Nerd Monkeys are doing something quite interesting with SGC – Short Games Collection #1, as you are getting not one game for the price but five titles in one. This is a bizarre collection that will make you laugh, scratch your head, and genuinely keep you entertained.
So how are these 5 games in the SGC – Short Games Collection #1? Since this is a collection, I will be reviewing each title individually and score based on the package. Without further adieu, let’s get this party started!
SGC – Short Games Collection #1
The underwater dynamic menu is absolutely stellar and beautifully made. It is a bit slow navigating to the different titles, but it is a serene setting that adds to the overall experience (You can press + to access a quicker menu for easier navigation). I will be reviewing each game from the first one after the credits to the last one before the credits in that order, so here we go.
The Good Time Garden
First up, it is The Good Time Garden by James Carbutt and Will Todd, where you need to gather up “food” for your supposed friend in this surreal and abstract pink world. The setting and theme is quite bizarre, as the dialog is mostly toilet humor with private parts talked about regularly and visuals also catering towards such. Even your nameless main character is flashing his bits and butt as you move around the world.
Honestly, though, the graphics and animation are superb. Very beautiful and fluid that it is almost a shame that the humor leans too heavily on “butthole” references and orgasmic sounds.
This is technically a puzzle game, but the actual puzzles are quite simple, as the experience is more about the shock of the happenings than it is about the challenge of the game. Overall, though, The Good Time Garden is still a solid little title that is well worth the short time to play. It is just not suitable for young children… or maybe it is, depending on your values.
Ghostein, by Parampara, tells the story of a little boy who gets the help of a ghost to escape a concentration camp during World War II. This is an incredibly challenging title where the boy’s movements are determined by the signs you put up as the ghost. The little boy trusts your signs, so you must tell him to go left, go right, stop, and hide when it is all appropriate.
If a Nazi officer catches you, it is game over, and this will return you to the beginning of the game. Thankfully, this is a short one (As is the case for all of these SGC – Short Games Collection #1 titles), so after you learn how to control the game, helping the little boy to escape becomes easier and easier.
The setting is dark and grim, and the sounds lend to a terrifying experience where the end result is escape or death. Ghostein is powerful storytelling in a simple narrative setting, and this is an absolute must-play in the collection.
Swallow the Sea
Made by Maceo bob Mair and Nicholas Delgado, Swallow the Sea is about survival. You play as a lowly egg cell making your way through a dangerous sea. You need to prey on tiny creatures to grow, avoid being eaten, and hopefully hatch at the end and experience birth. This is a solid little action title where you need to prioritize yourself: eat or be eaten.
This is a dark little world where you are placed in the roll of one of the most vulnerable creatures in the ocean, and seeing how hard it is to make to a hatchling gives you more appreciation for the creatures under the sea who make it all the way to their final stages.
Swallow the Sea is a fun yet terrifying adventure that thankfully supports checkpoints as you progress. The look, sound, and feel of this one immerses you into a world that most humans do not understand. That alone is why this is a great little title to experience.
A Game About Literally Doing Your Taxes
I have to be honest, just reading this title made me laugh out loud. Something about the direct communication about something so regular in the midst of all of these abstract titles just through me for a loop. A Game About Literally Doing Your Taxes by Not a Sailor Studios is a game that is exactly what it states, and for whatever reason, it is weirdly fun.
Okay, it is not exactly what it says. This is another bizarre title in the SGC – Short Games Collection #1. What starts off as a game sifting important mail and junk mail quickly turns into something a bit more insane. A Game About Literally Doing Your Taxes has less to do with taxes and more to do with the mundane nature of life and how some people cope with it.
It is a good laugh and a solid short experience, but of all the titles in this collection, it is the one I will find myself least going back to in the future.
Not a Game Studio rounds off the SGC – Short Games Collection #1 with possibly the most abstract and strange of the bunch. URANUS is a colorful, seizure-inducing experience where you are racing to your death inside the head of an angel. Yeah. You read that correctly. This is basically a competitive game where you try to defeat your opponent by creating lines for them to run into, a concept similar to something like Qix, although this is pinning two people against each other.
URANUS can be played in both single player against an AI or local multiplayer where two players battle it out. As you are moving around the sphere, you leave a line behind you, and if either player hits the opposing line, they lose their progress and ability to explode. Exploding 7 times is how you win, and in order to do so, you need to close your eye in a given round. In order to close your eye, you need to keep moving without running into your opponent’s line.
This is a rather complex and challenging multiplayer game, but the flashing colors are definitely a bit distracting. Since this is the only multiplayer experience in the entire collection, this may have the most replay value by default.
Overall, SGC – Short Games Collection #1 is a great collection of five unique and entertaining games. They are all quite short, which definitely affects the replay value, but each title is definitely worth your time and attention. There are some standouts like Ghostein and a super-fun multiplayer in URANUS, but each title definitely brings their strengths to the table.
One weird issue that threw me off is the ratings, as one game is the reason for its M-rating (The Good Time Garden), and I find that to be a strange decision for a collection as the M-rating prevents a younger audience from enjoying some of the other titles. However, I will say that the rest of the collection definitely leans more towards an adult audience, but I am curious of the decision to group these particular 5 games together.
Despite that, SGC – Short Games Collection #1 is well worth your time and money. These are some great little indie games that pack a serious punch in a short amount of time. This may not be a AAA experience by any measure, but that does not matter. This is a collection of titles that can be considered art, and there are times we need to put the guns down in our games and enjoy the abstract.
A solid collection of short games
Gorgeous dynamic menu
Great humor and narratives sprinkled throughout
Low replay value
Weird mix of adult games and casual games
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My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.