Play it now: RadOS

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The age of obsequious, infantilizing, anthropomorphic operating systems—think Clippy and his cohort—may be a dim comic memory, but it's helped inspire an entire (though brief) generation of art and music.

Now, a new jam game called RadOS, billed as a "modern horror experience", summons the simultaneously hilarious and nightmarish circumstance of cursing softly at a bright, gooey GUI as you struggle desperately against losing everything. Your virtual assistant is a goofy, wittering submarine sandwich wearing shoes (this is never explained), who cheerfully informs you that thanks to some crucial updates, your system will restart in 30 seconds. That's about how much time you have to save all your unsaved work.

RadOS presents you with the impossible feat of saving several windows' worth of work in those 30 seconds, and these vary for each playthrough—figuring out how to save, export, submit, et cetera each open project is made ever more enraging by the assistant continually popping in to "help."

If it's possible to succeed, I haven't managed it; I think instead it's a nihilistic commentary on Windows 95, designed to frustrate you and make you laugh a little bit (the user icon, a cavernous hood with a blossom emerging from its depths, is wonderfully eerie).

RadOS was made for the recent Toronto Game Jam and is downloadable for free. There's no Mac version.

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