I shouldn’t have been such a hard case about the Black Death last time, I appear to have attracted the attentions of disease spirits and spent much of last weekend sick in bed. I beheld the Angel of Death and prepared to meet my end… but then it turned out that I was only re-watching Angels in America (the HBO miniseries). It’s really good, by the way – if you haven’t seen it, you really should.
Well, this weekend, I rose from my crypt and played The Witness with my 7 year-old: we finally picke it up on iOS, and it’s good, might even become a new family puzzle obsession like Gorogoa before it. If you’re not familiar with The Witness, it’s an obscure little indie game from 2016 that only won one of the twenty-one major videogame awards is was nominated for that year. There is one mystery that The Witness cannot solve: who is Johnathan Blow? This obscure, reclusive creator has been dodging the press since the publication of V. in 1963, but is almost certainly not a pseudonym, as a few photos from his high school and college days are a testament to his existence… no, wait, sorry, that’s Thomas Pynchon.
Rather than speak further about what I have been playing, I want to talk about what I’m looking forward to playing, and that’s Kitfox Games’ Boyfriend Dungeon, a hip ARPG/dating sim where you spend part of your time in chic Venice Beach and part in “the dunj,” a dangerous and mysterious place underneath this modern city. There you will meet and get to know magical weapons… who turn into people… that you can date. If you’ve ever had a 12th Level Bard who took their Singing Sword out to karaoke, this is your game. Kitfox, following on the success of their Sumerian co-op ARPG Moon Hunters, and of The Shrouded Isle (which is kind of like Animal Crossing except that you have to pick a
cute anthropomorphic animal villager to sacrifice to Cthulhu every year) is presently Kickstarting Boyfriend Dungeon.
Not in the market for a sword-boyfriend? That’s okay, you can also meet your new girl- or enbyfriend in this game. Elder gods, how happy it makes me to see nonbinary representation in the ARPG/dating sim genre. In addition to the guys and gals, there are not one, but two non-binary weapons in this game, and one of them is Hatoful to boot: meet Rowan, the nonbinary scythe/pigeon/person. C’est magnifique.
Also on the topic of crowdfunding and human sacrifice, a Kickstarter for an expanded print run of Soth is just around the corner. This tabletop RPG by my good friend Steve Hickey [when it comes to journalistic objectivity, we don’t mess around here at Stately Play: we have none -ed] situates the players as cultists trying to raise one of the Great (or at least Pretty Good) Old Ones without attracting too much suspicion. It’s a cracker, I promise, and if you want word when the KS goes live, you can sign up here.