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Game Maker Games - Desperation
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Review by tapeworm
Like TheAnemic's La La Land series, Desperation packages a moral message in a very short, pixellated, surrealistic game.

The game part is pretty simple--when you're not bouncing down slopes, you run and jump through a series of basic platforming obstacles. Although the gameplay is simple, the presentation is interesting enough and the game short enough that you're not likely to get bored. You may, however, become momentarily frustrated in a few spots before you figure out the nuances of the control scheme. (For example, one thing that's essential but not immediately apparent is that when you bounce off a slope, you can then jump from in the air.)

Desperation represents life, and has several endings based on your choices (that is, where you happen to jump). If you like the game, you'll want to play it through more than once and take the different paths. (There are three.)

Most of the game's music is tuneless and ambient, but it begins with an odd arrangement of Beethoven's Fur Elise. I recently learned the trivial fact that this song is played by garbage collection trucks in some countries, and now I can't help but abstractly connect this to the theme of the game. One other even less useful fact is that the first time I played Desperation, I had a strong feeling that I had dreamed of playing it before.

Finally, here's the moral, as explained by the game's creator:

See those robot-looking things? They represent all those people who ever met who were obsessed with being cool and popular and all of whose opinions were just cliches (i. e. 'Bush sucks'). If you take the easy road through life, then you'll become just like them and find that it gives no satisfaction. If you take the hard road, however (being *gasp* an individual), then it might not be easy or fun, and it might even be lonely, but it's better than the alternative. Or, lastly, you can choose to go insane.

I like the robot ending best, myself. Does this mean I'm a mindless follower?

Creator's Description:

A game about the meaning of life.

Download Desperation (EXE, ~3.3 MB , Suitable for everyone )

View The Enigmatic Jabberwock's Profile

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Opinions about Desperation

Showing: GMG Staff (2) · GMG Users (4)

engaging
100%
artistic
100%
original
100%
strange
100%
challenging
50%
polished
50%
compelling
100%

Overall: recommended

Showing: GMG Staff (2) · GMG Users (4)

engaging
100%
artistic
100%
original
100%
strange
100%
challenging
25%
polished
50%
compelling
75%

Overall: recommended

Recommendations: The 4 people who like Desperation also like the following games.
Comments (Add your own):
2010.10.05 Flashlight
Rating: --

Well, I'm just an old flashlight getting settled in.
2010.08.09 yalmic
Rating: 6

Wah I'm a hollow shell of a man with sad poetry.
I didn't mean to go that way I just fell there.
Weird game and why was there no jump sprite?
Rated 6
2008.01.07 ViciousTurtleGames
Rating: 7

I enjoyed this game. It was short, but in that small time that I played it I found many philosophical messages. Plus, the music was great, blending Classical music with a creepy touch that makes you look at the world in a different way. I especially enjoyed the Fur Elise bits. The length was perfect, giving you a big enough look into Jabberwocks mind without overdoing it. A must play.
2006.12.18 Force
Rating: 7

There is no other game like this. It had a great feelling to it
2006.09.08 pianoforte
Rating: --

This was a very, haunting game (maybe I shouldn't have played it right before I go to sleep :P). It looks simple yet so surreal, but I can't get past the green part (I keep bouncing off walls and dying).
2006.07.26 Rokuji
Rating: 7

It was a really cool surrealistic game, kinda Salvador Dali style. However, this kind of thing isnt as fresh anymore.
2006.07.20 Blah Blah
Rating: --

Ok that game was interesting.. it was definitely eerie and didn't hold much of a challenge. But I suppose that isn't the point of the game. It was fun, however, to see the different ways you can end your life. I don't know how to rate a game like this, it really depends.
2006.07.19 Mechsaurian
Rating: 7

I must admit, the first time I played this game, I felt very disturbed. The ambient 'music' and surrealistic graphical items (such as the constant 'Tv lines' and crying alligator) made me almost certain I was going to have nightmares. But I wanted to play through it a few more times, to get all three endings, of course.

It took me awhile to finally time my jump corectly to get to 'the road less traveled.' I agree with the notion that the robot ending was the best; it was the most meaningful of the three and carried the biggest emotional jolt with it.

I'm suprised that the creator managed to make the graphics so detailed with such a tiny resolution; you could easily tell what everying is, and the pixellation only helped the surreal feel of the game.

Desperation is a very odd experience, but it's worth at least a couple playthroughs. It only takes about 5 minutes to beat the game, but you'll want to see the other endings.

