Saturday 27 August 2016

Bored? I'll show you boredom. Play 'Ennuigi'

The taller Mario brother is the picture of dispair in this flash game

Bored? I'll show you boredom. Play 'Ennuigi'

About the only video game buzzword that Ennuigi embodies is "procedurally generated." The rest is the crushing realization that there isn't much to show for 30 years in your brother's shadow, no matter what adventures you had together.

This is Ennuigi, a flash game by Josh Millard that's gotten some attention lately. In it, a depressed Luigi lights up a cigarette and wanders the decaying Mushroom Kingdom landscape, tossing off dour observations from the life he's led and now is too old to change.

"I looked down at Bowser's broken body, and saw in it a map of a broken world," he offers. You press up to get a random thought (such as: "It all tastes of mushroom. Of fungus. Of moulder. Of damp ash." Press down to take a long, pensive drag on the cig. The landscape will randomize from screen to screen, and you can't jump over anything, break bricks, or warp.

Says Millard of his creation:

"This is a shot at a collection of ideas I had a few years ago, about looking critically at the universe of Super Mario Bros. in light of the total lack of explicit narrative in the original game in particular. Who are these strange men? What motivates them? By what right do they wreak the havoc they do on this strange place? What do they feel about where they are and what they're doing?

And so, this is one lens through which to look at all that, with Luigi, the second brother, the also-ran, as a complicit onlooker, wandering now through some fractured, rotting liminal place in this strange world, reflecting on it all in scattered fragments."

Evidently there's a large amount of text — or at least it takes a long time for Luigi to offer it. That brooding chiptune will have you questioning what you've really done with your life, too.

Read the full article here by Polygon

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