Games from Underground #2 | Non Violent & Relaxing Games


♫ In the past couple of months or so, I’ve made what I now call “Indie-Binge” a regular past-time activity of mine. Basically what I do is, on a work free day, I take a couple of hours and dedicate them to skimming through this vast ocean of indie-games out there. And I do that with a… super-loose… mindset. Meaning as soon as a title just remotely piques my curiosity I don’t think about it for too much, I just download it straight away and give it a shot. But… I also limit myself to 30 to 40 minutes at max per game. And this turned out to be a great way to widen the horizons a little bit especially when I found myself stuck in
ADVANCED VIDEO GAME ENNUI You know, this perpetual state of ever so slight dissatisfaction with all the video game noise out there. When it feels like you’re spending more time browsing through E-Stores than actually playing games. And “Indie Binge” has really helped me to break out of that. Of course, if you’re not a billionaire, this only works with games that are either super affordable or, even better, completely free of charge. And itch.io has turned out to be a tremendous platform for that because indie developers can host games on their own terms there. And I just keep finding an incredible amount of amazing, overlooked titles a lot of them short and compressed,
but first and foremost really interesting experiences of which most of them are completely free of charge. [Caleb] Sometimes, things that are expensive… [Caleb] … are worse! So yeah, try out indie binge, you’ll be surprised, it’s gonna be a great time! Which is also why I’m really happy that the first episode of ‘Games from Underground’ was received so… well, really because that means I can do this on a regular basis now
and share my exploits with you! You’ve just turned another hobby into a professional responsibility… Great Job! But yeah, seriously, this is a great thing, because I’ve already tallied up so many more fantastic indie titles than I could ever share with the capacity of my channel. And also, and this is also one of the main goals of this series, I get to help out small indie game creators in the process a little bit. So… everybody wins! Now since the last episode, we were focusing on horror/eldritch/gothic Spooky-Scary stuff! This time, we’re gonna wind down a little bit. I’m gonna put my money where my mouth is and give you a list of “Games from Underground”
that are all completely non-violent and each of these games I also personally consider
to be tremendously relaxing but each game for their very own reason. They’re all titles that I would boot up in a heartbeat
on a stressful and anxious day where all I need is just a chill session of mental R&R. One of my personal favorite aspects about cyberpunk is that, despite the setting being openly dystopian and disheartening to every inhabitant of these worlds
that lives below a ridiculously high power-threshold — the naive dreamer in me has always felt drawn
to its neon future cityscapes like a moth to a flame. [Ad-Narrator] A new life awaits you in the Off-World colonies! [Ad-Narrator] The chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure! Diary[sic] of a Spaceport Janitor is a game
that’s built around this exact… dichotomy. This absurd desire to inhabit
a sensory-overwhelming, depressing and alienating neon-future-metropolis in outer space… and.. rendered in beautifully lush 3D pixel art! ♫ In essence, this game is exactly what it says on the tin: you’re a janitor who roams a vast, sprawling spaceport metropolis, and picks up and burns trash to keep the streets as clean as the daily battery-life of your incinerator allows you to. Each morning you get paid for the amount of trash you’ve burned the previous day and with that meagre income, you deal with the game’s rudimentary survival mechanics to the best of your abilities. But Spaceport Janitor is so much more than a simple survival game. The first time I played this game, I felt myself rather quickly thrown off — the spaceport, at first glance mesmerizing and beautiful, rendered in this charming, lush pixel-art within 3D environments style, can be surprisingly abrasive to a new player. The place is littered with hundreds of confusing stores, shops, market stalls and street vendors who sell and buy an overwhelming abundance of overpriced and, seemingly nonsensical items. You get hungry several times a day, and the food is as well incredibly expensive and since you have no clue what any of those dishes offered actually are or contain — like can you tell me what Nzenqrexen Sugarsweat Buns are made of or what still wiggling Xxareenn Clayworms do to your metabolism? And by the way, no offense, I hope I didn’t butcher any of those names because I’m not a very good Nzenqrexen speaker. But chances are high you end up eating something that’s food for a completely different race or species but that’s pure poison for you and you end up vomiting all over the place. But hey! If you incinerate the vomit, that’s at least a little boost for tomorrow’s paycheck! But even if you get a little money, when you don’t watch out you randomly get mugged by the city’s official, privately owned, police force. [Thomas the Tank Engine jingle] And to add insult to injury, after my first day, when my protagonist got tired and the battery of the trash incinerator was empty, meaning I couldn’t work anymore until I got back home the game strongly nudged me with this to do this; to go home and get some rest. But… I realized that.. well, there’s not even a map, so I quickly got completely lost in the confounding maze of the spaceport city, meandered around cluelessly in growing panic and confusion, hungry, tired and disoriented. Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor really is a game that “defies expectations” — knowingly. On your first day, it leads you to discover that below the city, there’s a system of underground “sewer dungeons”, supposedly ripe with treasure. Might your luck have finally changed? Can you finally break out from the life as an underpaid and underappreciated janitor? [gate mechanism droning ominously] But… your little trip ends up with you catching an ancient curse. You stumble across an old altar, pass out and wake up in your apartment and you realize that… there’s now a floating skull following you around at all times that just shouts in your face for no apparent reason. [skull shouting] And that’s really your first, big quest in the game: try to get rid of your new, unwanted companion. You seek out a scholar who tells you that you have to find three parts of an ancient tablet that contains instructions on how to break this curse. Ominous. But fulfilling these tasks turns out to be incredibly grindy. The items you’re looking for require a lot of collecting and gathering and feel almost too daunting to be even worth the hassle. It requires patience, dedication and first and foremost… asceticism! Don’t spend too much or you’ll end up broke and hungry again. And ever since you got the curse, your body has regularly started feeling weird, disjointed… you feel uncomfortable in your own shell. And it turns out that your only way around this is to seek out one of the gender kiosks and gendershift to make you feel “awesome” again. Diary of a Spaceport Janitor is one big, fat allegory on being young, broke, queer and disenfranchised [skull screams] a riff on the… soul-crushing alienation of living in a hyper-consumerist society where you, as an individual, are meaningless and expendable. [skull screaming] A world that’s designed to keep you down and milk you dry while you’re struggling to just get by. See… all these tasks, the quests the game gives you, to give you a sense of direction, and a goal to work forward to; they’re in reality nothing but carrots on a stick. When I gave the game a second try, I actually did begin to get a better sense of the city — yeah, I even eventually managed to reliably find my way back home in the evening! Great start! I also started getting a feeling for what litter is trash [mumbles] almost everything, really and which of the items you collect can actually be sold to which vendors, I learned to avoid the crooked cops, I got the hang of which vending machines and cooks sell the most affordable — and digestible food that doesn’t make my janitor throw up all the time. Things were starting to lighten up. And so I went for those grindy, gamey fetch quests that are meant to fuel the hope of ever leaving this hamster wheel, leaving this planet for good, and making a future for yourself. That’s what you do in games, right? [skull screaming] And man… it ended up in one of the weirdest grind sessions I’ve had in a game in a long time. See — the repetitive action of grinding is something that can be very… relaxing if it’s approached with the right mindset and implemented in a fair way by a game. and this game has such a strange flow once it clicks that it really lulled me into its routine. I just kept going and going like a good sanidrone is expected to. But after a good seven hours in one session I left the game with my brain positively feeling like scrambled eggs. And it also felt like I hadn’t even gotten that much closer to my actual goal, despite it constantly feeling like I *was* accomplishing stuff. And every time I finished something big, I got hit with the next mammoth task; the carrot dangling tantalizingly close in front of my face, but just out of reach, all the time… I started wondering: How much do you *really* know about this place? You still have virtually no clue about the thousands of items and products you can find, known pretty much nothing about the multitude of alien races living here, you’re practically in the dark about these gods that are worshipped everywhere, what this curse of yours is about, why you keep feeling abject in your own body. You know nothing about the food you put in your body, the politics that govern this place… and what actually is gendershifting? And why do I even *need* this?! It’s highly unlikely this world you live in will ever lift a finger to help you understand your dysphoria but the *market* sure seizes the opportunity to capitalize on it! by offering you expensive products