The free PC version, because I’m cheap.
Super Indiana Bros. is an addictive 2D platformer roguelike by Derek Yu that gives new meaning to the word frustration. Health replenishment is as easy to find as a clean whore on 42nd street, and when you do find one she just blows you (a kiss) for at least 15 fucking thousand dollars!
Ok, let’s do this again.
To recover ONE heart you must either find a fancy brothel and pay at least $15,000 for a kiss, or find some skank lying around and bring her alive to the end of the level, where she does the same for free. I recommend you go get tested after that last one. The good thing is that she’s impervious to everything but spikes, bombs and man-eating plants, so you can fling her at the many dangerous denizens of the caves. That’s right. Dwarf-tossing is now passé. Now it’s wench-flinging (goooo Sarkeesimon!)
How the HELL did you get stuck there?
You start with four hearts and everything that moves will drain you of one, except traps, mummy breath-flies and rocks you can brilliantly throw at the wall just so they can bounce back straight at your face, which take TWO precious hearts from your anemic meter, and the alien beams that take three. THREE. Out of FOUR. Saying that this makes you feel vulnerable is like saying that having nails in your eyes makes you feel slightly indisposed.
Speaking of nails, did I mention spikes kill you in one hit, regardless of how many hearts you have?
The deluxe sideways impalement version is also available.
The kind of frustration that Skank Hunt provokes is the kind that instead of making you go “fuck this shit” and rage-quit, makes you go “fuck you” and rage-restart. The game’s ever-changing level layouts and various power-ups allows for constantly new strategies, such as flinging the wench at the bat, flinging the wench at the toad, flinging the wench at the spider, flinging the wench at the neanderthal, flinging the neanderthal at the wench, or sacrificing them both to a god of blood for a pair of magic mittens.
Totally worth it.
Also, you can relive your Western fantasies and rob any shop you find, provided you can run from the shopkeeper (who, incidentally, draws faster than Lucky bloody Luke), which you can, because once you press the run button Indiana Rudolph engages blue hedgehog mode and goes from to zero to holy shit in point one seconds.
So what stops you from just running through all the levels? The Scrooge McDuck that lives in all of us. Money is your score, basically, and it also buys you shortcuts to levels ahead. These are the only things the game saves, so you better like dying. A lot.
Black dude. In a cave. Wants money. Nothing to worry about.
After about 9 hours of gameplay (not consecutive, mind you, I’m not that sick yet) I got to Area 4 before a giant mummy forced-fed me its mouth-flies to death. Since every area has four levels, this means I got to level 13. After some more time I did manage to reach the final boss, only to be reminded of my mortality again in about nine seconds. Now that’s a challenge I hadn’t seen since the old arcade games of this style.
There’s tons of things to entertain you in your futile attempts at surviving through the deceivingly short levels of Super Duck Jones, like watching monkeys jump from vines in your general direction, miss, and fall eyes-first on a fresh batch of spiky death. If you’re bored, you can always feed neanderthals to man-eating plants. Oh wait, you’re not allowed to be bored, because if you don’t complete a level before 2 minutes have gone by, the soundtrack melts and 30 seconds later you’ll wish you’d called the Ghostbusters.
Mother pus bucket!
Speaking of the soundtrack (by George Buzinkai and Jonathan Perry), if the same 4 bars of music repeated ad-infinitum don’t make you reach for a knife to stab the speakers with, congratulations, you’re probably deaf. It’s not that it’s bad, on the contrary, but it’s the same very short thing, over and over and over and over again, during all 4 levels of each area. Knowing you’ll have to restart areas quite frequently, this can wear you out quite fast.
Unless you’re mad.
Seriously, though, Area 2 has the worst possible music to repeat.
Still, the appeal of a roguelike filled with secrets works very well. The controls are good and tight, and it’s best played with a control pad, if you ask me. They could, however, have made the ropes you climb wider than a pixel. Half of my deaths involve jumping for a rope, failing and faceplanting right in front of the exit.
Prometheus, is that you?