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This Game Uses Alcoholism As A Gameplay Mechanic

Spate is a platformer that, judging by visual aesthetic alone, looks crazy. There's a reason for that.

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The game, according to Rock, Paper, Shotgun, follows a man who has to deal with the death of his daughter. The loss is so painful, the man resorts to drinking absinthe as a means of coping.

"At the click of a button the character can take a swig of absinthe. This temporarily gives the player higher jumping and faster running abilities. But, it also makes him hallucinate, which changes the world both visually and physically. The mechanic is meant to mirror the emotional seesaw battle of drinking."

The trailer above features what I assume are the hallucinations. It's unsurprising the game is visually striking, as one of the developers works for Walt Disney Animation Studios. This other trailer, meanwhile, features some of the non-absinthe gameplay.

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The developer describes the game as follows:

Detective Bluth is hired to investigate mysterious disappearances that have been occurring on an island offshore, and figures that he has nothing left to lose. The detective hopes to uncover some of the island's mysterious, but is finding it increasingly difficult to battle his own pain. The death of his daughter continues to haunt him mercilessly, and his regrets at their last moments together are chasing his pain deeper into his heart. As his absinthe use increases it becomes harder and harder for him to tell reality from fiction.

We can't know for sure yet if the game manages to tackle the subject of alcoholism meaningfully. Still, it looks like an interesting title worth keeping an eye on—and, if it's caught your eye, you can vote for it on Steam Greenlight.

(Via Rock, Paper, Shotgun)

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DISCUSSION

DavidThorpe
DavidThorpe

Indie game dorks have become obsessed with being the person to finally prove that video games are art, and a common tactic seems to be this mawkish, melodramatic student-film shit. I'm gonna make a game where you play a little girl dying of cancer who dreams that her doctor is a friendly monster and the pain drugs make her go on magical adventures! Then everyone will have a good cry and Roger Ebert will personally call me and tell me I've changed his mind!