A few weeks ago, I was put in touch with Tour de Moon who were looking to commission some games as a part of their festival this year - a festival happening now as I type, over one lunar cycle. They were looking for 4 game developers under 25 to create games that each responded to typical game tropes; TdM are interested in reflecting on things in this way so that we might be able to think through them + imagine new worlds and new futures to come. I was tasked with finding the developers and then standing by for critical input while they made the games over a very tight turnaround. Over a few blog posts over the course of this festival, I’ll be looking at the results. And I would also like to encourage you to play them! You don’t have to be a gamer to play games, these are all really cool experiences that I think are worth spending time with.
Game #2 O’ Interloper by Juniper C
Or it’s full name: Level the barrel at its head, O’ INTERLOPER: Butcher(!) the Fetid Moon-Queen, And bask in baleful remembrance! ‘O Interloper is a game about a powerful sci-fi protagonist exploring the remains of a distant moon they have already conquered. The player studies the remnants of slain monsters, gathers insights from their ephemera, and is then tasked with giving them a proper eulogy. There is no victory to be found, only the study of its morbid afterglow.’
I want to just say in caps that THIS IS AN OPEN WORLD TWINE GAME. When I spoke to Juniper and heard their plan, I was like yeah okay but how? And now I know how because I have played it, and actually, it works so smoothly. It’s great. It’s new.
I love the fact the game starts at the end of another one that you don’t get to really be a part of - O’ Interloper starts in media res during the final boss battle, and then you spend the rest of your examining the aftermath you caused. The player is invited to eulogise their actions (that they have to accept they did, even though they didn’t) and it’s a thoughtful and kinda dark way to consider both violence in games and how we move on from that. But it’s not that didactic, of course. It’s soulsy and drippy and it works really well.
This is game #2 - if you want to find out more about game #1, Moonworld by jay m, click here 🌙