Welcome to the first installment of Sunday Funday, Videodame’s curated collection of short, free-to-play games you can play right in your browser.
This week’s collection leans towards the drier side of fun—Zoe Quinn’s Depression Quest kicked off my search for other games that similarly explored uncharted territory, at least in the world of gaming. While some may question whether games about depression, Alzheimer’s, or failed relationships and the like can really be all that “fun,” I was impressed how all five of these games succeed at placing the player in the shoes of someone experiencing these various facets of life, and while I didn’t recognize myself in all of them, I recognized others or pieces of myself.
“Playing Depression Quest isn’t ‘fun,’ like watching Schindler’s List isn’t ‘enjoyable.’ They’re important for different reasons, and it’s okay if they exist for the small audiences who will appreciate them as they are.”—Patrick Klepek, Giant Bomb [Depression Quest]
“Alzheimer’s disease, and any form of dementia, can place a great burden on those who love and care for someone suffering from it. The brief, poignant flash game Alz tries to tell the other side of the struggle: what it’s like to go about the day when your memory is so displaced and filled with gaps.”—Owen S. Good, Polygon [ALZ]
“The writing strikes straight at the bittersweetness of moving house, the way we struggle to define ourselves through possessions and despite them. Hamilton has a deft way of plucking these moments out of the mundane, such as the way your pile of things ‘looks small for something that weighs two years,’ or the recognizable twinge of meaningless memory captured by a phrase like ‘the jar that once held sugar.'”—Aaron Reed, Tilt at Windmills [Detritus]
“As we replay adolescence in pixels, Freeman’s games challenge us to revisit the moments that create social identity: sexual discovery in How Do You Do It; shopping for clothes in Ladylike; hording snacks in My House My Rules; pillow talk in Perishable.”—Jason Bell, Full Stop [Ladylike]
“Loved, in all its simplicity, expresses a strange kind of love, and effectively communicates the feelings of mirth one can experience when pleasing that special someone in their life, even if it means engaging in destructive behaviors in the process.”—Brittany Vincent, G4 [Loved]
If you’d like to play some games that skew more towards fun for fun’s sake (and fair enough!), try Monday Funday, the post that spawned this (hopefully) bimonthly feature.
There’s like, swords and guns and shit in those.