Untitled Small Games Club - Off-Peak - May 2020

This is the May 2020 thread for the Untitled Small Games Club, see this thread if you want to see more details about the club.

The short version is that for the month of May, we’re going to play and discuss Off-Peak by Cosmo D, as suggested by @vehemently

Price: Pay what you want on itch. The OST is also available from bandcamp for $7.

Platforms: Windows, Mac

Length: <1 hour

Please be liberal with spoiler tagging. Very small mechanical things can easily be a spoiler to others, even if you don’t think they are.

Also, have fun!

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As a heads up, there is a first in a series related to this game already out! So if this is really your jam, check it out!

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I’m excited to play this, just been busy with our Mafia game over the past week. Will try getting around to it tonight!

Well, this was certainly interesting. Like the best wander games it tells a lot in a very short time, while leaving it up to the reader to infer its world from the details. In this case, building a dystopia through lovely bitter satire.

A lot of it is sold with lovely art assets. A disturbingly red sky. The extravagant misch masch of influences in the lounge. A guard posing next to a Banksy painting. But it’s also sold through a fantastic original soundtrack, about as long as the game itself.

After playing I noticed that this was a predecessor to The Norwood Suite, which I had heard of previously but never played. I’ll simply have to give it a go!

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This is a very late post but I’ve finally come back to post it. I had hoped to also play episode 1 of Tales from Off-Peak city because my thoughts feel half finished, but it’s better to say now and hope I still revisit it.

My favourite part of this game was how it captured the space of a terminal/train station. A huge open space with many people crossing through, hidden spaces and secret passages. I have a fascination with the hidden back rooms of shopping centres and airports that I’ll never see, and this game activated that in a tiny way.

This and the writing made a solid atmosphere while I explored. But the part that left me a little more cold and confused was the rest of the writing. The factional elements made sense to me in the abstract. There was a controlling figure on top that exerts authority on an oppressed under class. But I really couldn’t grasp any specificity of what it was saying beyond those broad strokes.

Like I said, I had hoped to play episode 1 and see if there’s more of a coherent throughline being created. I don’t think it’s necessarily required for this game, but it certainly felt like it was an unfinished thought. I’ll still try to get to episode 1 and return with hopefully more developed ideas.

I’d definitely still recommend loading this up and walking through the train station to drink in the vibe.

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