Thursday, January 10, 2013

Throwback games - why they are the most original additions to contemporary games

It is common knowledge that nothing completely new has been invented since the year 1997 (I make the assumption that the smartphone is the latest invention - which is ridiculous, since it is not an invention in itself). Hence, there have always been a need to reinvent (or just revive) old products. In the gaming industry this means making titles in 8-bit, 16-bit, and so forth.

Whether it is sandbox games, like Minecraft, or hybrid side-scrollers like mari0, or even the newer horror puzzle games like The Witch's House and Ib - and for your own sake do not get me started on all the tasty stuff just waiting for me on Steam - retrospective titles have been more than due in this era of commercial games that are only aiming to have bigger and better graphics than their predecessors.

Game cover. Kindly borrowed from

Although this is not the newest addition to the throwback indie games, this Swedish indie game is my latest discovery, so if you already know of this game, I would probably switch to some of the other articles on this blog. I hear the Global Gaming articles are most enlightening -  I would also highly recommend Alex Metcalf's entries.

So what is Keyboard Drumset Fucking Werewolf?

You are playing the protagonist... or maybe he is the antagonist... I don't really know, this is all so very confusing! Anyway, he is a fucking werewolf!

Run, puny humans, run!
There is this song playing in the background, you want to hear it in it's entirety, but to do so you progress through all seven, only seconds-long levels standing in your way.
  • Level 1: You are still human. You must climb up the icy platforms whilst collecting energycubes. If you do not collect enough before the time is up, you lose. If you fall down the platforms, you still get a chance to collect the cubes in free fall. If you do not collect enough here, you lose.
  • Level 2: It is time to turn... into a fucking werewolf, that is! Manically, and repeatedly press the Z and X buttons until your transformation is complete. If you fail to transform before time runs out, you lose.
  • Level 3: You are hungry, and you want blood. You chase the humans, but they are fast plus they are throwing fucking crates at you! Avoid the crates. If you get hit three times, you lose.
  • Level 4: The humans aren't very observant of where they are running (since they are being chased by a fucking werewolf!) so they start tripping and falling. Use your special saw-move attack to slice them into pieces. If you fail to slice enough people, you lose.
  • Level 5: Since you are a morbid bones collector you decide to gather in the bones lying around from your mutilated victims. If you fail to collect all the bones, that's right, you guessed it, you lose.
  • Level 6: The humans have had it up to here with you, and your shenanigans. They send the military on you, some of which are even prepared to suicide bomb just to be rid of you. Rage on through the masses of flying bullets and explosives. If you get hit three times or a bomb goes off, you lose.
  • Level 7: You must prepare for the final boss battle. Quickly, assemble the bones you collected earlier to make your weapon. If you fail to do so, you lose.
  • Level 8, Final Battle: The mythological Unicrush reveals itself. Shoot it, shoot it before it kills you! If it does so, you lose. If you defeat it, you get to hear the climatic ending of the soundtrack!
  • That's it! You've won! You cannot believe you've just wasted approximately three minutes of your life on this game (given you beat the game in one take), but gosh dangit, was it awesome!

What does KDFW bring to the table?

Werewolf does not care about political correctness!
Keyboard Drumset Fucking Werewolf (I know it is not very P.C. with the F-word, but hey, it's a title. You can't censor a title, man) utilises almost every aspect of the classic side-scroll, and first person games in its eight levels. One could even to some extend make the argument that KDFW is an 8-Bit Greatest Hits Collection.

There is no doubt KDFW is a giant slap in the face to all contemporary commercial titles - the title is absolutely absurd, the soundtrack is an insult to all available professional and even freeware sound-making programs, the graphics are borderline epileptic, and last, but definitely not least, the plot is nowhere from this world. You could have had the plot about the man turning into the werewolf and killing everybody, but of course you only have that as the subplot - the main plot is the soundtrack.

It's refreshing to see a new title completely distance itself from the overly animated, overly complex, multi-weapon based games. Admittedly, I am a sucker for retro-style games. Go ahead and call me a hipster, though it has recently become socially illegal to use that word in Denmark. I will stick to calling myself old-fashioned, because even though I like many new games, the grass just was greener in the old days.

So was this a review, a stroll down memory lane or what? To tell you the truth, I do not know. I just wanted to show you this adorable (and I use the word 'adorable' very loosely here) game, which you, by the way, can try on for yourself here.

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