A lot of weird, unmarketable, one track minded games are referred to as "masturbatory" by their detractors. From a wider perspective, many detractors of videogames in general refer to the medium as "masturbatory", as so many of the well know games involve pleasure-based fantasy, repetitive motion, and a general undertone of primitive indulgence.
Now there's a game that embraces all of those accusation of masturbatory-ness in a self-aware, thoughtful, and downright charming way. Make no bones about it, Sleepy Time (from the Kaya Bros) is not safe for work. There are low-res penises and semen, but it would be a stretch to call the game "erotic". It starts off as a farce and ends in emotional catharsis. The wholly original soundtrack does a lot to help that happen, with semi-shabby songs of failure that are 100% from the heart. One of the final songs here repeats the word "patheeeeetic" over and over again in a rhythmic drone. It's perfect!
The thing about chronically depressed habitual masturbation is it can often feel like beating your head against a wall, caught up in the illusion that you can make something out of nothing -- that hitting the coin block enough time really will net you an actual, bona fide extra-life. In reality, mastering the art of pumping the money block doesn't do much for your life. The sense of profit and progress there is purely imaginary. Maybe mastering this game will help some to get a grip on that sad fact, and have a better life in general. Play in-browser for free here, or pay $2 for the downloadable version and a couple of soundtracks here.
SteamWorld Dig will have a cross-buy discount in Europe, but not in North America
11:30 AM on 08.27.2014