We may actually honestly be nearing end-times when an Old Spice adver-game is suddenly a very serious contender for November and December’s web-gaming-best, but here we are, and Dikembe Mutombo’s 4 1/2 Weeks to Save the World very easily could be.
The idea might come as less of a shock when you consider the all-star team at the heart of it: Canabalt creator Adam Saltsman along with his Capsule cohort Robin Arnott, artist Paul Veer & musician Jukio ‘Kozilek‘ Kallio — both behind the other Venus Patrol-exclusive game, Gun Godz — and artist Sven ‘ptoing‘ Ruthner, best known (or maybe should-be-best-known) for his work on 2008 action-tunneler Thrustburst.
Working with ad agency Wieden & Kennedy, the team were tasked with coming up with a new, full mini-game every week straight through to the Mayan apocalypse, the second (and stronger of both so far) of which has launched today. Shown at top, it’s a multi-tiered mine-cart action game that doesn’t fall that far from the tree Saltsman & Veer planted for their Hunger Games movie tie-in Girl on Fire, and continues the overall initiative’s reliance on a steady-stream of non-sequitur jokes.
It’s those “no idea turned down” jokes that seem to be giving the project its vitality — between handing retired basketball champ and game-star Mutombo an insane script for him to deadpan his way through (with shades of the way TV cult-classic Fishing With John played with its own narrator) and the punch-drunk exhaustion that must come from providing a new, polished design every five days, the games have the same raw enthusiasm as any from a typical game jam.
Three more ‘current event’-ish games will be released up to the December 17th deadline, a countdown to which you can watch via the vaguely terrifying computer-aided Mayan calendar carving live-cam happening behind the scenes: play the first two now to make sure you’re caught up on the non-storyline as it develops.
Some awesome news finally starting to surface surrounding GameCity 7, the latest yearly festival taking place in Nottingham, October 20th through the 27th: Adam Saltsman & Robin Arnott’s Venus Patrol-exclusive game Capsule will be turned into “an exclusive theatrical presentation… with sensory deprivation elements taking place in a refrigerated area.”
Dubbed “the world’s slowest theme park ride ever”, GameCity explains that the so-called “Capsule Capsule” will see players “undergo special training on Earth before stepping into their spaceship to explore the dark, cold confines of space, battling dwindling oxygen and power levels while searching for answers to a slowly unravelling mystery.”
Venus Patrol Kickstarter backers & subscribers will probably immediately understand exactly how & why this is going to be amazing: the rest of you may want to consider a membership to the site for a copy of the game to better prepare yourself for the event later this month.
You can find more information about the Capsule Capsule at GameCity’s site, where there might also be some other interesting news coming in the next few days…