When global events resemble a highly volatile game of Jenga, and it feels like the tower is about to topple any second, I turn to animals as a coping mechanism. “Cats!” I call down corridors and up stairwells in a shrill tone, raising the eyebrows of my crass, sunbathing neighbors. My need to press my face into the fluffy bellies of kittens has negated any desire to keep up appearances this week. Pet therapy.
I’ve also noticed a change in my videogame habit due to dangling in perpetual turmoil. Anything that doesn’t near-match the ambling delights of Hohokum has been plunged into the gunge of my ignorance. It seems I’m not the only one who feels this way recently, either.
There have been three games released this week that 1) have you play as a carefree animal, and 2) uplift your lousy human spirit and make it impossible to withhold a smile. These are the types of anthropomorphic exercises in joy that I’ve needed and, it seems, the authors of these games just had to release (probably for themselves as much as others).
So, please, join us in a full-bodied display of happiness and freedom by playing these games below. I think we could all do with a quick break.
Oh, the noises I have made while playing this game. The conjugation of twinkling sounds and surprising nature overwhelms the puzzle game trying to poke out from underneath. As in Proteus, your movements affect the wildlife around you: flowers sprout, fairies flee, owls stare wide-eyed, and butterflies are eaten. Your task is to move the two cats simultaneously to reach the exit of the level. But it’s so easy to get sidetracked by chasing down the adorable delights that hide behind every tree and grass verge. You’ll go “aww”, and “whee”, and “haha”.
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This is how all sibling rivalries should be fought. Each of you plays a woodpecker and attempts to peck blocks to push each other off the scrolling tower. The pecking mechanic allows for dummy moves and psychological attacks. The key is in both delaying and curtailing your peck so as to “cry wolf”. It’s like punching someone in the face but stopping just before contact so you can laugh at the fact that they flinched. Then you shove your finger in their nose. It’s a loving, unending competition to outsmart each other.
You’re a dog. You’ve escaped from the leash of your owner. You’re free. You’re in a park. Everything is fascinating. DOGFORCE gives you 45 seconds to be the freest damn dog that you could ever be. It is pure ephemera about being careless and joyful; about simply being alive. You can pee against hydrants, chase birds away, shake water from your fur in front of a man reading a newspaper. This is sweet-tasting, high-energy dog anarchy. Dogarchy.