For once I’m going to forgo the tangential humor and (most of) the smart ass remarks because when I heard about this I was just too damn happy to care about anything else. For those of you not in the know, I’ll give a brief synopsis/history lesson about the happenings and why you, too, should be ecstatic. Or at least fairly bloody excited…assuming you’re old like I am.
Now I’m not sure how many people know of Doublefine, but here are two names every gamer worth their salt should know from way back in the heyday. Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert, two old school dudes from the Lucasarts days. For younger readers it’s entirely possible to have no clue what the hell I’m talking about, to say nothing of my normal derp-tastic nature adding to the confusion.
I’m betting the one game you young’uns will actually know is “The Secret of Monkey Island,” starring the ludicrously named Guybrush Threepwood. A point and click adventure game, it was lauded for its unique design style and quirky sense of humor. If you haven’t played it, take some time out and go do so. Some of the jokes are a bit dated, but it’s still full of great humor and the gameplay is full of neat puzzles that make for a memorable time. There’s even a re-release with updated graphics for everyone whose parents were murdered by pixels and shun old school graphics like the plague…or hipsters.
Yes, that is an eye necklace. Yes, it is important to the plot. No, it's not sanitary. Pirates don't care about sanitation standards.
Another game of note is “Day of the Tentacle.” As you may have guessed, it’s a point and click adventure game, though with less pirates and more time travel. Take that as you will. Regardless, it’s another damn fine game and I’d recommend it to anyone, or at least everyone not completely spoiled on current gen games. Like “Secret of Monkey Island,” it’s got a particular style to it and humor to match. The only downside is that it’s a bit on the short side. Though if you ask me, that’s more incentive to go find a copy and take it for a ride. A crazy, wacky, oddball, absolutely one of a kind ride.
If none of you can force yourself to play games made before a certain era, then you’re still in luck as there was a more recent game brought out by these guys that still embodies much of the same charm and humor of the last two titles mentioned. I’m of course referring to the vastly underrated “Psychonauts.” Released for the Ps2, there’s no reason to not give this one a chance. If I had choose one of these games to really put forward, it’d be this one. The others were great, but to this day “Psychonauts” remains one of my favorite games of all time. Like the others, it’s got a style all its own, characters that are genuinely funny, and as an added bonus the levels play like a series of drug addled trips through the minds of the insane… Granted, that’s that part of the plot, going into people’s minds, but it’s done in a tongue-in-cheek manner. Even the more “serious” levels have some lighthearted moments. Also, there’s a Godzilla level. I mean, you don’t play as Godzilla, but it’s so close you may as well break out the rubber suit.
For those curious as to what Godzilla would look like if all the people were lungfish...Well, here you go.
Now despite my what I said about tangents, I seem to have gone on one… Well, screw it, it’s typed, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to rewrite stuff. That’s far too much like actual work. My rant there can also serve as a sort of segue, setting us up for what’s been going on recently and why it’s so cool. Because I said so. The long and short of it is that Doublefine started up a Kickstarter something to the tune of a couple weeks ago.
For those unfamiliar, Kickstarter helps smaller companies/individuals to garner funding for various projects from games to music to animated movies and so on. It’s a fascinating little site that has great potential to help new and interesting ideas come to fruition. I see a ton of amazing ideas popping up there, and while not all of them get the funding, a great many do. That’s the reason I wanted to talk about this. Not just because I’m a huge fan of Schafer and Co., but also because of what the site represents and what it could mean. Especially considering the unbridled success of the Doublefine Kickstarter.
Having been asked for $400,000 to fund a new point and click adventure game, the internet responded in a prompt manner, incidentally blowing the minds of anyone who frequently browses the internet. Really, when the hell does the internet ever do anything quickly? Still, fan outpouring was immediate and all throughout the vast land of bits and bytes did donors come to lay their offerings at the feet of this most ambitious of projects… In layman’s terms, the current donations sit at approximately 2 million dollars.
Not only is this a momentous occasion for those of us who loved the point and click adventure genre but it’s also a huge step for any Joe Schmoe with a fistful of ideas and a pocket full of lint. Even if this doesn’t lead to some kind of awesome funding of great ideas, at the very least there’s going to be a new game in a genre I loved and thought long dead. I couldn’t be more pleased.