Published on August 15th, 2012 | by rowsdower0
Mondo Medicals: Let’s Cure Some Cancer
My proposed 57-part miniseries on public transportation simulator Cities in Motion isn’t going that great, mostly due to the fact that I’m not actually good at the game. Turns out that figuring out how to convince tiny digital people to use an empty bus line instead of a tram stop that’s got 200 people already waiting for it is pretty tough. However, our fine website’s discussion of the Slenderman game reminded me of an entirely different free survival horror(ish) game that people might be interested in looking at. It’s called Mondo Medicals and is available here, roughly midway down the page. It’s made by visionary/possible crazy person Cactus (Jonatan Söderström), and delivers an experience unlike almost any other game I’ve ever played.
Mondo Medicals has a simple enough plot. The player has been recruited by someone to help a man with a TV for a head (the Director) cure cancer. As part of the vetting process, the player has to complete a series of tasks (“Disorientations”) before he or she can take up the good fight. After finishing each level, the Director takes some time out of his busy day to shout things various things about curing cancer and the nature of people’s outsides and insides. The gameplay itself is more puzzler than survival horror: with one or two exceptions, there’s no real way to die. The bigger problem is trying to get through each level, as they are highly disorienting (hence the name) and require some degree of lateral thinking to get through. That being said, the game’s not incredibly hard to figure out. Most of the puzzles, for example, involve doing the opposite of what the arrows on the floor suggest you should do.
The reason Slender reminded me of this game is that both are very unsettling gaming experiences. That, and the Director and that Slenderman fella kind of look alike (big tall black thing what got something wrong with its head). Slender tries to go for outright horror, but (IMO) gets let down a bit by its graphical limitations and the fact that Slenderman’s head looks a bit like a giant potato right now.
At the same time, Mondo Medicals is, conservatively, one of the most ridiculous games ever made. The dialogue is written in a kind of Swedish Engrish, rendering all of the dialogue hilarious. The graphics are much more rudimentary; the game looks like it takes place in a greyscale version of that one maze screensaver. At the same time, there’s something really unsettling about the game’s world. The world may look like that maze screensaver, but it’s also very desolate and ominous. The draw distance is fairly low, which only adds to that unsettling factor. The surprise standout element here is the sound design: the only sounds are the player’s distorted breathing, the occasional mechanical alarm, and the Director’s incoherent shouting. And the ending is simulatenously shocking, hilariously out-of-left-field, and kind of logical all at the same time. If Slender is approaching horror from one angle, Mondo Medicals is approaching it from the exact opposite end of the spectrum and still delivers a similarly unsettling and creepy experience.
Cactus has put out a sequel, Mondo Agency, available at the same page listed above. It’s a bit of a different experience, one with more jumping puzzles and killer cyber Indians. He’s also been working on this game, due to be out at some point in the near future.
Good night, everyone!