I realize as I sit down to write this just how difficult it is to explain or describe Space Funeral. You play as Tim in the macabre and bizzare world known only as Space Funeral. Tim is sad — so sad that it’s his class in the game — and he yearns for the meaning of form and the nature of the world, for it was not always as it is now. Join Tim and his domineering companion, Leg Horse, as they search for the answers to this baffling world.
Space Funeral was developed by Stephen ‘thecatamites’ Murphy, who’s made over 50 short games. With such titles as The Astonishing Adventures of Captain Skull and Murder Dog IV, with art styles ranging from pen on paper to 3-D animation Murphy has been making games for almost a decade now. Most of his titles are short and almost all of them are free.
Space Funeral was completed and released on September 17th 2010. It’s competition was Plants Vs. Zombies (Xbox Live Indie Arcade), Cladun: This is an RPG (PSP), and Civilization V (PC).
When I first heard about Space Funeral I heard about Leg Horse, a horse made entirely out of human legs. Hearing this, I almost wanted to dismiss the game out of hand as Youtube fodder that was meant to market to the “Lul, so random,” crowd but I couldn’t resist investigating further. Leg Horse is just the tip of the weirdness ice-berg and what impressed me more is that I came to care about everything. The world of Space Funeral uses its weirdness as an element to tell a story. It serves a very vital purpose without which would destroy the artistic meaning of the game.
Space Funeral is a pretty stock role-playing game with turn based combat. Tim and Leg Horse can attack, defend, use items, or special techniques to thwart their enemies. There are towns and dungeons to explore and all sorts of colorful characters to meet like the Shopkeeper who desires ALL RUBLES — also, the currency of Space Funeral is rubles which has got to count for something. The game could quite easily not be a game at all. The quality of the experience wouldn’t really change if this wasn’t a game. But if it wasn’t a game, if there was no combat, then what would you do? What would it be then?
The music in the games is really good and really creepy. It’s got moody electronica with spoken word lyrics and even some surf rock thrown in for good measure. The music always feels a little out of place and unnerving and I love it because of that.
The game borrows a lot from Earthbound. Enemies are on the field –so the battles aren’t random –, the game is pretty easy, they both have a hellish otherworld — the difference being that in Space Funeral you live in the hellish otherworld–, and Tim even has a mystery command. So if you like Earthbound then you’ll like this game. If you haven’t played Earthbound then you can listen to my long-winded diatribe about it. https://aproximatelytoomanygames.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/earthbound/
This game is wonderfully dark. People live in constant torment or emotional anguish. Beds are coffins with Tim’s body in them. It’s insane and I love it.
This game is extremely easy, strategy is strictly optional here. The game never poses a real challenge at the player, you’ll probably go through the whole game without losing a fight. Despite it’s ease, it’s so weird that it probably wouldn’t be fitting for a newcomer to videogames or RPGs.
I heard the name Space Funeral and knew I should check this game out. The next words out of someone’s face were about something called a Leg Horse and then I knew I HAD to play this game. Throw in a solid thesis, a perfect length, and a kick ass sound track and you’ve got a remarkably balanced and yet compact experience. To top it all off, it’s free. If Space Funeral sounds even remotely appealing to you then I suggest you check it out.
You can find Space Funeral and thecatanites’ other games at: http://harmonyzone.org/Videogames.html
Next week: Tetris Attack (SNES)