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Have a Bad Day


I my last post I discussed what I called "un-games." Games that used minimal gameplay to convey a story or theme. In the case of one of the first un-games, it was used to present artwork and music. That game is Bad Day on the Midway. From Inscape.

The over-arching plot is simple: You're a creepy boy named Timmy who finds an even creepier, nearly-empty carnival, and you go around exploring it. That's it. There's no combat or puzzles (in the conventional sense). The only added feature is that you can switch control to other characters to find things exclusive to them.

"If there's no complex story or gameplay, then what's the point?" you may ask. The point is The Residents, a group avante garde musicians who helped make the game and contributed the entire score. Their goal was to make Bad Day on the Midway an interactive album of sorts. And they succeeded.

The game is filled with memorable moments, like an animated music video based on a carnival shooting game, a weird children's-book story of a rat named Oscar, and... well... whatever this is:

The game has been out of print for a while now and doesn't work with modern PCs, however, if you manage to find a copy, you could always run it in a Windows 98 virtual machine (my method of choice for old PC games like this). If you're into unique experiences like me, you won't regret it.

This is just another example of how interactive media can be used in new, interesting, and even horrifying ways, and it shows that games like Dear Esther and Gone home aren't as new as everyone thinks.
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About Benny Discoone of us since 9:53 AM on 03.24.2013

My name is Benny. I work full time in a freak show eating live chickens, and I work part time as Brendan Fraser's scrotum cleanser.

I play video games sometimes, but most of the time I'm too poor and don't have enough free time. I still like talking about them though.