Retro games have had some weird gimmicks over the years. Stuff like Ninja Baseball Bat Man seems a little strange by modern standards, but sometimes you just had to deal with weird things in games back then. Ryan Melmoth remembers those days well, paying homage to them in his surreal action platformer, Mibibli’s Quest. Have you ever been shot by a monster that froze you into a painting before? Had to dance your way out of a level to avoid death? If not, there’s a first time for everything.
Created over two and a half years, Mibibli’s Quest is 20 stages of constantly-shifting gimmicks and gameplay styles. Players might start out shooting paintbrushes across a blank landscape to paint in the backgrounds one moment, and in the next they’ll be shooting directional pads into the vacuum of space. All of the madness plays at breakneck speed, with strange color schemes and rapid gameplay changes coming alongside an onslaught of bizarre enemies. Stick figures, bugs, laser frogs, and something that looks like a crocodile with a punk hairdo are all here.
But that’s just the top level of oddity in this game. As disembodied text boxes fly through the world, players switch from shooting pixelated figures that seem to have crawled out from a very sick Game Boy to talking to people about their pensions; the game goes out of its way to paint a deranged picture of the landscape that was retro games. It is completely impossible to guess what’s going to happen next in Mibibli’s Quest, and for only the low, low price of free, you can grab the game and let Ryan Melmoth’s surreal vision leave your mind in shambles.
You can download Mibibli’s Quest for free from GameJolt or Itch.io (you can also pay $10 and get a copy with the equally-wild soundtrack). For more information on Ryan Melmoth, you can go to his website or follow him on Twitter and Tumblr.