Hylics is surreal RPG created by Mason Lindroth. Following everyday schlub Wayne on his quest to defeat Gibby, King of the Moon, it is a game that thrives on confusion. Bloody skull will instantly kill you, some of the best armor is literal garbage, and randomized text adds to the confusion. It’s this week’s Indie Pick.

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Describing Hylics is difficult. When it released during my time as a freelancer I summed it up as: “Like someone tossed Gumby, Earthbound, Salvador Dalí, and Yves Tanguy into a blender, sprinkled some Terry Gilliam into the mixture, and watered it down with liquid LSD.”

(I know, I know. I was young and full of verbosity.)

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Hylics is a traditional JRPG by all accounts. The battle system is turned based, with special abilities and items. There are hidden items and magical spells to find. A large over world holds lively towns and dangerous dungeons. But it’s all just a little bit off. Splashed with a vibrant art style and procedurally generated text that is astounding and perplexing.

Hylics is a tangled conundrum that changes the rules and shifts around constantly. Run into the wrong enemy and they won’t just beat you in a fight, you won’t even get to fight as they melt you alive. But that’s not game over, it’s just a pathway to an afterlife hub of talking fish and ancient sages.

Ultimately, this is a game about discovery. It is about feeling lost in a strange world before finding familiarity and purpose. Traveling to the moon and defeating the final boss ends up as something of an after thought. It’s about the companions you find, the hidden sages you commune with, and the strange trash you find that actually turns out to be treasure.

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If you’re looking for a great RPG or just something utterly bizarre, can download Hylics on Steam or itch.io. The game is exclusive to Windows operating systems.


Each week, I show off a new, affordable indie game using the tag “Heather’s Indie Pick.”

If you’ve found a cool game or made something you’re proud of, reach out to me at heather.alexandra@kotaku.com or on Twitter @transgamerthink.