Lovecraft Game

Stylish Vignette

Free Download
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Cactus's Lovecraft Game is a quick vignette he developed for a TIG Source competition. By "vignette," I mean this isn't a completed game, and is missing some of the things we normally expect from games, like a quantifiable outcome. But as is typical of Cactus's efforts, it gets a lot of points for sheer style.

Hand-drawn visuals appear with scratches and smudges on the screen, as if we are viewing extremely early animation, something from the Twenties, or even Teens. Obstacles grow as they come closer, then rotate without any change in appearance until pointing "behind" us as we move past -- which looks odd at first, but one quickly comes to accept this as the sort of representative abstraction essential to cartooning and animation, but a technique that makes sense only in the context of digitally rendered animation of a primitivist sort (you wouldn't think of doing this with stop-motion animation).

As you wander about a bleak landscape with a pleasantly plaintive tune playing, you encounter the occasional person, corpse, or other landmark, at which time a silent movie-like text card appears. Some text describes what you have found, in the overly-adjectived and perfervid prose typical of Lovecraft's work. On other occasions, you are attacked by rabid wolves, zombies, or a shambling congeries of bubbles. Which you shoot, of course, since this is an overhead 3D shooter.

No score, and no real outcome other than death; this is a mood piece, more than anything else, but a striking one.


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I really hope Cactus fleshes

I really hope Cactus fleshes this idea out; I'm really fond of the aesthetics of this piece.


I'm fond of games that manage to build an entire ambiance out of nearly nothing. Here, the music, the graphics, the little discoveries, everything is perfectly well put in place. All it would need is to be a bit bigger, but as it is now, I already love it.