I can tell by the look on your face that my time travel experiment was a complete success. Well THANK THE BLUE FUCKING FAIRY because let me tell you, self-inserting a nasogastric tube and Foley catheter before temp-sealing all my orifices with synthetic paraffin just so that I might hopefully survive the jump was almost not worth it. Almost. Nonetheless, here I am, salty as a sailor and twice as gay.

But Beel! You ask. Did bending the space-time-continuum to your whims alter you in some as-yet-imperceptible manner? Are you no longer the Bill we all know and mostly despise, aside from those fleeting moments when we get lost in your deluge of polysyllabic adjectives and cock jokes and forget that it’s your blog we’re reading and we sort of enjoy ourselves?

I’ll answer your questions as succinctly as I am able: Smell my hand.

 

 

If you need further proof, I offer the following: TELL SCOTT JONES IF I EVER SEE HIS UGLY FACE IN FRONT OF MY UGLY FACE I’M GOING TO SPIT A MOUTHFUL OF BEER IN HIS EYES AND PUNCH HIM IN THE NECK. You know which Scott Jones I mean, don’t play coy.

I have only one question regarding events that may have transpired during my absence: HAS SWEDEN USED ITS MIND CONTROL RAY ON ANYTHING OR ANYONE SINCE THEIR FIRST TEST RUN IN 2009?

I see more than a few puzzled expressions, perhaps I ought to explain. In 2009, Sweden clandestinely infiltrated the headquarters of the Independent Games Festival and exposed the judges to high level crypto-limbic theta rays, thereby warping their minds to a state so egregiously complacent and agreeable they awarded Swedish indie game Blueberry Garden the Seaumas McNally Grand Prize For Outstanding Frippery, or whatever.

 

Ten minutes after this screen, you die.

 

The lack of outrage was distressing to say the least; I suspect ancillary exposure to the device’s insidious emissions by the public at large in attendance had something to do with it. I mean, look at that facts here:

 

All it takes is some dude with crayons to totally smoke any given Swedish game developer. CRAYONS.

 

FACT #1: The other Seamus McNally Award winners have been pretty goddamned sweet. In 2008 the winner was Crayon Physics Deluxe, a simple yet addictive and clever little game created by insane Finnish game dev Petri Purho (who built the original Crayon Physics in just five goddamned days). Purho is like the Sergio Aragones of the gaming industry, he deserves all the accolades he gets. Aquaria took it in ’07 and Darwinia did the dance in ’06, these are some well-earned trophy-winners on the dais here. Have you even fucking heard of Blueberry Garden aside from scrolling past it at light speed in the Steam store?

 

Blueberry Garden couldn’t carry Darwinia’s digital jockstrap.

 

FACT #2: Blueberry Garden is fuckin’ terrible. No, really. It’s boring, dumb, insipid, obtuse and frustrating. Oh, and the game kills you after about ten minutes of game time. That is both its biggest con AND YET SOMEHOW ALSO ITS MOST REDEEMING FEATURE, aside from an unobtrusive faggy musical score. The game kindly showed me its true obnoxious colors early on without making me suffer for an hour or so  like I did when I plodded on through The Path. In a manner reminiscent of The Path, Blueberry Garden attempts to draw much of its appeal from having the player experience the game world and figure out the mechanics and objectives along the way. I’m not opposed to that gimmick, I just find that indie games use it as a crutch for actual interesting game play. I’m significantly more opposed to it when the game imposes a counter-less time limit like BG does. Just reload, Bill! JUST RELOAD MY PANTS, PAL. Maybe I’d be more inclined to do so if controlling your creepy avian-proboscoid dandy wasn’t such a titanic pain in the pink parts. I’ve piloted more nimble Ekranoplans.