One thing that would have improved the game for me would be more branching paths; I only managed to find one in the entire game (which added an extra room but did nothing else)
2006.07.16 BizSoftware
Rating: 8

A Moral message, great work.
It had a uncanny vibe which caused
me to play over again.
2006.07.11 omnimedium
Rating: 8

I very much enjoyed it.
At first, I was not to impressed(mainly because the control of the character was a bit awkward), but by the end of the first time through, I was a bit more impressed. Right away, I played it again, because I wanted to see the other endings. That time through, I was VERY immpressed. my favirote ending was going insane.
2006.07.11 omnimedium
Rating: --

right, one more thing.
comparing to the Lala land games(which I think are very interesting, and well done)I would say,(when it comes to being well done) that this is quite a bit better than the first, and fourth. at least as good as the second, but not quite as good as the third. Although, story wise, I think I like this game better than the lala land games.
2006.07.04 Jabberwock
Rating: --

Alright, there's a new link up, sorry for the wait.
2006.06.30 AndrewFM
Rating: 7

Well, I played through it again. Its a very nice game. I love how you simulated the different roads by making the simple road through life the easiest ending to get to, and the hardest, the longest, and most frusturating to find.
2006.06.29 Teknogames
Rating: 3

it was cool until it bugged and I got stuck in a wall.
2006.06.29 Jabberwock
Rating: --

Read the readme, don't rate it down just because you found a bug. Press 'x' if you get stuck in a wall.
2006.06.29 Cyberchip
Rating: --

Blow... this game sounds cool.

Jabberwock, could you host it somewhere else?
2006.06.29 Jabberwock
Rating: --

Well, I'm uploading it to 64digits, but I'm afraid you'll have to wait a couple days for it, since you're the only one who doesn't seem to be able to download it.
2006.06.29 Cyberchip
Rating: --

Great, thanks. I blame IE and lag :
2006.06.27 Cyberchip
Rating: --

Invalid download link.

It's been down for two days...
2006.06.27 volando
Rating: --

I love that tune. Even Im not able to get the first platform. Nice concept.
2006.06.27 biggt
Rating: --

This game is great.

Thanks for the gesture.
2006.06.27 Jabberwock
Rating: --

Eh... the link works for me. Is it down for anyone else?

Biggt- thanks.
2006.06.26 Mooseyfates
Rating: --

It's a good game, but in my opinion not as original as others.
2006.06.26 sc(+)pe
Rating: 2

this game sucks, i cant even figure it out. wtf is in the 2nd level. im jumping of walls then dieing constantly... dumb.
2006.06.25 Mooseyfates
Rating: 7

What was once an original concept has turned into another regular gamemaker genre.
2006.06.25 Jabberwock
Rating: --

I got a review, a rating... and a star? I didn't expect this. Mooseyfates- I didn't mean for this to be a really (or even sort of) popular game, and I didn't mean to 'copy' biggt, it was more of a gesture of respect. I just made it for fun, so I hope biggt and his fans (in which category I include myself) aren't mad. It hasn't been contraversial, though, so I guess I'm basically a failure.

I notice you gave it a 7, though.
2006.06.23 virus616
Rating: 8

I beat the game and saw all three endings. A really nice surrealistic game. It gave me the feeling that no matter how you slice life, your still gonna die poorly. Heh, at least my soul was intact. The conforming to the group ending was really nicely done. Even from its bugs still one of my favorite games. These are the type of games I truly love to see with Gamemaker.
2006.06.15 AndrewFM
Rating: --

Thanks for pointing out the X thing. I might try the game again. I only tried it once, then stopped because I got annoyed over getting stuck in the walls before the end. I also didnt realise, since I only played it once, that there were multiple endings, depending on the choices you take... thats really cool... this game might be better than I initially realised. I'll try it again! :)
2006.06.13 Jabberwock
Rating: --

Thanks for the review, tapeworm.
2006.06.03 Goomdaddy
Rating: 6

Good, but not great. Keep up the work.
2006.05.31 AndrewFM
Rating: --

It didn't really have the spark that La La Land had, although it was still pretty nice. I didnt get the message either though :(

Also, its still possible to get stuck in walls, so you might want to fix that ;)
2006.05.31 Jabberwock
Rating: --

Thanks, guys. If you didn't notice, to avoid further updates, I made it possible to commit suicide (press x) if you get stuck because some people don't like it when you update your games too frequently.
2006.05.21 cactus
Rating: 5

I liked the end, but the gameplay could've been a bit better. I didn't get the message :(
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