Okkervil River Goes 8-Bit
An adventure game to promote 'The Silver Gymnasium'
By James Renovitch, 2:00PM, Thu. Aug. 22
It's a whole new world out there in the world of promoting and selling music. It's gotten so bad (or good) that indie stalwarts Okkervil River have taken to the internet with an episodic video game featuring throwback graphics that harken back to the heyday of Sierra On-Line (King's Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, etc.). Prepare to enter the Silver Gymnasium.
The game features a preteen, pixilated, and vaguely Will Sheff-y looking character who goes to find his older sister and ends up on an adventure that takes him to the corner store, the library, and the spooky mausoleum. The Okkervil frontman's co-writing credit is readily apparent in the myriad literature, film, and musical references ranging from Jorge Luis Borges to Jean Claude Van Damme to Phil Lynott. What might be surprising to fans of the group is the chip-tune music accompanying your short journey was written by the usually analog-heavy Sheff. Benjamin Miles of design group Eyes & Ears helped write the story and shape the game.
The game is named for their album set to release early next month. Only the first chapter of The Silver Gymnasium: The Game has been released, and like any good episodic work, it ends with one doozy of a cliffhanger.
Click if you're ready to play.