Had the good fortune to end up browsing through the deluge of games that is the site of one “increpare” today. Well, the weird fortune? It was some kind of fortune, anyway. I definitely crossed someone’s palm with silver. Or was it saliva? It’s all a bit strange.

I played at a mere four of the many games increpare has put together, but that was more the enough to form to important impressions. First, this is someone who is very insistently making more interesting and sophisticated work than I could hope to. Second, my god my stamina for off-beat games is pathetic.

See, increpare’s games are not of the straightforward variety. Or maybe they are, but they’re straightforward in a time-consuming and vexing way. Or maybe they’re bent, but still time-consuming and vexing.

Of the games I played, I found In A Single Breath to be the most mesmerising and excellent. I don’t really want to tell you how it works, because that would spoil your fun, but suffice to say that the game manages to be a more abstract version of how Inception should have been. The basic notion of your perception of space altering it is brilliantly executed. I wish that a) I had thought of it myself and b) could have made if I had.

The other games I had a look at (Striptease, Block Push Championship, and Lady Boy Love Collection) were more “straightforwardly” retro art-y games. I read some of the commentary on Striptease and was a little taken aback as to how deep the analysis ran for what had looked, to me, like a fairly dull tile-swapping game. But there’s the problem right there – I found my ability to keep playing the games was pathetic. No particular fault of the games, but I found I had to put each one down after about 3 minutes of play each time. Weak sauce.

Nonetheless, I was still struck by how much I liked the aesthetic and abandon with which the games seem to be made. There are about 150 games on the site and, as far as I can tell, they were made since mid 2004. That is ridiculously impressive and makes me want to weep openly about such productivity and then yell hoarsely up into the grey, forbidding sky, “How?! How?! How?!” So yes, colour me impressed and consider the “hard worker” box thoroughly ticked in this case.

I also just realised that completely separately I had played increpare’s Mirror Stage a long while ago and found it to be, like most of the other games, simultaneously a bit annoying and deeply cool. In a way it’s like these games have set up their own genre. They’re like that really cool, fiercely intelligent, and prickly person you know and deeply admire. You don’t always particularly want to talk to him or her, but when you do it’s pretty great, even if you walk away kind of confused and intellectually battered.

Anyway, core message: you should go play some of those games, because they really are a treat. And there’s a shit-ton of them, so you won’t run out, either: increpable.

11 July 2011
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