Crypt Worlds

Created by Lillith, Crypt Worlds is an incredibly weird game. A DIY first person game, Crypt Worlds is like a 3D clip art Elder Scrolls game, only smaller and weirder and so much more intense. There’s no combat, only really two or three quests, and an array of weird and barely explained mechanics strewn throughout the half dozen locations and dozens of NPCs (most of them identical versions of each other). Your only interactions are a jump, an interact, and the ability to piss, which you charge up by eating food and you use to uncover golden bugs (for no discernible reason) from holes or to irritate the strange people you encounter.

Crypt Worlds is charmingly bizarre, a psychedelic cartoon in video game form, refreshingly entertaining in its weirdness even as the pointlessness of its many quests is its own form of (deliberate, it seems) existential oppression. I wouldn’t go so far as to call its Byzantine quests and environments ‘fun’ in a traditional sense, but its weirdness is so novel and so earnest that I was left hours later wishing that more games could emulate this.

Who gives a shit about a Viking analog going on about their boring fantasy Viking politics when instead you can get a bevy of skull-men worshiping the Burgs they eat from the fast food place? How about the strange fact that the villain you’re told will destroy the world in 50 days is just hanging out near the one who sent you to find him and the guards who are also tasked with his arrest? Nobody seems too put out by that, because they’re all in the rooms to which they’re assigned. Only the Player can violate the status quo, and so everyone is locked into a sort of devil may care fatalism that borders on outright sunny ambivalence.

The whole thing is unsettling and absurd and totally arresting in its pure lack of traditional anything. You’re either going to be sucked into it or completely and immediately repelled. I think it’s incredible, but the only real measure is to try it for yourself. Go, piss, be free. 

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