From Ross Sutherland's Eco-esque review of Atari's 1985 arcade game, Gauntlet
Wizard, as an ironist, you alone receive some sense of subjective freedom. Your outré dress sense deprives your surroundings of a finite degree of cognitive reality. In this manner, the dungeon can never truly hold you.
I love it when people read between the lines of old video games, imagining a backstory and motivation for the likes of Pong
. But those early titles are so abstract that a certain kind of humor seems intrinsic to the project. So it's delightful to see someone with the same fetish I have: extrapolating literary pretensions from later games that offer more to work with, but whose hardware nonetheless imposed a ruthless minimalism onto the design.
Of those, Atari's Gauntlet
always seemed most pregnant with possibility. The doomed, infinite quest
is filled with pathos--if the protagonists are not dead, they are certainly already in hell. Most references, however, lean toward pop culture citation. For example, check out Five Iron Frenzy's song, "Wizard Needs Food Badly
," a phrase from the game whose variations have earned a place in broader culture
. There is even a Cafepress site
devoted to it.)
Here's my contribution to this very tiny genre: Such Bravery
, a short story which places Gauntlet
as a strange, myth-addled event from the Baltic crusades, itself hazily remembered by Thyra, the 'Valkyrie.' Twenty years on, our aging heroes are uneasily reunited at the old man's funeral, only to find he still has some tricks up his sleeve. Fans may get a kick out of the cute references to the game.
It's such a shame that after Gauntlet II, most of the sequels have been mediocre
. An iffy-looking DS remake
is apparently complete, but seems to be stuck in a dungeon.
Games for the Many sends us Put on Your Corbyn Face, “A web game where you are challenged to match the emotions of a photo Jeremy Corbyn. Possibly the first web game you play with empathy and emotion.”
Arc Symphony is a text-only game about being a fan of an elaborate Japanese Playstation RPG in the 1990s. Designed to evoke an old-timey USENET group and the ancient DOS PC used to connect to it, it’s a perfect and mysterious capturing of a long-gone moment. To promote it, the creators commissioned designed jewel cases, […]
Shedworks is making a video game and I don’t care what it’s about or whether it’s “good” because it looks like Jean “Moebius” Giraud drew every frame of the teaser animations, and I am sold. Emerging from a shed in North London, the unnamed project is by Gregorios Kythreotis and Daniel Fineberg. Playing around with […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]
Yes, yes there is. The ultraportable Twisty Glass Mini boasts all of the simplicity of its forebear, while fitting just a little bit better in your pocket.The Mini is perfect for casual smokers, and anyone who doesn’t have the patience or fine motor skill for rolling papers. This piece keeps the convenient design of its older […]