Teaching Nerds How NOT to Love with Silver Dollar Games
I am the sort of man whom game companies fall all over themselves to seduce. I'm sweaty, pale, awkward, and spend too much money on video games. There are many of us, especially among XBox 360 owners. We are the most stereotypically "gamer" group of console owners. The XBox 360 doesn't have motion control like the Wii or a blu-ray player like the Playstation 3. It just plays games really well. That's why hardcore gamers like me prefer it amongst all the consoles, and probably why Silver Dollar Games chose it as the platform on which to peddle their wares.
I became aware of Silver Dollar Games after downloading the trial version of one of their games on a bored Saturday whim. It's called Office Affairs, and the thumbnail picture in the XBox Live Indie Game (XBLIG) marketplace was so hammy I had to take a free trial-version peek.
The game begins with the protagonist jumping off a roof, and from there gameplay has two parts: guiding the suicidal main character around pieces of furniture as he falls to this death (even though if he's jumped off a building he wouldn't care if he hit a well-timed piano on the way down right?) and making binary choices related to fixing the poor sap's life. The former is arbitrarily gamey, and the latter downright silly. Neither was fun. Some quick web research into Silver Dollar's catalog had me intrigued enough to sample a few more of their games, though. Free trials, of course, despite the $1 and $3 price tags.
I'm glad I didn't waste any of my dollars.
Some title highlights: Dont B Nervous Talking 2 Girls (their spelling on the XBLIG marketplace), Fortune Cookies In Bed, and Advanced Rock Paper Scissors. If you're not already convinced that each of these games is a Mario-level classic, go download and try them. They're terrible.
Video game developers offend me all the time. I've played horrible games before, but what I experienced playing the trial versions of several of Silver Dollar Games products offended me in a way I'm not used to. Not with bad game design or low production values, although they have those things. They offend me with taste.
I have seen bad jokes involving feces, decapitation, and cannibalism in games. But nothing prepared me for the degrading attitude these games assumed towards women, men, and people in general. The male gamer is reduced to a misanthropic nobody, the woman to a three-step sliding block puzzle that produces a phone number. Neither is a favorable image to project into society. The presence of both in the Silver Dollar products I sampled today has driven my indie-game-loving wallet away from them for good.
Here are some of their fine works that I was able to demo today: