The recent TIGSource Commonplace Book Competition has ended, yielding heaps of creative, unusual, and slightly dark games. Entrants were challenged with using a line from H.P. Lovecraft's "Commonplace Book", a notebook of disjointed, cryptic ideas, and create a game around these snippets of text. Below are a few of the top picks as chosen by the TIGSource community.
Verge (Windows, 7MB, free) - A 2D platformer (featured in a previous Weekend Download) created by the developer of Bonesaw that took first place in the TIGSource competition. Take control over the unnamed protagonist who must travel between two worlds in order to solve simple puzzles. Impassable blocks in your way? All you have to do is die — that's right, go step on some spikes, Karoshi style — and you'll be transported to the flipped underworld where you'll likely find a way to get through. But be careful, as enemies in this dark realm will attach to you and steal your energy, so make your trip through the underworld a short one.
From Primordial Egg (Windows, 2MB, free) - Nabbing second place in the competition is From Primordial Egg, a unique take on the platforming genre where you play a dinosaur trampling across the landscape kicking and eating archaeologists in order to stay healthy and evolve. The best part of the game is the enemy AI. Watch as the little guys scramble about in search of something (bones, shovels) to hit the stampeding dinosaur with!
Eversion (Windows, 8.2MB, free) - Another 2D platformer with a twist, this one casts you in a colorful world with happy graphics, bouncy music, and smiling blocks to brighten your way as you collect gems scattered throughout the land. Oh, and then there are "eversion spots", places you can stand and switch the game from normal to slightly more creepy mode where some of the game's objects change, such as clouds becoming solid. Use both modes to collect all of the gems in each world.
Lost in Eldritch (Windows, 4.8MB, free) - A moody platformer with physics slightly reminiscent of more realistic 2D games such as Out of this World and Flashback (though without the climbing). The story is told with text-only cutscenes that really add to the dark feeling the game evokes so well.
Theatre of Cruelty (Mac/Windows/Linux, 3MB, free) - A text-only adventure that doesn't mess around when it comes to a Lovecraftian setting and mood. Two download options are available: one that contains only the .z8 gamefile (good if you already have an interpreter), and another that includes Windows Frotz and Mac Zoom.