Yesterday I tried a few smaller and more obscure indie games from my collection, first Spirits of Xanadu, then Heavy Bullets, then this weird little thing called SLUDGE LIFE, which is currently free on Epic for one year. I had no idea what to expect, what type of game it is, I only grabbed it because it was free, and ironically, I was even oblivious to the fact that it's created by the very same devs that made Heavy Bullets. So for me, this was pretty much a surprise hit, because it really clicked with me and drew me in and I just could not stop playing.
It's basically a short open world exploration game with first person (parkour?) platforming and a strange grimy setting centered around graffiti tagging in a rundown, waste filled town of industrial islands in a sea of sludge, including drug abuse, virus infected laptops, toilet humour, ironic sticking-it-to-the-man attitudes, pigeon paparazzis and the latest in frog rap. To me it felt like a dirty mixture of A Short Hike and Grow Up, with a pinch of Supraland and Jet Set Radio in it, just to give you an idea what kind of gameplay to expect (although there hardly are any puzzles and no time-sensitive action sequences, it's mostly just scoping out the environment for places to tag on and then finding ways to get there).
While graphics are crude and intentionally worsened by screen wobbling and VCR grain effects (which can be switched off in the menu) and the dialogue lines by the NPCs are never laugh-out-loud funny, the entire presentation is just so consistent and fitting for what the game is going for, the world building is pretty great, and I really enjoyed the soundtrack (by anticon's doseone) and casual gameplay. You have to like this sort of open world exploration / collecthathon game and you can't be allergic to FP platforming, lo-fi graphics, weirdness, dirt and rap, but personally, I loved it.
Post edited August 11, 2020 by Leroux