PEGBRJE: Blind Men and Sewer Rave

Loving Men and Confusing Rat Raves.

Ohoho, I’d say he’s doing a pretty good job.

Blind Men is a visual novel made by Man-Eater Games, and marks the first MLM story so far in the bundle. You follow the life and times of Keegan, nephew of a retired supervillain, as he reaches a crossroads in his life and decides to become a supervillain. However, to be formally recognized as a proper supervillain Keegan must get into the League — which requires him to pull a daring heist of some kind. Setting his sights on a hostage taking with a secret mission to surprise the League with minimal assistance from his uncle, Keegan must learn the hard way that not everything always goes according to plan.

To put simply, Blind Men is a parody on fictional spy movies and cliches all wrapped into a glorious MLM fiesta. Instead of playing as the superhero, players follow a newbie supervillain instead in a similar story structure to ‘Doctor Evil’s Horrible Singalong Songs’ with less singing unfortunately. The hijinks unfold as Keegan attempts to keep an entire museum full of patrons hostage with a decoy, only for things to go awry due to the introduction of two mysterious men. These two men are the quintessential cliched spy guys from the Cold War, with a suave, w̶o̶manizing American and a cold, mysterious Soviet, and they own their parts. Hector, the American, immediately attempts to flirt with Keegan and I mean immediately. Sergei, the Russian, refuses to speak unless spoken in to in Russian, and keeps all phrases vague and open ended. The conversations between the three are over the top fun, and culminate in a bizarre twist early on into the game that sets the route for the rest depending on how players react. Keegan, bless his heart, does try his best to keep himself calm cool and collected, but how could he with everything going completely out of his control? Especially in regards to those two.

I’m not usually one to be invested in MLM, never really been my genre of choice in the narrative sphere. Yet this obvious parody of spy cliches instantly caught my attention from the beginning, and set the tone as a fast paced hilarious adventure in which the writers tear into typical spy stereotypes and just turn them into MLM perfection. Even the henchmen, the ones described to be beating up people and serving a supervillain, are pretty easily described as ‘pretty boy attractive’. It’s just a bunch of fun, and with my constant reminders of Dr. Horrible it kept the excitement and humour throughout the entirety of the playthrough that I did. Which I went with the suave American. Of course. Stupid sexy Hector.

Anyway, ignoring that, if you are looking for a short Yaoi adventure that plays with supervillain and spy cliches and isn’t afraid to liven them up with MLM tension, then you will adore Blind Men. If MLM isn’t your style, it still offers a fantastic parody setting with well thought-out writing and clever tropes, and gives players enough choice variance to allow for 12 different endings. See what you end with, and hopefully your Dr. Cyclops story goes better than mine did.

Sewer Rave is a visual experience that I would like to say I could explain. I would like to say it’s a metacommentary on rave culture, or on the needs for mindless entertainment, or that there is a deeper meaning within these walls.

I cannot.

I don’t understand what’s going on in Sewer Rave. It was created by Autumn Rain with the pseudonym of slitherpunk on itch.io and twitter, who is a self proclaimed creator of ‘weird games’, which I’m going to say is accurate. You are a rat within the sewers that are currently housing a rave party in many of the sections, and your blind exploration can lead to platforming games, puzzles and other interactions that range from the absurd to the bizarre. You meet other rats that are raving about, or just sitting there drinking the purple slime and just vibing, who talk about dozens of things in small snippets. You can meet a snake that will take the cheese you find and trade it for fruit. There is a rap battle somewhere, and an actual battle. There is a huge gun that exists. Everything feels like small segments flowing together, tied only by the rave beats that pulse throughout most of the sewer save for a few regions of relaxation.

I enjoyed my time, and I cannot explain why in ways that really make sense.

Perhaps it was the absurdity of it all, the new rooms that you’d explore after backtracking due to the randomization of each room upon entry. Maybe it was the hilarious quotes some of the rats had that were pulls on real world events or jokes. I’m still not sure. The only thing I can say for certain is that I thought the soundtrack slapped. The rave music wasn’t all the same stuff in every room, the track varied in numerous places and it brought the entire atmosphere that Sewer Rave was going for to life. Even in the quieter sections, the rave music could sometimes be heard faintly in the distance as our rat friend took a breather from the noise and excitement.

If you want a surreal, bizarre experience with rats and raves, give Sewer Rave about 10 minutes. That’s all you’ll need to either suck you in, or confuse you. Or both.

Links.

Game Dev who decided to take on the monumental task of giving an overview of all 59 pages in the bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. We keep going.