The Austin Chronicle

A Game for Every Weirdo at Fantastic Arcade

Fest celebrates the outer reaches of video games

By James Renovitch, November 17, 2017, Screens

Supposedly there are two types of people in the world: those who play video games and those who don't. At Fantastic Arcade that latter group is better defined as those who haven't found the right game yet. The annual event – that broke away from its sibling Fantastic Fest this year – celebrates all things weird, niche, and avant-garde again with more than 40 games that cater to all shades of art lovers.

Tickets for the talks and tournaments are sold out, but the free-to-play games will be available to the public in the Barrel O' Fun lounge all weekend. Do you want to take control of a webbed-foot troublemaker? Try Untitled Goose Game. Want to prevent a gunshot aimed toward the heart of creation? Genesis Noir is for you. Perhaps consoling loved ones while keeping a funeral home solvent is more your speed. A Mortician's Tale will be a good fit. And Disco Bear is pretty much what it sounds like. Other characters include a clumsy robot, a meticulous warehouse steward, a man stuck in a cauldron, and many more.

In addition to all those are six games commissioned specifically for the festival and retrofitted into custom arcade cabinets. We asked a handful of these spotlight developers to describe their creations.

Fernando Ramallo: "It involves a character named Mario that jumps around and also the American health care system."

Conor McCann: "The art style is fairly minimal with a Bauhaus influence. ... Basically you just need to get from A to B, but your player is constantly going in a circle to the right."

Kyle Reimergartin: "My game is an extrusion of my favorite words and numbers. Some of them are 2, 8, 360, everlastic, 18, 36, captured beast, 3:37, blood, captured beast, X247, shareware. I tried to create space for a gradient of similar moods."

That's just a smattering of the strangeness headed to town, so if none of the aforementioned works strike a chord in your heart and mind, there's still hope. Come out and find a game that fits your unique brand of weirdness.

Fantastic Arcade Opening Night Party

Thu., Nov. 16, 8pm, Scratchouse (617 E. Seventh)
Featuring Sleep∞Over, DJs KidKO and Fitnez, and games from Bar SK, Australia.

Fantastic Arcade

Fri.-Sun., Nov. 17-19, Alamo Mueller (1911 Aldrich #120)
See for schedule and more information.

Starcade & Fantastic Arcade Awards

Sun., Nov. 19, 5pm, Barrel O' Fun (1911 Aldrich Ste. 120-B)

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