Bio
Queer historian

Writer at BumpCombat.net

Not writing here anymore.

they/them
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GOTY '23

Participated in the 2023 Game of the Year Event

Early Access

Submitted feedback for a beta feature

Pinged

Mentioned by another user

Epic Gamer

Played 1000+ games

GOTY '22

Participated in the 2022 Game of the Year Event

Treasured

Gained 750+ total review likes

Famous

Gained 100+ followers

Adored

Gained 300+ total review likes

Trend Setter

Gained 50+ followers

Loved

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Well Written

Gained 10+ likes on a single review

Popular

Gained 15+ followers

Best Friends

Become mutual friends with at least 3 others

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Liked 50+ reviews / lists

Roadtrip

Voted for at least 3 features on the roadmap

Shreked

Found the secret ogre page

Gone Gold

Received 5+ likes on a review while featured on the front page

Elite Gamer

Played 500+ games

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Created 10+ public lists

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Created a list folder with 5+ lists

Busy Day

Journaled 5+ games in a single day

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Gained 10+ total review likes

On Schedule

Journaled games once a day for a week straight

3 Years of Service

Being part of the Backloggd community for 3 years

GOTY '21

Participated in the 2021 Game of the Year Event

GOTY '20

Participated in the 2020 Game of the Year Event

Gamer

Played 250+ games

N00b

Played 100+ games

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Favorite Games

The Exit 8
The Exit 8
Ramen Oil Pecking Simulator
Ramen Oil Pecking Simulator
Kazoe Meshi
Kazoe Meshi
Forklift Load
Forklift Load
Yakiniku Simulatior
Yakiniku Simulatior

1230

Total Games Played

055

Played in 2024

000

Games Backloggd


Recently Played See More

Another Crab's Treasure
Another Crab's Treasure

May 08

Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time
Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

Apr 28

BioShock Infinite
BioShock Infinite

Apr 22

Citizen Sleeper
Citizen Sleeper

Apr 15

Frostpunk
Frostpunk

Apr 14

Recently Reviewed See More

Far and away the most egregiously misguided attempt at myth-making in games history. This isn't the worst game ever. It's not the weirdest game ever. It is not the 'first American produced visual novel.' Limited Run Games seems content to simply upend truth and provenance to push a valueless narrative. The 'so bad it's good' shtick serves only to lessen the importance of early multimedia CD-ROM software, and drenching it in WordArt and clip art imparts the notion that this digital heritage was low class, low brow, low effort, and altogether primitive.

This repackaging of an overlong workplace sexual harassment/rape joke is altogether uncomfortable at best. Further problematising this, accompanying merch is resplendent with Edward J. Fasulo's bare chest despite him seemingly wanting nothing to do with the project. We've got industry veterans and games historians talking up the importance of digital detritus alongside YouTubers and LRG employees, the latter making the former less credible. We've got a novelisation by Twitter 'comedian' Mike Drucker. We've got skate decks and body pillows and more heaps of plastic garbage for video game 'collectors' to shove on a dusty shelf next to their four colour variants of Jay and Silent Bob Mall Brawl on NES, cum-encrusted Shantae statue, and countless other bits of mass-produced waste that belongs in a landfill. Utterly shameful how we engage with the past.

Bonus Definitive Edition content:
Limited Run Games is genuinely one of the most poorly managed companies on earth and I will never forgive them for giving me a PS5 copy of Cthulhu Saves Christmas instead of what I had actually ordered, a System Shock boxart poster. They also keep sending me extra copies of Jeremy Parish's books. Please, I do not need three copies of Virtual Boy Works.

It is easy to be dismissive. Be it art, people, food, events, the rapid, continual pace of consumption necessitates the compartmentalisation and categorisation of happenings. One can be dismissive in the positive and in the negative. The complex emotions elicited through our lives fade as quickly as they arise. Perhaps it is a consequence of language, an inability to express the phenomenon of experience. A meal's interplay of tantalising nostalgic aroma and comforting warmth in the belly is, for most of our lives, recalled as good - if it is remembered at all. A film is so bad it's good, some self-fulfilling label that sets expectations and ebbs the need for analysis of artistic merit and failure. A book is well-written. Your ex is a bitch. Last Christmas was good.

