Michael Koloch's The Old Man Club is a good example of what games can do well: create a complex space for feeling in just a few gestures. It's a game about arm-wrestling eloquent, impossibly-brawny anthromorphs, often with fish heads, and it's a truly-clever adapation of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea.
Imagine Hemingway's book about the complicated, stubborn heart of a certain type of masculinity as a game—a game about testing your might versus fish-men. You arm-wrestle by clicking your mouse furiously, a particular sort of frustrating and desperate act. You can easily beat your first opponent, a gentle, gawping trout-head, lurking in the doorway of the Old Man Club, a charmingly-scribbled wood shack pinned with quaint reminders of the sea (and, grimly, fishing gear), but the next one won't be so easy, and the one after that?
You start to hunger for advancement. You are loath to back down. How much stamina have you got? I mean, psychologically?
I'd love to see more games capture literary conceits in such creative ways. The attention to quality in this very simple work really adds something extra—the smooth transitions when you click to look around the Old Man Club, the splendid, absurd character art.
Download The Old Man Club for free or pay-what-you-want.
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.
They might be the shiny new thing, but AirPods aren’t for everybody. Maybe you’re looking for a new sound or you understandably lost those tiny buds during a brisk run. If so, here’s 10 headphones and earbuds that break out of the Apple mode with a return to quality and wearability. Klipsch R5 Bluetooth Neckband […]
When it comes to passwords, there’s no such thing as paranoia. You want them secure and complex, and you definitely don’t want to repeat them on all your accounts. The trouble is, the internet seems to keep growing. And so do those accounts. Just one lockout from an important email or banking site is enough […]
With the rising temperatures on tap this summer, the climate is going to be a frequent topic of conversation, and those conversations won’t be happy ones. Luckily, there’s a way to do a little climate change of your own – in a safe and sustainable way. When it comes to personal air conditioners, EvaPolar is […]