31 March 2005

Not for children

Rivet Pep Squad points us to a very strange Flash game about working as a shrink in an insane asylum for plush toys.


She has some hints about gameplay. So check it out. If that's your sort of thing.

Speaking of which, that game reminds me of another game, John “Unknown Armies” Tynes' Puppetland: a storytelling game with strings in a grim world of make-believe.

The skies are dim always since the Maker died. The lights of Puppettown are the brightest beacon in all of Puppetland, and they shine all the time. Once the sun and the moon moved their normal course through the heavens, but no more. The rise of Punch the Maker-Killer has brought all of nature to a stop, leaving it perpetually winter, perpetually night. Puppets all across Puppetland mourn the loss of the Maker, and curse the name of Punch — but not too loudly, lest the Nutcrackers hear and come to call with a sharp rap-rap-rapping at the door.


Punch and Punch's Boys now rule Maker's Land with hearts of cruelty and a lack of mercy. All puppets exist to serve them. The puppets toil for hours on end making new clothes, new homes, new food, new toys: whatever Punch and his boys want.

At least, almost all of the puppets do so.

Across the great lake of milk and cookies lies the small village of Respite. The village is run by Judy, who once loved Punch but does so no more. She knows better than anyone the cruelties he is capable of. She knows the evil that lies in his twisted heart. In her little village she runs a freehold of puppets who have escaped from Punch's clutches. They have avoided the terrible Nutcrackers, fled the cruelties of Punch's boys, and made their way to Respite where Judy's small group of free puppets look towards the day when Punch will be brought down ....

Dedicated readers may recall that I also plugged his provocative meta-game POWER KILL. As I said then

It's less a playable game than a disturbing question in the form of a game, intended to get you thinking about why roleplaying games are the way they are, and why we enjoy them.

So check that one out, if you've ever done any dice-and-bad-acting.

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