In The Greenhouse

Do you remember being highly curious as a toddler? What about how excited you got at the sight of a climbing frame or a slide?

All of the games in this week's Pocket Dimension have been 100% approved by children. There are structures to climb, holes to poke fingers in, weird woods to explore, and even a park to run around and piss in. Lovely.

p.s. This collection of games is for anyone who is in need of a pick-me-up. Come: play, skip through these playgrounds.

(I'm in a bit of a silly mood as well today, sorry.)


Gay Cats Go To The Weird Weird Woods (Anna Anthropy)

Gay Cats Go To The Weird Weird Woods

Why play it? Imagine Proteus taking off its top, beating its chest with two sharp fists, and then challenging every puzzle game in the world to a mud wrestling match with a mighty roar. That's what Gay Cats is, and the puzzle games lose tremendously.

Well, I say puzzle game, but the puzzles are less of something to work out in your head and more of a hidden characteristic of each level that you have to find through exploration.

Hence, Gay Cats is about the ecstatic joy of nature blossoming as you tread your paws upon it: flowers bloom, owls toot, fairies sparkle. All of the sounds have a pleasant onomatopoeia to them -- tinkles, parps, dings, and squirts. If you need more of an incentive to play, just know that the ending is perfect and I haven't stopped smiling about it since.

Download here (Windows)


In the Greenhouse (Konstantin Kopka)

In the Greenhouse

Why play it? Bring all your Pro Gamer skills so you can 360 no-scope a dead tree to bring it back to life.

Instead of a gun you have a "laser of positivity" and fire it fast and far. You shoot up the place with rainbows, bringing about peace and love on a muddy island where there is none.

Jump into the volcano that exudes love hearts and pink steam. Triple backflip scope a flower from the top of a bridge. You need to find all of the skeleton girls. When you zap them, they shout "whee" over and over. It's annoying. You may have gone over the top with the gatling gun lovestreak reward.

Play on Game Jolt (Browser)


Bad Climbing (Strangethink)

Bad Climbing

Why play it? Let me ask you again: do you remember the joy of seeing a giant climbing frame in the distance as a child? If you haven't had that experience, Bad Climbing will let you have it over and over again. And then some more.

It's a programming error that turned death malls into climbing frames of doom. They're all procedurally generated and so the puzzle becomes one of engineering a path upwards when one hasn't been pre-designed. It's you fighting against the result of code jumbling together flat platforms into brutalist structures.

Reaching the top is an elating victory. Falling down is collecting 99 rings in Sonic The Hedgehog and then running into an apathetic Motobug -- rings spilling in hypnotic tides of bouncing gold.

Play on itch.io (Browser)


String Theory (Omiya Games)

String Theory

Why play it? One of the levels in String Theory asked me to find the exit door. I turned around, and with my magical fishing pole, effortlessly picked up the entire level's objects that populated the floor so that they floated in the air like a giant kite.

"There it is," I said to myself, and strode on over to the door.

This happens again and again. It still hasn't got old.

Download on itch.io (Windows, Mac, Linux)


DOGFORCE (Cut Garnet Games)

DOGFORCE

Why play it? DOGFORCE is a really good title. It lets you know what you're in for. Namely: canine debauchery. You're given 45 seconds of freedom as a dog inside a park. Importantly, everything is fascinating in how it reacts to your dog energy. You're just too much to handle.

It's possible to become maniacal in less than a minute while playing DOGFORCE (capital letters, always). You just have so much joy to release that you can get caught up in the chase and, as you're a dog, you don't need to think about the consequences.

Pee on everything, run around, chase birds, get wet, shake off your fur and annoy that guy trying to read the Sunday newspaper on the park bench to escape his hyped-up kids that get their milk teeth all over the house and his wife has to call her mother for help for the third time this week, "God" she says on the phone, "it's like being a single parent, I tell ya."

Be a really happy dog.

Download on itch.io (Windows, Mac, Linux)


Finger Simulator (Mario von Rickenbach, Michael Frei)

Finger Simulator

Why play it? Kids, and babies especially, tend to shove their fingers into every hole they see. Some parents panic about this, a lot of them probably, but it's a necessary part of how we learn about the danger and delights of the world around us.

That's the kind of experience Finger Simulator is. You pull fingers poking out from small holes and shove them into other holes. This creates letters out of these criss-crossing digits. By the time you get to 'O', you'll probably have worn your face into a permanent grimace. It's disturbing seeing part of our bodies repurposed, stretching and curling beyond what we're familiar. Also kind of sexy(??).

Play here (Browser)

Download on the App Store (iOS)