The works of Mason Lindroth have a distinctive look and texture—clay-like blobs and gradients, cranked through a 1990s Macintosh computer screen. The play-doh colors, visual flecks and alien sounds of his latest work, Melter, will take you straight back to the days of Liquid Television on MTV.
I first discovered Lindroth's unusual games via writer Chris Priestman, who describes Melter like this:
His latest playable creation feels like a tribute to his favorite material: how it can stretched, wound, squeezed, and pulled apart. It's also the most videogame of his videogames. You have three levels to beat. In each of them you must travel to a distant, unseeable point to collect a spinning medallion. There are enemies that patrol paths, others that shoot red balls of clay at you, and large triangular spikes to avoid. This is Lindroth bringing his style to a traditional platformer and seeing what it would look like.
I think I prefer Lindroth's less conventional works. While Melter was made for Ludum Dare 32 (theme: Unconventional Weapons, and our own Laura Hudson took part), his submission to Ludum Dare 31, Mossnaso, felt startlingly familiar, like looking at the face of an adult to suddenly realize they were your childhood friend.
Mossnaso doesn't make me think of clay, but rather of the vividly-shaded shapes and textures of the ancient Macintosh shareware I played growing up: Hard discs full of weird files, System 7 sounds, black and white flashes and inscrutable designs. There is a room in Mossnaso's surreal world that reminds me of nothing so much as the throbbing intestine from 1988's Life & Death on which I performed point-and-click operations as a strange child.
If you have any loving memory for the independent Mac games and HyperCard stacks of the late 1980s and early 1990s, Mossnasso is worth a few minutes of your time. And so is award-winning Journaliere, full of surreal jarring angles, classic textures and mesmerizing television static.
Both Melter and Mossnaso are free to play in your browser; check out more Mason Lindroth games at his website.