BENGALURU: As CD drives are becoming as much a novelty as the headphone jack, it is time for a completely unnecessary nostalgic activity. Search your cupboards for a CD binder, dramatically blow the dust off its surface and search for this staple – “100+ videogames in one CD!”. The freeware era was a glorious one, long and boring hours spent searching excitedly for a new game (more than playing it).
Look at the CD for a good few seconds to try inducing some nostalgic tears, try running it on your system (if it even works), save a few games that have aged well, and then throw the CDs in the recycle bin (a real one). We have moved on from this for good reason – there are now bigger and better videogame compilations, termed “Bundles”. Itch.io is a marketplace for independent game developers to sell content. Recently, they released a bundle with over 1,000 games, with the proceeds from the purchase going to funds supporting racial justice and equality.
Unlike the days of yore compilations, this bundle has more hits than misses. While it includes well-known indie releases like Celeste, A Short Hike, and Night in the Woods, we will suggest here and in successive articles some memorable ones that might be missed. OneShot clicked from the start with its fourth-wall breaking elements and cute in-game interactions. The cat-child Niko (unlike the Serbian from GTA IV that loves bowling), finds themself in a dark and sombre world, armed with a lit bulb. It takes a bit of imagination to break the modern gamer’s expectation of a fast-paced, action-fuelled video game, and OneShot succeeds.
The game is primarily story-driven, however, there are a variety of difficulties in the in-game puzzles, some of which would even make you take a paper and pen out and consider it for a while. The whole game feels like taking a restful nap interrupted only by a mildly unpleasant dream. In Mewnbase, a cat finds itself on the moon. Interestingly, the space-cat has found itself a niche genre in videogames – with Gato Roboto being another popular one. This particular astro-kit game is similar to ‘Don’t Starve’, with its day-night cycles, and easy research progression. It is all about finding the right oxygen-power-food balance and collecting just enough resources to build a cute moon-buggy. The above games barely scratch the surface of what the bundle offers – but more in future articles. A full Purr out of 4 for the above cat-themed games from the bundle.