Tuesday, July 29, 2014

[Review] Offspring Fling OST

Title screen, Offspring Fling, Kyle Pulver, 2012.

The thing that elevates Offspring Fling in my opinion from “cute” to “beautiful” is the soundtrack by Alec Holowka. (My knowledge of the indie games music scene is shamefully lacking, but this is the same composer who did the soundtrack for Aquaria, including its joyful and exploratory first level theme, “The Traveller”.)

To provide some context: Offspring Fling is a game in which one plays as a forest creature rescuing her eponymous offspring from monsters and other woodland hazards. The mechanics are puzzle platformer-ish, though achieving full completion requires pixel-perfect timing and starts to veer towards the “masocore” subgenre of platformer.

The art assets are all low-res small-colour-palette sprites which achieve a homely, pastel crayon look which I believe is technically known as “a less shitty Kirby’s Dreamland 3”. The protagonist herself is round and lemon-furred, with tiny stumps of limbs that belie her strength and a positively saccharine smile that never disappears from her face. Never. Well, except for the “rare” occasion where one of the cubs gets eaten — then we see her face turn to a “goodness, gracious!” look of shock for the half second before the game resets itself to the start of the level. But for the most part: unending saccharine smile.

Gameplay screenshot. Ibid.

Oh, and the main game mechanic involves picking up cubs and tossing (“flinging”) them horizontally at high speeds. This is not a game that takes itself very seriously.

Sunday, July 27, 2014


[It's] ingratitude, that's what it is.

Blind alley, though. If someone’s ungrateful and you tell him he’s ungrateful, okay, you’ve called him a name. You haven’t solved anything.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig (1974).