to “consume” that you have to spend your meagre income on… [skull screams, vending machine jingle] And with that, suddenly, everything fell into place. This is all just… bullshit! It’s facade, it’s a mere pipe dream. The game isn’t even subtle about this it blatantly tells you right in the beginning that you should stop thinking too much about it and trying to win. You’re just a lowly sanidrone. And that’s all you’re ever gonna be. And that was the moment where it loudly clicked for me. Because from that point on, I kept coming back to just be what it says on the tin: A spaceport janitor. We just have to imagine the janitor happy; rolling the boulder of trash through the spaceport day in day out, rinse and repeat. not rejecting, but finding comfort in the routine. Accepting the curse… and owning it! [Shaun screams] Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor puts your video game conditioning to the test — because it wants you to shed your internalized goal-oriented mindset and just let loose! For me, this shift in perspective turned this game from a frustrating, stressful and confusing existentialist fight for survival into one of the most relaxing, peaceful and… almost zen-like experiences I now regularly seek out on a stressful day to… just have a jolly good time and wind down as an unimportant citizen of a vast cyberpunk spaceport metropolis. [alien band starts playing upbeat song] There’s something… almost spiritual to this, isn’t it? [skull screams] “Hello everyone!” How in an art-imitates-life way, accepting your role in this cutesy little indie-title as exactly what the game wants you to be, might even, ever-so-slightly, end up easing a little bit of that constant real-life existential pressure of living in an alienating, hyper-consumerist society. [Roy Batty] Quite an experience to live in fear, isn’t it? [Roy Batty] That’s what it is to be a slave! Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor is available on itch.io, Humble Store and on Steam at the time of this video’s release for around ten dollars. ♫ The next game I’ve picked for this video is, in many ways, a totally different experience than Spaceport Janitor but, those two games share one common theme. The uneventful, simple, everyday life as a… “wageslave”. Routine Feat… and by that I mean Feat with ‘e-a’ and not the plural of foot because it’s not a game by Quentin Tarantino it’s a highly atmospheric daily life and work routine sandbox that can range from depressing and hopeless to soothing, peaceful and thought-provoking. But where the last game did this in the outer rim of space, this one stays back here on earth to be precise in a melancholic, utopian aesthetic of Eastern Bloc housing architecture. Routine Feat is one of those games where you [sniffs] actually don’t do that much. That’s if you don’t find your own incentive, your own… reason to be in here because if not, then you might find this suburban sandbox to be a bit dull. But that’s not by accident. There’s a point to all this. [inhales] You wake up every morning in your one bedroom apartment. You step out on the balcony, Have a smoke. Or rather pretend to have a smoke while taking in the dawning suburban scenery. Take your medications. Go into the kitchen, listen to the radio maybe while looking out the window. [music with Russian vocals playing] Maybe wash the dishes you left from yesterday’s dinner. Then grab an apple and get ready to go to work. Turn off the lights, leave your apartment and walk down the sliiiightly untidy stairwell. ♫ Might as well toss some of the litter down the chute while you’re here. You leave the apartment complex and make your way across the courtyard and head towards the bus stop until your ride arrives and hop on to drive to work. And at your workplace… you spend your entire day slaving away on a computer with an old, monochromatic CRT screen, doing meaningless, bureaucratic chores until evenfall. Then you punch the clock and ride back home. At once you’re back, in the evening hours, what’s there to do? Maybe watch some telly… [Russian voice over static] or grab something to read from your shelf that’s filled with countless magazines and books… [Distorted voice reading French poem] Or — and that’s the ultimate MacGuffin in this game, pull out your typewriter and finally start working on that long dreamed-of passion project of yours. Hammer away at the keyboard and write that manuscript you’ve been dreaming of for so long to one day complete and send it to a publisher. There we have it again, this carrot on a stick; this pipe dream of eventually breaking out of the hamster wheel, something to work towards, to give meaning to your lonely, unfulfilled existence. Routine Feat really isn’t subtle about feelings of… loneliness, alienation and disillusion… social isolation … depression … You’re in this vast apartment complex full of traces of life everywhere, but not a single soul to say hello to, to welcome you or to even just acknowledge you being there with a passing nod or a smile. And all the books and magazines you can grab and read, as well as the pages written by “you”, the