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The Found Art Of Gingiva

12. June 2014

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Gingiva is a bizarre adventure RPG game by developer John Clowder (AKA myformerselves) where the player assumes the role of a toy-like, wind-up automaton escaping from a strange and oppressive factory. The game takes place in a decidedly unsettling world... a psychedelic, dystopian landscape built from of found objects, cutouts of old texts, hand-drawn scraps, and glitchy pixel art. It's uncomfortable, often macabre, and pretty intriguing.

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Demon Chic

13. May 2013

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Demon Chic is a psychedelic hand-drawn RPG-ish iOS game full of bizarre and nonsensical creatures. It’s at the intersection of animated cartoons, a television sitcom, and the sketchbook of a madman. The three main characters are subjected to wild hallucinations of griffins, ghosts, demon cops, venus flytraps, disembodied heads, walking tree monsters, hooved TV men, golems, and other nonsensical monsters as they juggle mundane, real-world problems. The game bounces around between various levels of realism and rendering styles, full of surreal vignettes and mini-games that keep the player surprised, entertained, and often delightfully confused.

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Connection via Control: Thirteen Gates

13. December 2012

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Thirteen Gates is a strangely disorienting first-person exploration game by Ian Snyder that withholds most of the normal cues of a 3D space. There is none of the lighting, depth of field, texture mapping, or atmospheric effects that might normally aid a player in perceiving depth and perspective. A "spiritual successor" to one of Snyder's previous games Feign, Thirteen Gates takes his minimalist first-person experiments one step further, creating a world so abstracted that, without player movement, the world becomes completely unrecognizable as an interactive space:

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The Cat That Got The Milk

16. February 2012

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The Cat That Got The Milk is a frenetic top-down maze game created by Oliver Clarke, Helana Santos, Chris Randle, and Jon Mann where the player hastily navigates a cat across the screen from left to right avoiding walls and other obstacles. The player can move up and down but, when not doing so, is forced automatically to the right, toward the goal. Touching the walls will force the player to start the level over. Fun enough already, but the high concept behind The Cat That Got The Milk is that the levels are essentially classic abstract expressionist compositions made interactive. The bold graphic elements of modern art paintings become animated, sometimes reactive, level design.

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Fotonica

2. September 2011

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Fotonica is a fast-paced, first-person, rail running game developed by Italian game design studio Santa Ragione, made up of Pietro Righi Riva and Nicolò Tedeschi. Its visual style is a psychedelic throwback to vector arcade classics like Tempest and cult console favorites like REZ and Space Giraffe:

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TRAUMA

11. August 2011

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TRAUMA is a unique first person point-and-click adventure game where the environment is assembled from augmented photography instead of conventional 3D graphics. The mood is dark and surreal, as the player explores mysterious dreams of a character that has fallen victim to an automobile accident, filled with hints of her past and clues to her present condition:

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Dutch Angles

8. August 2011

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Dutch Angles is a simple sidescrolling arcade game created by Yuliy Vigdorchik and Benjamin Esposito, submitted for the Lunarcade Factory game jam in April 2011. The theme of the jam was "Lines". Dutch Angles presents what is essentially a 2D game in a more dynamic 3D space, with converging lines and a constantly shifting camera angle, and a very simple color scheme made up of gradients of bold yellows and oranges... small choices that yield strikingly beautiful visualizations at any given point in the game:

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The Influence of Memory: Feign

1. February 2011

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Feign, a Flash game developed by Ian Snyder, sends the player on a first-person journey through a 3D maze where positive and negative space are reduced to stark, solid shapes. Every hall, floor, wall, doorway, and ceiling becomes a becomes a minimalist arrangement of contrasting fields, a stripped-down snapshot of abstracted graphic elements. Distance is only perceived by making assumptions about a few converging lines, and not by recognizable objects or atmospheric effects common in other FPS games. There is an old adage: "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication", and Feign simplifies its world to an extraordinary degree:

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Back to Reality: Norrland by Cactus

23. August 2010

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Norrland was created by Swedish freeware game designer Jonatan Söderström (also known simply as Cactus), who has released over 40 titles between 2005 and 2010. He has been nominated for multiple awards in the annual Independent Games Festival, namely Excellence In Visual Arts and Excellence in Audio in 2008 for Clean Asia, and the Nuovo Award in 2010 for Tuning. In Norrland, you play as a man out on a hunting trip in rural northern Sweden who, throughout a series of rather sadistic and perverse minigames, has violent encounters with nature, suffers from bizarre, psychedelic dreams, and manages gratuitously explicit everyday camping necessities.

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The Odd World of Vasily Zotov

28. July 2010

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The games of Vasily Zotov are in the puzzle adventure genre, with fantastical overtones and somewhat autobiographical narrative themes... or, as Zotov calls it: "a little bit of truth reflecting through the fiction." Zotov, a Russian immigrant who lives in Los Angeles, has been involved in a deportation struggle with US Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, and his real-life struggles have proven very influential to his games. The series, consisting of the games SpaceSpy, Refugee, and Refugee: The Second Hearing, tells the story of a homeless "alien" character who emerges from the sewers in Hollywood, is admitted to a psych ward and escapes, and eventually appears before and escapes an extradition court, all under the gaze of the ominous "Director Canavati".

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Valentinel Hopes

24. January 2010

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Valentinel Hopes is described as "an abstract open world platformer for hardcore gamers", a brief and uncomplicated game where the player must speed down a narrow track through a world resembling abstracted, fractured glimpses of our own, unfolding in a stunning kaleidoscopic fashion.

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The Mesmerizing World of Devil’s Tuning Fork

23. November 2009

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Devil's Tuning Fork is an unusual 3D exploration game created by a student team at DePaul University known as the DuPaul Game Elites. The game takes place in the dark, shared subsconcious of children in a coma, where the player must use waves of sound to illuminate their surroundings. The goal is to free yourself and other children who are imprisoned in this alternate reality and find the cause of the mysterious epidemic.

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Hazard: The Journey of Life

19. October 2009

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Hazard: The Journey of Life is a "Philosophical First Person Single Player Exploration Puzzle Art Game" where the player must work their way through a succession of byzantine corridors, solving a series of spacial problems, in order to liberate themselves from captivity. Each challenge rewards the player with a simple lesson, and the promise that they are just that much closer to freedom. The journey serves as an analogue for the types of problems one inherently encounters throughout life, and all the unpredictability that goes along with it.

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