Page 2, Game 29: Dujanah by jackspinoza
Multicolored rainbow static. Images of an old-style VIC-20/C64 interface admonishing me to load the tape. Messages saying the tape is loading.
The rainbow static returns. A video of a man with a UK accent (Scottish?) appears and tells me this is a randomized video, and that I am in for a treat, as he is about to tell me what the game is about: catharsis.
Interior, a house, rendered in an isometric claymation-esque style. A family of three. The father is shadowy. The mother and daughter wear what might be burkas. I am the mother. When I speak to the daughter, she asks winsome questions about death, accompanied by a laugh track. I ask the daughter if she’s fed her hamster lately. I check on the hamster.
The hamster is dead.
I am now the father, leading the daughter outside to find a good spot to bury the hamster. When we get far enough away from our house, we find what looks like a good space. Shadowy figures surveil the father and daughter from what appears to be a satellite feed. Crosshairs appear on the father. The shadowy figures discuss what is to be done.
Interior, another house. I am a young woman. I step outside to explore. There is a battlemech parked outside my house. I cannot start it, because I do not have the keys. I begin exploring the tiny village where I live. Eventually, I step out of the village and into the world map.
The village no longer exists. I am on a dirt bike, tearing ass across the desert. I bounce off of trees and mountains. I encounter a thrashing dragon thing and give it a squeeze, obtaining many rewards. I encounter a larger town. I explore. The inhabitants say strange things. I find a house, with a child playing. I approach his toys. I shrink and join them.
I am now a man, as indicated by my tiny claymation penis. I am exploring a land of cream and strawberries; the strawberries are coming along nicely, I think. I enter a brier patch, and hear a story about a lonely ordinary many and a witch. I delve deeper into the land of strawberries and cream. I see many strange creatures. I see them again. And again. I am going in circles. I have no idea where the game wants me to go next. I search, in vain, finding nothing.
The game has become what it absolutely, positively, cannot afford to be:
So I quit.
I ponder how to describe the experience of playing this game. I am impressed by the dream-like anti-logic, of the recurring sense that once I leave a place I have left it forever. I am wondering if this is meant as Serious Art, or if this is just one massive piss-take. It seems to have had a lot of effort put into it for a piss-take, but some people have time on their hands.
I decide to transcribe what I recall from the game as I played it, and allow the rest to recede into my subconscious. In years to come, I may stumble back on this article, read it, and remember, saying to myself “Fuck me, I thought I dreamed that.”
And then I rolled-up my next game.
Page 53, Game 4: as long as we’re together: magical girls sweet & pure by cloverfirefly
“magical girls visual novel”