protagonist meandering through this melancholy diorama of a summer emotion — [inhales] they all have a tendency to sound not just contemplative, but desolate, sad and deeply dispiriting. But Routine Feat is not just about sadness and hopelessness, but about the complementary nature of loneliness and solitude. One being the sorrowful sensation of feeling unwanted, unloved and superfluous — while the other is the calming, healing quality of remote contemplation and self-reflection. This eclectic scenery of Eastern Bloc housing architecture is modeled and rendered with so much playfulness and attention to detail that you’ll find fun stuff to play around with and dazzlingly pretty vistas exerting an air of repose and that make you want to stop, sit down and just take it in slowly.. every step of the way. And for some reason, I just kept ignoring that carrot dangling in front of me, and started roleplaying my day to day routine and just futzed around aimlessly and without a care in the world. As I said, Routine Feat is a game where you have to search your own gameplay but when you find it, it’s kinda mesmerizing. Like, I don’t wanna know how much time I’ve just spent messing around in the little kitchen, cutting bread and cheese and vegetables and washing dishes and making fried egg in the oven and sometimes just pretending to actually [fake Russian accent] make nice supper after long hard day of work in the office [Boris] FOR TODAY WE MAKE CLASSIC RUSSIAN DISH, IS BUTERBROD [Boris] FOR THIS YOU NOT MANY THINGS NEED, BREAD, BUTTER [Boris] BIG STICK OF KOLBASER OR SAUSAGE [Boris] ONE BIG KNIFE AND ALSO ESSENTIAL PART [Boris] BIG BLOCK OF CHEESE, THE MORE SLAV THE BETTER [smack] [Boris] USE KNIFE FOR CHEESE MAKE SLICES VERY GOOD [Boris] THE KOLBASER VERY MOST IMPORTANT PART [Boris] NO NEED FOR MAKE THIN SLICE — SAUSAGE GOES ON TOP [Boris] AND THERE YOU GO, IS DONE, CLASSIC BUTERBROD [monch monch] [Boris] ENJOY [monch monch monch] Am I making a good case for this game?
I really don’t know. I’m not even sure I’m trying to — it feels more like I’m bouncing off my contemplations and feelings in video form than offering a comprehensive review of it. This is not a consumer-oriented buying guide, and why would it — Routine Feat is completely free on itch.io anyway. But I want to get this sense across that this sandbox is more than what it seems at first glance, that it was not just a relaxing, but also a very introspective experience. And this is really hard to put into words why it had this effect. It’s a really short interactive sandbox experience that I stuck with for many more hours than it takes to finish… the “main” quest. That’s finishing your manuscript and awkwardly carrying it down to a post box and sending it to a publisher in the hopes of making it big and leaving the old, dreaded wheel of pain through accomplishment and self-actualization. I’m not gonna spoil what you could call the ending of the game, meaning what happens when you send it away, but I’m gonna say that it’s perfectly in line with this dichotomy that I’ve been going on about not just with this game. It felt… almost cynical to me, but that’s really up to interpretation. Routine Feat blatantly highlights the dissatisfaction and alienation of an unfulfilled work life — but you can choose to accept your fate and step past it to focus on the many beautiful things around you, that make life worthy and inspiring, instead. The first noble truth of Buddhism, Dukkha, states that pain is universal and unavoidable. and when we embrace this truth of life with mindfulness, we come to realize that sadness is depth, while happiness is height. Happiness is a tree growing into the sky, while sadness is its roots reaching deep down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree grows, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. It’s all about the balance. [Louie] It’s just a matter of how you look at it, that’s all. [Louie] So don’t worry, okay? [laughs] [♫ The Cinematic Orchestra – Diabolus] But speaking of Buddhism (And yes, I am very proud of that not at all shoehorned transition) The word “Bardo”, in some schools of Buddhism, describes an intermediate state between a person’s death and rebirth. Metaphorically, it’s often used to describe liminal spaces, the time and space between the “what was”, and the “what’s to come”. And what could better symbolize such a state of transition than a taxi-ride in Tokyo City at 4AM in the morning? In Bird of Passage by the developer SpaceBackyard, you take on the role of a cab-passenger, aimlessly driving through the rain-soaked, neon-lit, nighttime streets of modern-day Tokyo. Your one and only interaction in this visual-novel like narrative experience is chatting with your drivers — who are bound by their profession to engage in polite conversation for the snapshot-in-time of your passage. … that’s if you didn’t end up in a silent taxi. But why are you riding cab after cab through the night? Who are you? Where do you come from? Where are you going? And why do you seem to be stuck in this limbo — apparently unable to do anything else but hop from taxi to taxi