The dust is settling after another successful (and spendy) Steam Summer Sale. Our friend and guest writer Hobbes Alexander shares his experiences regarding two of his recent acquisitions, whilst writing a love letter to sale prices on weird games. Have a read, then. -Ed
Flash sales: Quantity or Quality?
By Hobbes Alexander
Good day to you dear reader. If you are here then you no doubt enjoy the pastime of video gaming. The most notable event in gaming (E3) has come and gone, leaving us all time to forget that the Steam Summer Sale had even started. This has given our wallets enough buoyancy to gulp another breath of air before continuing their pitiful attempts to resist the currents and swim against the pounding, relentless might of Gabe Newell.
This reporter has spent his cold seasons building up a wish list as a reminder of every price drop worth noticing. I took a chance on some bizarre or otherwise unusual titles that I had been too shy to buy before, and you know what? I was not disappointed. So let’s dive right in to a couple worth looking at, shall we?
I Am Bread
If you aren’t already aware, this is indeed a thing. This game tells you exactly what the contents within is actually composed of. It’s sort of beautiful really. In I Am Bread you are… Well, bread.
In a nutshell you take control of a piece of bread, usually sliding off of a larger loaf, and your objective is to become toast. This usually involves not touching the floor or the soiled obstacles along the way, like dirty dishes in the sink or ants on the kitchen counter, as you make a mad-cap floppy dash to the toaster. It’s basically The Five Second Rule: The Game.
I know. It’s ridiculous. Stupid, even. But hear me out. This game is all about creating the absurd. It’s about making you say sentences you’ve never actually said before. The first time you play it, you’ll likely cackle maniacally until your significant other comes into the room, mouth agape at the sight of a piece of bread clinging to the exterior of a refrigerator, precariously dangled over a sadistically well placed litter box. You’ll understand the magic then.
The gameplay centers around the triggers and shoulder buttons of your controller. If you attempt to play this without a controller, you’ve made a mistake. Just get an Xbox 360 controller because the keyboard controls are even clumsier and you will need all the help you can get.
You can inch the bread along with the control stick and hold any of its four corners down to grip anything with the four shoulder buttons. It’s difficult but not too insane. You may get used to it, but this is a game that loses it’s fun factor the instant you become a pro. It’s a challenge, and because there is no timer it is fun to take your time and explore.
This is a great game to pass the controller between friends at the same couch while making claims at being so much better than they are.
With enough levels to stay interesting and a few extra play modes (like the bagel race), I Am Bread is worth full retail price. So if you missed the sale, go get it. You shall not be disappointed.
If you’d like to see just how nutty this is prior to purchase, check out geek sibling royalty Felicia and Ryon Day as they flop their way through a session on Co-Optitude Episode 86.
Rock Of Ages
This is a game only a historical arts student would think up on codeine-infused fever dreams while his dorm mates played a bean bag version of horseshoes in the nearest hall. Betcha can’t say that 3 times fast.
I mean it. This game’s charm comes from actually insanity. Have you ever liked tower defense? Okay, how about bowling and/or ski ball? Does the story of Sisyphus resonate with you? Then look no farther because have I got the psychotic fusion of all these things you didn’t know you needed.
Your objective is to take control of a spherical boulder and roll to the bottom of a hill, avoiding obstacles and smashing buildings to earn gold. You finish up by crashing into the enemy temple and squishing their leader.
Between boulders, you spend your hard-rolled coin on upgrades and building obstacles on the enemy’s side of the track. You see, while you are doing your own thing, an opponent has an identical track like yours, and he intends to send you to squish-city first while building his own towers and walls to stop you.
The art and music to this game present it as though it were painted in the art style of the particular era each character resides. Sisyphus looks like an animated Greco/Roman painted clay pot, whereas Joan of Arc looks a bit like a Monty Python skit. It’s all a bit artsy and well done as it adds to the crazy and gives the game a great personality along with the over the top and unusual gameplay.
Rock of Ages is equal parts weird, new, and fun but it might not be for everyone. I suggest picking it up on sale or when you are looking to occupy yourself for a few minutes at a time. Either way, it is truly unlike anything you have ever played.