Game: The Spicy Meatball Saves the Day

Time to Play: 15 minutes

This game is a fascinating text-adventure/FPS hybrid. It’s a conceptual blend that I haven’t seen done before, and is executed really well.

In TSPSTD (catchy), you play a superhero. The Spicy Meatball of the title. And you start outside a burning building, ready to burst inside and save the day. I won’t spoil much of the story, but it’s a funny absurd take on the s’hero genre.

What really sets the game apart however, is its concept. It takes the old-school style of adventure games, like Zork, and mashes it together with an FPS. This has the strange effect of immersing the player inside an entirely text based world. You still have a ‘first person’ perspective as such, but within the literature itself.

Advertisement

This can be quite disorientating at first, as you try to ‘look’ around, without there being anything to ‘look’ at - so to speak. When you play, you will see a compass on the top of the screen. Pay close attention to that, as it will help you find your bearings.

Eventually though, you become comfortable with locating yourself in the space around you, and this is helped by the simple colour scheme of the game. It’s then that the game becomes particularly interesting to play, and the genre-hybrid takes off.

A la question:

  • What other hybrids of game genres do you think might work? What wouldn’t work? What might just be interesting to try?
  • What’s your favourite superhero parody story?
  • What’s your best pasta sauce recipe?