and just … talk? Ask the right questions and listen closely; since piecing the puzzle — your own identity and your destination — together is what you’re here for. And what your drivers are here for, since they are your walls to bounce off your contemplations. Bird of Passage is one of those games that fits the description of an interactive poem in video game form. The glossy and glittering urban nighttime scenery is minimalistic, hypnotizing and gloomily relaxing. It’s an interactive neon noir haiku in which you’re the glimmering dot jumping from syllable to syllable. And despite the game having a clearly defined goal — like, literally finding your goal — it’s an experience that’s all about the “journey” of introspection itself. So soak it in, this oneiric diorama and let the droning melancholy of the synthesizers and raindrops enthrall you. Its confusing surreality is mesmerizing and beautiful — like the realization that (and that’s as spoilery as I’m gonna get) this game, that appears like a perpetually looping visual novel, is actually a conversational puzzle at heart. I’ve always loved games where understanding the narrative is the core engagement. And Bird of passage is a forgotten soul’s journey from an uncertain past to an unknown future in the liminal space of a taxi-ride. A Lynchian ghost story about the search for the meaning of the in-between. So hop right in! The taximeter is turned off for the ride, since Bird of Passage is available completely free of charge on itch.io. [Helmut] It’s good to go, it’s good… [Helmut] good to go [Yoyo] Yeayeah man, just chill, aight? ♫ Now after so much alienation, contemplation and melancholy — let’s end this video on a more lighthearted note. The next game is… a weird one — and I say this with a deep fondness in my heart. You know, it’s often said that the best comedy doesn’t punch down… but upwards! And while I definitely agree with that sentiment I think the most genius form of comedy makes you laugh and smile and have a good time without punching at all. Because… there’s already enough horribleness in the world, isn’t there? So there’s this little island out there, where Martin The Sloth is king. He… kinda made himself king because he figured that since he’s the only one living there he’d logically be entitled to be king. So… well during his solitary reign one day he starts hearing… spooky noises. So – after doing a bit of research, he finds out that ghosts are supposedly invisible and since he hasn’t even once seen a single ghost yet that’s perfect proof that it actually… must be… a ghost that’s haunting the island. Right? So Martin hires a group of, umm… Ghost scientists to get to the bottom of these ominous hauntings. But even after two full weeks of clueless probing, even this team of specialists isn’t able to catch the slightest glimpse of the spectral happenings. This is, of course, a case for the greatest investigator of all time! Sadly though, Lobster Cop isn’t available, so the supervisor calls you, the frog detective, instead, to take on the bone-chillingly spooky case of… The Haunted Island. If I would have to coin the genre of “The Haunted Island – A Frog Detective Game”, the best thing I can come up with is an “Anti-Detective Adventure” game, since the term doesn’t really say that much, so it’s nicely vague but also because the game draws much of its unique appeal and charme from I’m sorry subverting the expectations of its genre. The detective mystery is a genre laden with pre-formed expectations and stereotypes. No matter if you read Agatha Christie or Arthur Conan Doyle stories, or if you look at modern stuff, even in games like L.A. Noire, it’s typically all conveyed in a dark, moody, noir tone; gloomy, stoic protagonists who smoke too much on the hunt for clues to uncover a sinister plot of treachery and backstabbery. And yeah, in Haunted Island, you *technically* are a detective, who *technically* does take on a case that you *technically* have to solve — but you quickly realize that this game is a full-on parody on the detective genre, that flips the genre’s key characteristics and preconceptions on its head for comedic purposes. While, for instance, camera angles in dialogues are recreated from film noir and the music feels like it’s directly lifted from a classic Inspector Poirot film [Poirot] “Eh… Poirot!” [Ratchett] “How’s that?” [Poirot] “Poi — Rot” [Ratchett] “Ooooh, Purroh… right..!” or other parts seem like a blatant homage to Twin Peaks you quickly realize that there are not many *actual* clues to find and that it’s not really a riveting mystery you’re uncovering here. More like a…. “ribbiting”… mystery…. Get it? You mostly just grab items you find laying around, talk to the quirky characters and find out what they want and try to organize those things for them to get other items from them that you then can use in other places — really the most simple adventure mechanics. And the Frog Detective’s most important…. unimportant tool of the trade is the best example for the humor the game draws from its genre: the trusty magnifying glass. I mean, every good detective needs a magnifying glass, right? So, while you move around the colorful and zany, low-poly cel shading island in first person, you can always hold your cool detective instrument right in front of your face and…. [ominously] inspect your surroundings for cluuuess… Doin’ detective’s work here! A-HA! Elementary, elementary. Haunted Island doesn’t take itself seriously at all, it’s incredibly light-hearted and gentle and it works best when you accept that it wants you to approach it with that exact mindset. Just relax and have a good time, talk to some friendly people, and help them out with their predicaments and after all is said and done, have a lovely dance-off. That’s the vibe, really. And the characters — even though many of them can be
