Filmmaker Werner Herzog once said "if we do not develop adequate images we will die out like dinosaurs." Games these days are wholly diverse visually ranging from gritty realism, to slick and cartoony, to retro abstractions, but I'm not sure I've seen anything that looks quite like free indie RPG Middens.
The pixelated sprites recall RPGs from the early 90s, but artist Shaina Nordlund's psychedelic backdrops resemble 70s acid-induced surrealist paintings. Together they form something that feels out of time, which is just as well as the game takes place in a cosmic rift that feels about a million miles away from even the most outlandish Doctor Who adventures. Take a look at it below.
As for the actual game, it's a turn-based RPG. I'm not going to pretend to have any understanding of what it's about, but it apparently features "dialogue excised from occult tomes and the last words of executed convicts," according to the developer, John Clowder.
It all begins with you finding a gun with a mouth and eye. The imminently disturbing monstrosity notes that it can lick your fingernails at any time and must gaze upon whatever it shoots - even if you're looking away. So think about that, why don't ya, and get insurmountably creeped out.
I'm not sure if Middens is for me and it may not be for you, but it's unlike anything else out there and in a multi-billion dollar industry that in an of itself seems worth celebrating.
Feel free to try Middens out here, or watch the trailer below.