absence of Is looks at first like a very straightforward management game. As a matter of fact, assuming that you haven't already read the attached description, all you can see are three beds situated in what it really feels like a room of some advanced hospital. The doctor, is none other than yourself, and your task, consists in making sure that your three patients survive. This, can be done by checking what they need on the three respective monitors you have in the room. From which you will be constantly notified whether you should give them anesthetic or a brutal dose of adrenaline.

You need to be quick though, as this game isn't really meant to simulate a peaceful night in a hospital. To provide the right drug you have to run back and forth between the three panels that control the dispensing. And when their request changes, a loud alarm and intermittent red lights will definitely tell that there's not all the time in the world to take care of the issue.

Anyway, a much unexpected twist arises when the computer that's assisting yourself tells that enough data about a patient has been collected. With the right mouse click while pointing towards the specific monitor in question, you're dragged into a completely new game mode. It's the afterlife of the character that's lying in bed, you're told, and each one of them, has its very own experience to go through. Some see altered memories, others, surreal scenarios.

By keeping everyone alive for long enough, you will be able to trigger the fake death multiple times. And the new visions, will keep on getting more detailed. Unfortunately, many things can go wrong. I've lost a lot of patients, and the fact that you can actually learn about them by interacting with their personal belongings is tremendous. I ended up developing a little emotional attachment because of this. Therefore, knowing that I was anyway the only one responsible for every single death, made Absence of Is even tougher to play through. You can give it a try on, if you wish.

Thumper, a rhythm violence game

Lately, I've been trying to stay away from previewing games with no release date announced. I don't find it entirely fair. The precedence should be granted to the ones already available, so that the readers, but also the often very inexpert developers, can get some feedback right away on something that can be seen and experienced immediately. Unfortunately, rules are made to be broken. Because after having seen the new trailer of Thumper, the urge to tell somebody how impressed I am became too much to handle.

The duo behind this, Drool, have labeled their project as a 'rhythm violence game'. Which if you've seen the video I've put above, it suddenly makes a whole lot of sense. However, in the case someone needs more details to be as sold as I am, let's also say that if Audiosurf was horror game, Thumper would've been its much awaited sequel. The game looks like it's still divided in song-long sessions, and the concept that revolves around avoiding obstacles placed throughout the winding track is there too.

On the other hand, here you're going to be playing as a space beetle as he fights a supernatural entity awoken with the sole purpose to kill the protagonist. At this point in time, it's unclear whether you're going to be able to play with custom songs. Though all I can say, is that the dark imagery and crackly basses that you can perfectly witness in the trailer, are enough to make me want to give it a shot.

Thumper is up for the IGF Excellence in Audio award. Which is yet another hint pointing towards the high quality that the final outcome is likely going to end up with. But now, on a more personal note, here's what I think. I myself am a fan of rhythm games. And to me, Thumper finally represents the game that will make people realize that this genre can actually feature real diversity to some extent. I'm sick of multicolored glowing environments, just like I feel that weirdly shaped spaceships don't have to be your mandatory vehicle. So if you're into music and running at the speed of light, while also looking out for potential scares, you might want to follow closely the development.
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