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Rating: 4.4/5 (27 votes)
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MiddensJohnBAfter playing John Clowder's Middens, you might ask yourself the following question: what just happened? Calling this adventure/RPG "surreal" is a bit like saying a hike to the moon would be a bit of a trek. You start off with a talking gun who reminds you that each time you pull the trigger, its tongue will be close enough to lick your nails. Then you're dropped in the Rift, a place where... well, who knows what's going on there. The surprising part is Middens actually begins to make sense after a while, though your first experience with the game will be filled with delightful, bewildered confusion.

Move using the [arrow] keys, initiate conversations and confirm actions by tapping the [spacebar], and bring up the menu screen with [x]. Battles are turn-based and will be somewhat recognizable for anyone who has played an RPG. Don't expect simple "Attack" or "Defend" menu options, though. Instead, Middens is all about "Trigger" and "Prowess", commands that roughly correspond to simple actions but are still a bit out there at first glance. Also, you can summon battle companions named Lam, Yam, and Om. We'll let the game explain that one to you on your own.

We won't risk telling you anything additional about this swirling collection of concepts and dreamlike visions that is Middens. We will say there are two different endings, collectible nemotodes, hundreds of pieces of original artwork (both pixel and watercolor images), and pieces of dialogue taken from occult sources and the last words of serial killers. The game is an experience, one that will probably delight and shock you all at the same time.

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John Clowder's Middens seemingly evokes the uncanny debate about video games being art in this wild experience. As stated in an interview, he claims that one should step into the middens world, not seeing it as a game, but as a journey with RPG elements. It's difficult to put into words on how to describe this surreal adventure since everyone will experience it differently. In playing it, one piece of famous art come to my mind and that's
Ren� Magritte's - "This is not a pipe."
Both are works of art that challenges the way you think and feel philosophically about the world around you.

Being tossed into this world, you will feel lost without a sense of direction at first (much like Yume Nikki) but the story will unravel as you explore. Middens is mostly about exploration and if I can offer one piece of advice, don't feel compelled to map out this world, it's near impossible and fretting over mapping it may ruin your experience.
Enjoy the game for what it is as it's dark underlining story slowly pulls you deeper into the rift where John has creatively hand crafted all of the art himself.

Minor tips (also included in the readme)

-Use items sparingly as there are no "shops" in the game.

-Targets that are fought do not return. Remember this.

-Vermis are powerful but sacred.

-Save to replenish your health.

-Frequently exploit your proxies. They will level up as you do and often accrue new skills.
(Lam is physically powerful. Om is gifted in healing and Yam is gifted in malice)

-Don't let all that 'nothing' weigh you down.

-Remember your guitar. It can manipulate most anything.


By the way, this is a hidden gem and you all need to play it now. Go! HURRY!!!


Hey, is anyone else having trouble finding the "talent menu"? I feel like I am missing something obvious, but I can't locate the guitar...sigh.


Yay!!! Thank you so much for the help :D


Cool! Btw, there is also a Mac version of Middens, as stated in the news section of the game's official website. It's available through several websites; just google middens+mac+game


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