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I never really gre up with any console, or gaming system. The idea of video games as a plastic cartrage you plug into a funny looking box wasn't something that I HAD as a kid. Instead, me and my cousins and my sister had a CD chock-full of pirated and bootlegged sega games, specifically from the sega genisis. We didn't know that as kids though, I sure as shit didn't, we just called it the "games CD" and never questioned it. To This Day, none of us can remember where that CD came from or who gave it to us, but it's the source of a lot of my fondest childhood memories. Sitting on the bed as I watched my older sibling and cousins play games, struggle against bosses, and explore these weird and wacy sounding worlds as best as we could when we were literally too young to read or understand the english on-screen properly.

I was always too scared to play though. The only games I ever played on that CD were Where's Waldo, and that one Thomas the Tank Engine game, except instead of playing the actual game part I'd just do the colouring book instead. Kind of hilarious. But, it's probably where my love of letsplay youtubers omes from, that fondness for idly sitting by as someone plays the game for you, and the enjoyement that can come from it feeling like a shared experiance rather than a solitary one. A lot of my favourite games, and the experiances of those stories, at first came from secondhand playing (some still do). But, I'd be lying if I didn't mention how I gre out of that, partly.

Sometime in elementry school (middle school for most westerners) was when I picked up gaming again through gamejolt. Back then, it was a website filled to the brim with FREE games. it was always explicitly free back then, and it opened up my eyes to the plethora of games that can be found out there in the world. From odd little RPGs, to innovative narrative games, to just plain fun time wasters, it had it all, and it finally broke shy little Kooki out of the mentality that playing games was scary, that failing was scary. I could die and try again a thousand times, and that became the fun of it. I'm not good at games, and I don't need to be to enjoy them. And, if you like, you can read about a few of the games that have had a segnificant impact on my life, failures and all.


Download link

Hands down, my favourite game of all time. No questions asked, this little indie title gets everything I've ever loved about games down in spades. A moody atmosphere, tight gameplay, constant replayability and rewarding the player both for winning and for losing. Not to mention, this game has a lot of hidden secrets and depths you might not assume it has at first. I don't want to spoil anything, I highly urge you to play this yourself and maybe even find some of the secrets that spooked, dazzled and inspired me as a young kid playing this game. True story, when I was younger I had to get my PC wiped a few times because of reckless downloading of random files resulting in a lot of viruses, and every single time we'd re-install windows, the first program I'd get would be Roguelight. It was somewhere I'd go when I wanted to spend time by myself and be alone with my thoughts while still keeping me engaged with things to do.

And, another true story, I hadn't beaten the game until fairly recently. Knowing that I've been playing it for almost a decade now, the fact that my first time beating it is still so fresh in my memory is both a compliment to the ending of the game, as well as it's difficuly, and ESPECIALLY it's fun value. I never put it down even though I never beat it. I never forgot it even I thought I'd never get closure on how it ended. And, frankly? I think everyone should play this game, not just because it's fun, but because it's ending is so uniquely rewarding in a way I can't quite put into words. Please check it out it literally made my childhood.

Literally 10/10 perfect game I'm not taking criticism on this judgement.

Yume Nikki

As someone who gre up watching letsplays of RPGmaker horror games, it's very logical that once I got into playing games myself, I'd find and become enamoured with Yume Nikki. It was only a little bit before Undertale came out, I remember clearly getting lost in the sandy desert of the dream world when my sister turned to me and asked me about this weird RPG game she's heard has something to do with homestuck, and how I couldn't answer and tried to look up gameplay of it too, but it was so early in the fandom none of the gameplay videos were good. So, disappointed, I closed my browser and went back to playing Yume Nikki.

I already knew about the games ending way before I reached it. I'd forgotten what my objective even was while spinning around in circles in the dream world, and, as a kid, I kind of needed explicit directions for everything. Walkthroughs and guides are how I got to know this game, and theory forums I really shouldn't have been reading as such a young kid were what painted my view of the game for a very long time. It wasn't until I got into the unofficial sequels and fangames of Yume Nikki did my eyes start to open at how genuinely vast and expansive these worlds were. There's no objective, literally and figuratively. You don't HAVE to do anything in the game for it to still make sense. There's no right way to interpret it's events, and there's no wrong way to understand the protagonist. She's a window, and what you WANT to see, you WILL see.

There's so much more to say about this game that simply won't fit on this tiny space meant for just a few paragraphs. I'll, hopefully, make a page dedicated to JUST Yume Nikki sometime soon, because it really deserves the spotlight.


OFF is one of those games that has to be experianced to be understood. I was lucky enough that, even though I watched markiplier when I was younger (and frankly still do), and my sister played it when I'd still watch her, I wasn't exposed to the true depths of the game, nor anything about it's ending, until I played it myself. It just... hits different. And even though the game is a huge inspiration for me, I don't think I'll ever be able to make something that hits the nail on the head when it comes to the consequences of your actions quite like OFF does. Spoilers ahead!!!

The game gives you all these... silent options that you can clue in on. You don't HAVE to actually kill every spectre you find. You don't HAVE to go back to zone 0 and find Zacharie waiting for you there. You don't HAVE to go back to any of the already purified zones. If anything, the game does everything short of discouraging it. You're set on a linear path through the Batter's "sacred" quest that you can't veer him off course from. He's a force of nature, and you're willingly piloting him even when you don't know what that means. It's like a reversal of eldrich mythos, where YOU'RE the unfathomably powerful god in this world, and yet it's so small, and alien, and linear, that it's horrifying how little choice you have even when you have a direct vessel in that world. And the game really makes you feel the brunt of your choices, because in the end, you DID choose this. You could've walked away and left the Batter powerless, but you didn't. The world only exists so much as you're interacting with it, and the more you interact, the more you destroy, until all that's left is a white meaningless void, and a song about escape.