In the new hyperactive mode, wherein consumption happens largely for the sake of consumption, categorisation happens more readily, more aggressively, less critically. A director is washed. Your favourite is 🐐-ed. Films are kino or coal. Aesthetics are reduced to haphazard strictures, art pinned as frutiger aero, frasurbane, girlypunk neo-Y2K vectorheart nu-brute. Games are flavour of the month, kusoge, kamige, kiige, bakage, normiecore. Bring something up, and everyone has an opinion, a rote repetition of regurgitated refuse. Exhibit passion for that outside the zeitgeist, and be lambasted. Convey discontent with the beloved, be accused of poor media literacy. Are we even partaking of that which we parade around, or are we playing an elaborate game of telephone?

Even Burger King Orientation CD-i Training cannot escape unharmed. A wave of ironic praise and genuine befuddlement at why this exists, why it is revisited. One must be seeking attention for having such a quirky thing on their profile. It is impossible that it is enjoyed on a deeper level, as a response to a wider fascination, as a dive into historical (non-)import. The new hyperactive mode intentionally seeks signifiers which mark the self as interesting. An intentional facade which begs it won't be scrutinised.

But just because you have constructed this mask does not mean we all wear it. And perhaps I am being dismissive of your own thoughts. The truth of the matter is you don't care what I think, or why I feel a certain way. And to be fair, I feel the same animosity towards you. We are strangers at the conflux of comparison of preference.

I am filled with a genuine glee when I 'play' Burger King Orientation CD-i Training, but maybe it is best I keep the reasons to myself, as with so much else.

After all, you care not for what I think, so what is the difference if those thoughts are no longer laid bare.

Making the intricacies of fine art history enjoyable is an unenviable task that CD-ROM interactive experiences fervently tried to surmount throughout the 1990s. Whereas Mystery of the Orangery and Mission Sunlight opted for narrative adventures that happened to teach art history through immersive paintings as setpieces, Night Cafe takes a drier, safer approach. Wandering the streets of Montmarte with nary a pedestrian in sight. Overcast lighting doing Haussmann's Paris a disservice. Setting off to some select locales, able to wander just enough to question why the option exists when one is intended to beeline to the puzzle objectives.


The narration is smooth and deep, but fails to impart knowledge on the why of the Impressionists, opting instead for discussion of relations and painterly methodology. While this is fine for those already familiar with the subject matter, it assuredly would leave the casually interested in the dark as to what the point of it all was. Yes, the Impressionists sought an interplay of light and colour and open compositions, yes they painted en plein aire, yes they were rejected from the Salon de Paris, but why does that matter? Académie des Beaux-Arts is mentioned in passing, but little is said of the wilful rejection of contemporary standards.


Of interest must be the methodology herein. Outside those typically solitary narrations, much of the text exists as excerpts from correspondence. This holds true in the 'adventure' part of the game, and in the unlocked galleries of each artist's works. If a painting does have an accompanying document (in both French and English), it establishes some slight context, but leaves the work itself unexplained and unexplored. Perhaps a scholastic explanation of each work would be excessive. But as it stands, one is left wondering why these specific paintings matter. We are told Manet's Olympia was controversial and important, but not how or why. With the dictionary/encyclopedia ever at the ready within the program, it seems a misstep -- the primary sources could be front and centre, with greater detail and sources in that secondary space.


The loose gameplay of Night Cafe disappoints as well. Sometimes one wanders through each and every pre-rendered scene in a space, collecting objects or figures. These are then placed blindly onto a painted surface to reconstruct a relevant work, or are arranged into sequence despite the player having no means of knowing the solution. By way of example, in Theo van Gogh's apartment, sepia prints of Vincent's works are gathered, then put into frames labelled with years and locations. Two of these can be solved by comparing the tiny image to sketches on letters nearby. The rest cannot. Except there is no consequence for mismatching frame and picture, so just drag them one by one onto each frame to see what sticks. Absolutely nothing is learned here. The same holds true for when placing figures into a scene. One has no clue who these figures are, nor where they are situated, nor why this even matters. The figures aren't even named. The other puzzles invariably require moving sliders to change 3x3 tiles of paintings, only the sliders affect two tiles rather than just the one selected. It isn't challenging, only frustrating.


Despite doing nothing particularly well, Night Cafe nonetheless is a cute enough experience for the weary art history student. It is a short romp where I could smile in recognition of critical artworks, and raise an eyebrow at the inclusion of Post-Impressionists. Outside of that, there is little (if not nothing) to be learned here and not a shred of fun drawn from the adventure and its challenges. It is a testament to misplaced zeal in the heyday of multimedia, a presupposing that anything is implicitly interesting by virtue of being on a poly-carbonate optical disc.