Friday, October 14, 2011

The Black Lodge Annihilates Your Imperfect Soul

Black Lodge 2600, a retro pixel-art game by Jak Locke, would suck if it weren't intentionally trying to suck. Inspired by David Lynch's 1990 television series Twin Peaks, you play as FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, trapped in the Black Lodge fleeing from his doppelganger. It's designed to feel like an actual old-school game, complete with a manual that explains the controls in terms of the Atari joystick, with keyboard controls scribbled in with pen. And that's where most of its charm comes into play (that and the whole Twin Peaks thing), but the actual gameplay can be very difficult and frustrating. Which I suppose is faithful to Atari-era gameplay.

Gameplay mostly consists of getting from one side of a room to another, avoiding obstacles like flying chairs, screaming Laura Palmers who invert your controls, statues that you can only pass by blocking its line of sight, and other such treacherous terrors. The longer you survive, the more obstacles you face in each room; suffice it to say, things get cluster****ed very quickly. The whole game is kind of surreal, like what you'd expect from a Twin Peaks game, but it's difficult to recommend unless you're a real fan of the show, otherwise the content and its references won't make any sense to you. It's available for free download (PC and Mac) here.

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