Terry Cavanagh's new game takes on scummy advertising


Grab Them by the Eyes

First off, I recognize the irony in posting this on a website that gets most of its income from advertisements. Terry Cavanagh, best known for the punishingly difficult VVVVVV and Super Hexagon, has a new browser game out with biting criticism of the advertisement and marketing industry. Grab Them by the Eyes stars a street food vendor named Jay who must resort to buying an endless wave of ever flashier signs in order to attract attention for his business.

The game plays with some simple card drafting rules. Signs can have various text, colors, borders, and effects, and each of those elements contributes some number of customers to the day's totals. Sign elements are drafted where the left-most one is cheapest, but players can pay an increasing amount for potentially higher output signs. Of course, new is always better, so each time a sign piece is used, it devalues for the future. Really, aside from the on-the-spot rendering of obnoxiously animated signs, this could be a simple physical card game.

In contrast to most of Cavanagh's other work, Grab Them by the Eyes is not particularly difficult. It only requires understanding of the card drafting rules and a modicum of foresight to beat out competitor Filthy Burger, but it seems like the focus is on the message rather than the challenge. Indeed, players who stick around through the entire in-game week (roughly ten minutes of play time) will be treated to a not-so-surprising ending: customers don't care whose burgers to buy, they just want to go to the place that has the most eye-catching signs.

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Darren Nakamura
Darren NakamuraAssociate Editor   gamer profile

Darren is a scientist during the day. He has been a Destructoid community member since 2006, joining the front page as a contributor in 2011. While he enjoys shooters, RPGs, platformers, strateg... more + disclosures



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