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"It is the 20th...holy crap, it's the 20th?!
I have so few days left to shop and buy presents for everyone." Right around
the time the first number of the day becomes a "2" in December, people freak
out realizing they missed something on their holiday gift-giving list. Today,
we recognize this sense of horror and dread by taking a look at a unique horror
adventure game that has a cult-following all its own. Yes, today we talk about:
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream is one trip of an adventure
game and is quite mature in nature with the themes it presents and how they are
presented, especially for a 1995 title. In the future, the world superpowers
wage a war using supercomputers. Similar to the storyline of The Terminator,
the machines become self-aware and decide they want to kill the humans that
have created their tortured existence. However, unlike the films, the machine
decides to keep five humans alive and torture them for over a hundred years.
The computer, AM, then decides to torture them in a new way, preying on their
weaknesses and messing with their heads.
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream was the brain child of
writer Harland Ellison. Ellison wanted to make a game that would force the
players to make ethical decisions in some of the most controversial subjects.
He also wanted a game where the player could not win in a traditional sense,
only ethical ways in which to lose and terribly awful ways to lose. It is a
game that is purely driven by decisions, story, and a haunting environment.
Even today, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream is a principal
example for gamers of how games can be mature without being childish about
mature content. It is also an extremely dark game, not intended for younger
players and those who would rather avoid games that force players to address
ideas of insanity, rape, genocide, and other uncomfortable themes and issues.
In some countries, the game was even censored or edited to remove certain
content and even restricted to specific ages (this wasn't a very common
practice in the earlier days of gaming like it is now).
I didn't play this game until a little later on in life when
a college roommate introduced it to me. I was taking a class where we were
studying a lot of the darker works of Edgar Allen Poe, an author my roommate
had enjoyed immensely. Our conversations on Poe's work naturally turned to
video games and how horror games weren't really horror games. He brought up
this game and installed it on my computer. I stayed up all night and then
finished it after returning the next day from my classes and enjoyed it...as much
as one can "enjoy" a game like it. It is probably the most disturbing yet most
compelling adventure games I have ever played.
While I do not recommend I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream
to every gamer out there, I recommend it to fans of the horror genre and those
looking for something decidedly different. If you qualify, go find this game
(it's on Steam), get it, and play it.
Now, a quick note. I heard a rumor that Noobtubin8er Claus
will be making his way through here in the near future and wants to give
presents to the wonderful people who comment on my ADVENTURE Game Calendar
blogs. I also heard he went and found a bunch of the games that have been/will
be featured in the series. So, if you're liking the series or you just want a
chance to get a free game or free games, comment below and let me know what you
think (it might also be a good idea to read and comment on the older blogs...just
a hint for you adventure gamers who need a hint book...red screen thing not
included). And, as always, thanks for reading.
Check out past entries in the ADVENTure Game Calendar below:
1 - Space Quest
2 - Sam and Max
3 - Full Throttle
4 - Eco Quest
5 - The Walking Dead
6 - Still Life
7 - Freddy Pharkas Frontier Pharmacist
8 - Quest for Glory
9 - The Adventures of Willy Beamish
10 - Police Quest
11 - Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
12 - Blade Runner
13 - Gabriel Knight
14 and 15 - The Wolf Among Us and King's Quest
16 - Conquests of the Longbow: The Adventures of Robin Hood
17 - Simon the Sorcerer
18 - Grim Fandango
Day 19 - Discworld