There's just... something ethereal about OFF I can't quite put into words. Maybe it's the translated text feeling somehow more distant than if it was originally written in English, maybe it's the otherworldly music coupled with the painfully simplistic overworld visuals, maybe it's the hand-drawn battle sprites of creatures you can't quite wrap your head around, or the Batter's unchanging odd expression, or the faceless mob of people you both intimitely understand and relate to while understanding they're so much simpler and less capable than you. It all makes you feel like a powerless, immoral god, and I love it. There will never be anything like OFF ever again, and I think we need to treat it as a treasure of the world.


The reason I put .flow away from it's inspiration material Yume Nikki, is both to seperate them narratively, and to give .flow the spotlight alongside games that I think are a tad more similar to it, ironically enough.

Alice: Madness Returns

Crypt of the Necrodancer


What is there to say about Undertale that hasn't probably already been said? It's a wonderful game full of wonderful characters and, personally, it got me through a lot of really difficult shit in my youth, as well as making me face a lot of ugly, unpleasant truths about myself that I had to come to terms with. When I was younger, I related to Frisk, down to every detail. Feeling like a blank slate that was just trying to do the right thing, and being so envious of them for being able to make friends even with the people who wanted them dead. That world, that little pocket universe, where everything can be resolved with a bit of self reflection and a few shed tears, where you can make friends with killers and forgive your own reflections, where I was both accepted and in control of everything, was my only real escape for a while. Through Undertale, I met one of the most amazing people in my life, who I wouldn't be here without. Through Undertale, I made a speedy recovery when I wound up in the hospital because of an unexpected asthma attack. Through Undertale, I got the resolve and stayed determined even through some of the worst years of my life.

And... that's probably why it resonated with me so much. Flowey, in the game, is a pretty blatant stand-in for the player. A traumatised, scared child who copes by playing with the characters around him like dolls. Which is... exactly what I was when I was becoming obsessed with it. My perspective has matured, thankfully, and my opinions of the people and the world naturally shift as time goes on. I didn't know how to draw Asgore when I was first into the game, and I didn't care to learn; now he's arguably the only character from the game I still draw regularly. I used to think Sans was the funniest man alive; now I can't see his smug face without eye-rolling. I used to idolise and look up to Papyrus, but now, I see him as a peer, and I can't help but cringe at some of the things he does in the game because thye seem so pointless to my jaded and cynical new perspective.

The things Undertale taught me as a kid, I haven't fully internalised. I'm not as hopeful as I used to be, my faith in people has plummeted the more I learn about the world around me, and frankly, I wouldn't have it any other way. This game will always hold a special place in my heart, and I doubt the worms it gave me will ever leave my brain, but I'm content with knowing that it doesn't look the same to me anymore because it's evidence I've grown. For the better or for the worse? Who's to say! It's like when you visit your old kindergarden as an adult. All those tall shelves and impossibly big furniture suddenly look plain, small and normal. Not because they're intrinsically un-noteworthy, but because you're just tall enough now to see behind the courtain, so to speak, and aren't dazzled by a child-safety lock anymore. Is it bad that you aren't in awe of such ordinary things anymore? Or is the loss of that childhood innocence and wonder something to be celebrated?

I think Undertale, for me, was the child-safety lock on all the cynicism, horror, and hopeless unresolve that my environment back then otherwise would've thrust onto me without a second thought. It let me be a kid for as long as I needed to be. And for that, I'm extremely grateful. I've still yet to see a narrative of both tragedy and comedy be woven together as well as they were in Undertale. There's nothing quite like it to capture the full scope of grief and the process of moving on.

And, before you ask, no I'm not adding Deltarune to this list. It's disappointed me before and I'm not putting my faith in The Dog again until the full game comes out.


Mad Father

Witch's House

When I was younger and first getting into RPGmaker horror games, Witch's house is a game I largely glossed over. Probably a combination of factors, that it wasn't as popular with the youtubers I watched, that it more heavily leaned into jumpscares I was very suseptible to and weary of as a child, and that it seemed somehow shallow to my then untrained eye. I don't remember how I first learned of it's multiple endings, but it always kept me intrigued because of them, like there was a suble restlessness in my mind that just the implications of those endings gave me.

Coming back to it in my late teens really put everything into perspective and, spoilers ahead, kind of gave me an odd outlet for the helplessness and unbelonging I felt in my own body. The game has, objectively, nothing to do with gender dysphoria, but when you're starved for representation you eat the crumbs. Possession of an "ideal" body for a self-serving cause, and constant pain in a body not your own, are BOTH feelings I relate to. However immoral the actions of the protagonist, I can't help but relate to her. She does horrible things and fools and betrays the people around her for selfish reasons, and I feel like I am that person a lot of the time in my life. I don't mean to lie, I just feel unsafe saying the truth, so I feel like a fraud anyway. I feel small and helpless in a hell I'm told is of my own creaton, that I could just forget this all and leave to live a normal life if I just wanted to, but the way is blocked and the way out IS by facing this hell. By looking inward and finding layers and layers of horror and viscera and danger and ugliness, in order to get out, and leave a piece of myself behind when I do.

The moral of the story is anythign can be a trans metaphor if you're desperate enough, and the motivations of an evil witch can be rather sympathetic to someone who's made to feel like they're wrong just for existing authentically.

Hollow Knight


Portal 2

Persona 5 Royal

Pizza Tower


Slime Rancher

Princess Remedy


Things to add to the page:

  • Explinations for every title (you need to replay remedy)
  • Visuals for every game (in order to not overload the page, look into that "lazy" attribute for images)
  • Colour-code the titles, maybe? or at least do something to make it feel a little less monochrome, though maybe images will help with that