boiled down to mostly one central characteristic — despite that they don’t feel one-dimensional at all,
but sometimes surprisingly relatable, especially considering how short the game actually is. A super casual, wholesome and relaxing experience that made me audibly laugh more than once
and pretty much smile and chuckle my way through it. And one thing that really makes it for me is the writing: it’s this type of… well,
not just the dialogue, but holistic game writing in general that feels very stream of consciousness, like,
casual conversations dropped without much thought, but if you look closer, you realize that actually
a lot of thought went into it. And one thing, especially in the age of social media
with video games that’s often overlooked in my experience is how… giffable or screenshottable a game is. Like, how many moments of the game,
especially in dialogues, you can just capture and share without any context and it completely works as a self-contained joke on its own. “Memeability” so to say. So, the game is short, know that, and if you expect a full-on detective game
where you solve a deep-running film-noir mystery with intrigue and multilayered plot-twists,
you’re gonna be disappointed. Haunted Island is, for lack of a better word,
an anti-detective game. One that made me pretty much instantly fond of
all the characters I came across. I’m personally a big fan or Orbit,
the anxious mallard and also Noodle,
the sheep that finds wool absolutely disgusting! I mean honestly, how would you feel if you find out that people started wearing clothes made of your body hair? Ughh And I’m super glad to hear that the team is actually working on a sequel; and if they keep going with sequels,
I’m excited for the day in approximately a decade or so
when the Frog Detective narrative universe will have grown into the most successful
and popular franchise in video game history. That’s definitely gonna happen. The Haunted Island: A Frog Detective Game,
at the time of this video’s launch is available on itch.io and Steam for roughly $5. [Sherlock Holmes] There’s no doubt about it in my mind. [Sherlock Holmes] Or perhaps I should say in my imagination [Sherlock Holmes] for that’s where crimes are conceived
and where they’re solved: [Sherlock Holmes] in the imagination. ♫ Alright, so, two of the games are completely free of charge
over on itch.io and I hope this gives you a little bit of an incentive
to start your own “Indie Binge”. I mean, maybe you’ve done something like that in the past yourself, but try it out!
It’s gonna be a good time. Just make sure that you’re not too critical with what you play. Browse through the stores, see what’s, y’know, free of charge and if something just remotely piques your curiosity just click on ‘download’ and play it in the next few minutes. Uhh, but, limit yourself to these 30-40 minutes.
Set a timer if you have to. And even if you’re interested, just wait until the next save point, go out, go over to the next game. And you’ll see, there’s gonna be games that stick with you,
that you’ll kind of… feel drawn back to the next day or in a few days. Especially if you, y’know, cut yourself off like that. All of these four games had this effect on me. I played a little bit, I cut myself off
and I wanted to get back to them in a day or two. Now one last thing:
If you get games on itch.io that are completely free it gives you the option to “Name Your Own Price”,
namely like leaving a little tip to the developers. And I’d like you to consider doing that —
you don’t have to, of course, it’s free, but leaving a little tip often goes a long way so yeah, just consider supporting small indie creators a little bit with that. And with that, I wanna switch back to the spaceport city, because I hear that the bi-weekly lottery announcement is coming up and I wish all of you good luck! [Obnoxiously loud PSA jingle] [skull screams] [Announcer] A new life awaits you in the Redscarf Municipal Colonies! Gather round, citizens, for twice every week, the Redscarf Municipal Lottery offers you the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure! Today’s Lucky Winners of the Redscarf Municipal Lottery: [Support the channel: patreon.com/RagnarRoxShow] Join the Redscarf Municipal Lottery for only 500 credits a day so you can too, win a ticket to the Rescarf Colonies. You. Are. Worth it! [Obnoxiously Loud Jingle]
[Vomiting] [Vomiting]

