Interacting with the blinded scientist, Patrick, in the game Intercom.

Does it ever feel like you need superpowers, money, or an audience to be a hero? Not so in Intercom, by J. J. Morgan. You can be a real hero by simply pressing space to beep.

You find Patrick, a laboratory assistant, stuck blinded in his lab. Using the beeps of your intercom, you invent a beep-based language to help Patrick sense and escape the traps of the lab. With a few short levels of adventure, and coming up with new beep sequences, you'll be able to get him to safety.

This game came in 2nd place in the GMTK Jam 2019, with the theme "only one," which is masterfully applied by only having one way for you to interact with Patrick. (A more-polished variant of this game would be perfect for a particular playful handheld I'm excited for.) It's short and sweet; you'll be through it in 5 minutes.

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The flowery bird boy you befriend and help heal, in Compassion.

Compassion is a narrative experience game by Ivan Papiol, about getting help when you're in pain.

You encounter an injured bird, in need of help. When you interact with the bird, the thoughts that appear on-screen reflect more gloomy thoughts about how you deal with pain. Poking the bird with a stick explores the ways you can pull away when someone tries to be there and care for you. Offering the bird some flowers dives into the validation and, well, the compassion you can feel when you open up and let others provide help. If you think about it, in a way, that bird is almost like yourself.

This game carries a tang of extra meaning for me. If you check the archive of this site, things slowed down in July. I had a hard time dealing with some things going on in my life, and figuring out how to navigate the road ahead hasn't been easy.

You can't erase pain, but it's easier when you're taking my hand.

Caring for my flowery bird boy was somehow the highlight of my day. It's games and experiences like this that reenergize me. I'm gonna come back to this game when it feels like the sticks and rocks are clouding my judgment.

The old man talking to the fish in Under What?

Under What? is an interactive visual comic by Dan Gartman. It’s an adorable little tale of a fisherman who falls in the water and has some unexpected lovely banter with an old fish under the sea.

The art of this game shines brightly—you can tell the game is made by an artist with a sharp eye for visual storytelling. The sequence where the fisherman falls into the water really makes it feel like you’re drifting downward with him, even though you’re just watching a short visual comic. The vignette of the fish city has such a vibrant and alive atmosphere, I almost want it as a framed painting in my house.

The fisherman falling into water.

Though the game is most potent for its art, the writing isn't all that bad either. You make small talk with the fish, and you're also subjected to few semi-philosophical questions. It's also got a few punchy jokes—if you (the fisherman) quip that it stinks like fish, the fish retorts, “have you ever had to smell smoked people?”

Under What? is a short and sweet little experience—it’ll take fifteen minutes of your time and give you a few laughs. It's a great sort of game to click through with your morning coffee. Under What? is available on itch.io for Windows.

A horde of shoppers in Eat The Rich, furiously shopping for the best deals. (Screenshot)

Eat The Rich is a…satirical capitalist shopping simulator? Yeah, that’s probably a good way to describe it.

You take indirect control of a mob of puffy pink eraser people who are stampeding a department store on Black Friday, grabbing and buying everything you can find. Fetch all the TVs, shopping carts, and toilets you can, and run out with the sweet, sweet savings.

This game had me giggling like a fool. It feels like a perfect juxtaposition of Octodad and Happy Wheels in all the best, silly ways. The blobby eraser people flail around with such absurdity that, when you take control, you can’t help but just laugh as they stumble about the world, falling over themselves trying to navigate around the store.

It's Black Friday: Enter the shop, grab items, buy items, score sweet savings.

And how can I forget Jeff Bezos! You’re literally running around a store named Bezos. Literally taking all the money and extra savings to be had from the capitalist-king himself. It doesn't get better than this, folks.

Truthfully, this game is closer to a short prototype, but the content that’s here is just so silly and compelling that it’s absolutely worth it to spend ten minutes and go through the content that’s here. There’s no failure condition as far as I can tell, just pure silliness.

You’ll spend ten minutes crying with laughter while playing Eat The Rich, and it’s available on itch.io for Windows.

One of the main characters of Jamsterdam, crossing a bridge over a canal in Amsterdam.

Jamsterdam is an adorable mini-game about trying to be a jazz musician in Amsterdam.

As a struggling musician in Amsterdam trying to make ends meet, you pick up a singing gig alongside a canal, as passersby throw coins for you to collect. Your cap, full of coins, slowly depletes as bills come in. Dwindling on your last coins, your world slowly turns to gray, and your music moves from freeform jazz to something more of a funeral dirge. All until you can’t pay your last bills—ending your gameplay.

The game brings whimsy and spirit to the act of feeding the capitalist machine. The vibrancy of colors is tied to how much cash you have on hand. It also seems that, in Amsterdam, no one has a sense of aim, so the denizens throw their coins everywhere, including nonsensical places, like the canal. When you’re short on cash, your dash for coins becomes even more hectic.

Was I a good singer in Jamsterdam? Well, let’s say I really embraced freeform jazz.

Jamsterdam is short, adorable, and gets its point across quickly. You’ll enjoy the few minutes you spend in it. Jamsterdam was made by nothke and Ferran, with procedural music from YenTing Lo. It is available on itch for Windows, macOS, and web.

There's more to be seen!