After 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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