100 comments

  1. As many here have said, I genuinely enjoy your content. You make me want to play all of these games, at least to partially understand what you are talking about. I watch everything you upload

  2. Bird of Passage reminds me a lot of Three Fourths Home, which is a dialogue puzzle VN-type game where you're a girl driving home in a rainstorm, and you're on the phone with your mother.

  3. Hey RagnaRox, you're MOSTLY a smart one and looking good as you sounds, but the yelling Skull in this video was violence to my ears. (sorry man the title is not correct😜💜)
    Thank you for making me smile and of course for the high quality work, it's always a pleasure to see and hear you talking about timeless things that touching and moving us.
    I'm thankful that I wasn't drinking at the time were you talking about feets.😂

  4. Spaceport Janitor sounds interesting. I’m not gender queer but I am a pretty gay woman and I love lgbt+ stories. I actually was surprised you’d cover a game with such an aspect, most folks I’ve met who watch you tend to get mad if games have queer narratives so I falsely assumed maybe that’s not your area.

    Keep up this series btw indies are great but sitting through them can be a chore to find good stuff so you sifting thru for gems is nice.

  5. Hey man. I feel like we're cut from the same cloth esp the types of games that interest you. I really appreciate all of your work and can't wait to watch your next video! ❤️❤️🖤🖤

  6. Diary of a Space Port Janitor was one of my fav games I played last year, this might be the first time I'm seeing someone mention it on yt.

  7. A flying disembodied skull screaming in your face isn't exactly what I'd call "relaxing".
    One game always comes to mind when talking about these types of games, The Stanley Parable. It's a perfect mix of mystery, comedy and existential dread.
    This is a neat idea for a series, especially with the seperate themes for each episode. Keep 'em coming!

  8. thank you for this ragnarrox, I love all your videos. the themes of these games are things I've been thinking a lot about lately, watching this video feels like having a conversation with a close friend.

  9. In the Routine Feat, there are several phrases in Russian you can read on the walls – "money isn't everything", "your dreams will come true", – which only further support the hopeful reading of the game's purpose. And serve as an everyday reminder for the person making it, probably.

  10. Also, this channel stands firmly in the "you absolutely have to turn off adblock while watching" category. And leave comments for the algorithms. Can't patreon, but gotta help out in the small ways available to me.

  11. Should have been rather called "the depressing games", with the exception of the last one…

    https://www.gog.com/game/198x – you might find this one interesting.

  12. I don't get this…

    Your idea of a relaxing game doesn't seem all that relaxing. Probably difference of opinion but I don't find anything relaxing about some heavy handed symbolic game like the first one mentioned, what's so relaxing about this? Or the second one, why wouldn't I go out and wonder around aimlessly instead? Same result, for extra fun, jump on a train (or any other public transport) and just ride it around, maybe discover an area you never knew about or just look at other people going about their day. I barely find these picks to be barely games, more like "interactive experiences". That's fine but…games? To me a game is a set of rules you follow to achieve something while trying not to trigger a fail state. Not sure but looks to me there weren't fail state in any of these or goal to be honest. Maybe the first game but that's it.

    To me relaxing game means something like, Tetris, Bust a Move, Kurushi, Katamari or maybe a racing game. Something where it's just you and the gameplay, not too much deep thoughts required, play few rounds and you go back to work or whatever it is you are doing. Maybe you get a high score but that's it.

    Honestly man, I find these rather disappointing so not to me, clearly. If you like it good, I'm not seeing myself bothering with any of these.

  13. Spaceport Janitor and Frog Detective would be fantastic switch games. I find handheld games really comforting, maybe because of all those childhood nights under my blankets playing pokemon gold with a flashlight. Those two games have the perfect asthetic for a handheld.

  14. New video, YEEEY!!!
    "Turning hobbies into professional responsability…." – oooown, thank you so much for doing it, tho.
    This is such a great way to discover new stories, games and content! I love how you go through each point with such patience and admiration, it's really insipiring.

    ps: have i ever said that your voice is incredibly soothing and calming?

  15. Loving this series.
    Also loving how you end your videos, blending the supporters into the game you just talked about… it's so damn good! I always wonder: How is he going to do it this time? when I start watching one of your videos. So nice.
    Yeah. Just wanted to say that.

  16. The daily life you described is an other shape of violence. And the game shows the only only way to overcome them : by philosophie !

  17. I find too many games don't show off their underlying complete trash aspects until 3 hours in. 45 minutes, most reviewers, and even the 2 hour refund window don't let you know about this.

  18. Have had the opportunity to live in another culture where you don't know the language and most everything is very new and different, the mere concept of Diaries of A Spaceport Janitor hit me like a ton of bricks! And on a related note, late night taxis in Tokyo are crazy expensive!

  19. Non Violent and relaxing games . . . . .. There is a skull that follows you and yells in your face for no reason . . . . . Relaxing . . . .. . . The skulls yells in your face . . . . . . . Relax this skull gets in your face and yells at you . . . . .