I might have been picking flowers FOR NO GODDAMNED REASON in The Path, but at least I was wasting my life in a decently-rendered forest as nice music played. Also, all I had to do to pick the flower was, you know, hit the Space Bar. In BG, I’m trying to pick up rocks, fruits, and giant pieces of cheese and shit in an extremely dodgy manner as retarded little birds and insects mill about in an annoying fashion. HOPEFULLY THIS FRUIT WILL MAKE ME FLY FARTHER God who gives a crap, oh I drowned, yay.

Listen, do yourself a favor, never make the mistake I keep making by reading interviews with indie game developers. Aside from a racy youtube video where Tale of Tales’ cofounder Auriea Harvey almost shows her boobies, all this sort of hard-hitting, investigative journalism reveals is that most of these guys are pretentious twats who can trigger your punching reflex faster than being cut off in traffic by a mime with an anti-Darwin bumper sticker. Did that motherfucker just wave?

Anyway, Booberry Garden’s creator Erik Svedäng:

Some of my favorite games are Shadow of the Colossus, Starcraft, Go (the board game), Worms and Super Mario Bros 3. I think you can see influences from most of those games in Blueberry Garden.

Hahahahahahahaha, NO.

I also have to mention Nifflas (AKA Swedish indie game dev Nicklas Nygren) and his games Within a Deep Forest and Knytt, they really helped me gather the courage to do something where exploration and mood is more important than a well defined goal. The game is influenced by a lot of other things too… like music (Sagor & Swing, Detektivbyrån, among others) and the Swedish outdoors.

 

: )

 

Two things. One, exploration and mood is just ducky over a well-defined goal, except Blueberry Garden has a well-defined goal and exploration is truncated by the time limit, which kills the mood faster than a dominatrix in Groucho glasses. Two, if that’s what the Swedish outdoors are like, fuck ever visiting that country. No wonder there are so many intelligent hot Swedish chicks, all the dumb ugly dudes died in tragic spelunking accidents THUS EUGENICALLY CLEANSING THE GENE POOL. THAT’S RIGHT, SWEDEN HAS HITLER CAVES.

By the way Sweden – and again, thank you for your hot women, adorable accent, and flagrant disregard for intellectual property, big ups to my Swedish homies – you’re terrible at making games. Please stop. I mean, has anyone seen, much less played, the winners of the annual Swedish Game Awards? Of course you haven’t. Blueberry Garden took the coveted Best Game Concept / Best Game Innovation Award in 2008. The ’09 winner?

 

CARPET WRESTLING.

 

The 2007 winner was Fret Nice, a Super Mario clone meant to be controlled using a guitar peripheral – except by all accounts, the game is more enjoyable when you use a normal controller, thus rendering the concept/innovation that won the game its award null and void. It had neat music though. I guess the qualifications for an award-winning indie game these days is “Doesn’t break/Has neat music.”

Like most indie game devs who garner some modicum of critical praise, Svedäng has been working on an iPhone game. He is collaborating with Swedish artist Niklas Åkerblad and if anything, anyone who happens to look over your shoulder at what you’re doing on your iPhone will probably feel compelled to ask what in God’s name you’re doing:

 

 

Svedäng was recently awarded Sweden’s Most Talented Game Industry Person by Dataspelsbranschen. Wow, guys. Runners-up included the editor in chief of MikroDatorn and the first Swedish dude to finally beat Ms Pac-Man. Just kidding. Maybe. As an aside, this is Dataspelsbranschen’s Managing Editor, Maria Tjärnlund:

 

 

Swedish women. Yes. If Blueberry Garden was just an elaborate ruse to meet Maria, Erik, I totally forgive you. Also, Sweden: I’m on to you guys. No more fuckin’ funny business. You don’t want Bill watching your every move, you can ask Playboy’s 1992 Playmate of the Year Corinna Harney if you don’t believe me.

 

Hi Corinna! How were the cookies (I baked them myself)

   

NEXT: BILL PLAYS ANOTHER TERRIBLE ADVENTURE GAME, INVITES YOU TO LAUGH AT HIM