I’m not even gonna pretend like I know what’s going on in this game. You play as some sort of soldier in a post-apocalyptic world. I don’t even know if the character is human or not– I do know that by the head banging he does he must be listening to some bitchin’ tunes. Run, Jump, Shoot, Explore and try to figure out what the hell is going on in this shooter platformer.
All of Our Friends Are Dead was developed by Benjamin Braden under the pseudonym Amon 26. Braden suffers from chronic nightmares and uses the things that he sees to create the frightening imagery in the game. The game is just that, an opportunity for him to shoot and kill these nightmarish creatures.
Fun Fact: He’s been doing the music for Anna Anthropy after she “took him under her wing”.
All of Our Friends Are Dead was released on March 24, 2009. It was super Indie, released for pay what you want, and was comparatively unknown BUT it’s competition was Freaky Creatures (PC), The Last Remnant (PC), and Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Adventures (PC).
Whenever I get into a spooky mood and have someone around who’s also down for the spook who likes spectating games I pull out this one. It’s short, bitter, and is filled with all sorts of bizarre images and sounds. It’s a compact package. A bullet of insanity that strikes at my heart. I remember playing it at my cousin’s and keeping us both rapt until the wee hours of the morning marveling at the strange sights.
The gameplay is really simple in this game. You can run and shoot. Anything that moves and looks like Cthulhu would call it kin is probably an enemy.
The platforming is pretty solid and comfortably smooth. There are jump pads that allow the player to jump and reach areas that would normally be inaccessible.
You die in one hit but the game has a quick save and quick load function using the F5 and F6 keys. They’re a little out of the way but I think that prevents players from spamming them.
It’s not game that’s about its controls, mechanics, or story. It’s a little mysterious but it’s really about taking in the spectacle. It also might come as a bit of a challenge, the enemies don’t make this one easy on you.
The backgrounds for this game are minimalist but very satisfying. White dots falling turn to a rain of ash and red static becomes bizarre chaos through the lens of imagination.
The sound design for this game is shockingly impressive. There isn’t really any music but there is atmospheric noise that fills my heart with dread and confusion.
I love the poem that ends this game. It’s nearly nihilistic nonsense but it’s rhyme and cadence are wonderful nevertheless.
If I had one complaint its that the game isn’t very long. I beat it in an hour and I explored all the nooks and died a lot. But for the low cost of a dollar or free it’s impossible to complain.
In the dead of night, in the right mindset this game can deliver some serious scares in a short amount of time. But as it stands, the game is very simple and serves as a stepping stone toward Au-Sable (It’s spiritual sequel) and the talent of its creator.
Next Thursday: Machinarium