  20. If you want to see a good film which subverts the detective genre and includes a good bit of offbeat humor (though it is not a parody of the genre), check out "Zero Effect." Thttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSH8Y3h5j-g

  21. You should play a game I worked on for the 2015 Global Game Jam, it's in this style of games https://bluntgames.itch.io/the-long-way

  22. Ragnar, if you don't mind me asking, what is your national origin and what is your native language? I spend your videos listening and watching and wondering. I want to understand more so I can connect more. Because your videos are… well they are wonderful. They hit me right in my depressive bone and pull me up. I love it. I love your videos.

    To continue on a tangent, we live in a world where a digital screen separates us from those we feel closest to. Our best friends are people we've never met and feel will never answer our wayward calls. In the early times of Americana, it was impossible, or at least felt impossible. But now, as the digital age of aliases and faux personalities grows and rises, I find myself retreating down to those who present themselves as a persona of who they really are. That thing that reality won't let them be so they grab a camera and throw on a show. They hope against hope that people accept them. They take critique seriously and ask for opinions. These are things the real world shuns. People don't want to find out others don't like them. But here in this digital space, it is a chance for them to find out who they truly are and if people accept that.

    Think about the various sub-cultures that have popped up since the 2000s. While it's obvious to use 4Chan and Furries as an example, I like to look at those people who defy convention. They are who they are because that is who they want to be. They don't fit inside a tightly wrapped label. That is true freedom. To be indefinable, to be fulfilled in a world so rigid we regularly doubt who we are or if what we want to be is even correct — not in a political or societal sense, but in a personal sense.

    How can we survive through this plastic (in the rigid, fake sense, not the original sense) world if it doesn't make us happy? Well the internet is a sense of escapism, at least that's the word used by most. The truth is that the internet is a place of self-realization. Like getting drunk and lowering your inhibitions to the point you are who you feel you should be, the internet allows that but without a chemical dependency. Yes there is shame and there is a hangover. But there is a clear line of thought: should I continue being who I am and testing other anonymous humans' sense of normalcy, or should I put down the keyboard and just accept the world?

    I imagine you, like everyone else, wakes up stricken with anxiety over what you did the night prior, staying up late writing a post or creating a video. it is something private you want to show the world, something you feel will add value to it. But how will it be accepted? Even here on this cluster of digital mayhem, we care about what people without a face will say.

    That's why I write these long posts. The chance of anyone actually taking time to read them is so minute. The replies given will either disregard a large majority of it, doing a TL;DR read through or they will have actually read these words and are providing clear feedback. It's difficult to parse through. But in the end, I write these things to my favorite youtubers as a sort of digital essay that will be washed away in the tide of time, in hopes that whatever I wrote in the sand will have an effect on someone, someone who really needs it.

    You do the same thing except instead of standing on the beach and drawing with a stick in low-tide, you spray brilliant graffiti that may not exist the next day or may persist for decades. So ti's while saying all this that I want you to know that you matter and you effect me. You give me things to think about and indirectly allow me to question myself and this world. You help me grow with your works. And I am thankful for it. I am thankful for you.

    Thank you for your dedication, hard work, and insightfulness. Truly, thank you.

  23. My man never had MC in 3 digits what. Also you need to grind luck as well to get better drops. The end is your dream of leaving fullfilled but the game instantly transitions into an endless janitor mode.

  24. Oh holy shit. I played It's Winter a few months ago and fell in love with it completely. I didn't realize the creator had made a summer complement to it with Routine Feat.

  25. I loved the Haunted Island. The characters are hilarious in such an earnest way, there’s not a trace of sarcasm or edginess in it’s humour.

    I’m going to check out Bird of Passage.

  26. Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor is one of my most favourite of all indie games I've ever had the joy to play, so I was really excited even seeing it in the thumbnail, and even more excited that you basically got the same experience out of it that I did. My only curiosity is, did you end up finishing it? I know I had a weird feeling of nostalgia with the ending, not really wanting to give up the playthru I had built up to that point.

  27. I discovered your work when I was still unemployed. Trudging through re-learning excel, attending career counseling classes in a self-hating fear based daze. I felt so inspired and even though I don't make video games (visual artist here) I got a little spark back. Thanks!

  28. Great video… as a gamer
    But as an indie developer, this video gave me depression
    Also, those games were somewhat existential-crisisy… Didn't help at all 🙂

  29. You always get me with your sophisticated words and poetic like conclusions. I'm considering these games now thanks to you

  30. I love this series your doing! I've played all the indies you've recommended, especially loved the horror episode. Looking forward for future indie titles and genre themes you will recommend 🙂

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