If you have ever thought of being a male orc adventuring, traveling and bonding with all kinds of other male orcs, then Mitch Alexander's Tusks: The Orc Dating Simulator is for you. It's a really clever and enchanting premise that makes "orc society" feel like a real thing.
Alexander (no relation to me) has just released a free preview of Tusks, which lets you experience your first day among the Orcs as you travel through a sort of mythical Scotland, introduces the characters you can meet and romance, and even features a randomized Scottish name generator. I thought it was tenderly-conceived as a visual novel, lovingly-written and I really like the characters so far (there is also a boar and a selkie). There's also an "autonomous NPC" feature—the characters can make some decisions on their own regardless of your wishes—that I'm excited to see implemented.
I'm not a gay man, but my colleague Todd Harper is, and in his response piece he found Tusks and its diversity of bodies and ideals alleviating and welcoming, in an aesthetic climate that often prioritizes "a parade of... 'wax dolphins'":
Does this mean the final game can’t possibly upset me? Of course not. It might. But if it does, it will be a surprise, not the fulfillment of a prophecy. And that’s an infinitely more welcome situation than the last however knows how many fucking years of seeing “a gay [x]” and then having it utterly confirm everything about gay culture that I hate and which has hurt me.
Thus, to this I say: bring on the fucking orcs. In every possible reading of that sentence.
Heck yeah! Fucking orcs!
The Offworld Collection, presenting the very best features and essays from Offworld, is finally available to buy directly from Campo Santo for $40. I had the pleasure of designing and illustrating this splendid 250-page hardcover volume, but it’s the excellent writing, edited by Leigh Alexander and Laura Hudson, that makes it an essential buy. You […]
Zoya Street, curator of Critical Distance, offers slow reflections on the fast-paced world of digital play…
This week, our partnership with Critical Distance brings us reading on parenting via Tomb Raider, the utility of the word ‘gameplay’, and experiences from Nintendo ‘play counselors’ from the 1980s and 90s.
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