Somewhere at the intersection of "games as fart" and "edgy murder spree for shits and giggles" sits Damage, idling its engine and listening to Gnaw Their Tongues with the windows rolled up. Released by independent Finnish developer Suomi-Peli in the twilight days of the Amiga, Damage is a little too self-serious to sit alongside other comedy manic murder spree games like Postal, but also doesn't have any kind of a clear message other than WE BELIEVE IN NOSSING LEBOWSKI.

The game starts out with a glib text scroll to establish the story. Some guy named Mike Moneymaker has it all: money, new cars, brand new socks and drawz. But he still feels depressed, and also there's a scientist of some sort experimenting on him? The scientist part isn't elaborated on nearly well enough.

What this all leads to is Mike snapping while sitting at home in his apartment, grabbing his baseball bat and pulling a Falling Down basically. You take control of Mike at this point and are free to wander out of the apartment and crack the heads of any and sundry NPCs that are about.

Initially, this just appears to be killing for killing's sake. You have a "kill counter" at the top of the screen, and the po-po will start hounding you all over the game world as of the second screen outdoors. They're pretty bad at their jobs though, usually missing their shots unless they're very close to you, and also standing there passively waiting for you to walk up and crack them in the face. Initially the point only seems to be to find better weapons and just rack up all the kills you can before having your health whittled away by the occasional police chip shot.

I wasn't about to blunder all the way through this clunkfest trying to figure it out, but an LP on YouTube seems to indicate there is actually a point and an ending. You're trying to gain access to the country's nuclear arsenal (which is located conveniently close to Mike's house) and basically blow up the entire world with it. The ending is a shot of Mike raising his middle fingers to the world as nuclear holocaust ensues. And ... that's about it.

I'm pretty sure the game isn't going for shock entertainment value, cause it ain't fun to play. The sprites are tiny, everything moves very slowly, and your only move with the one Amiga joystick button is a bat swing (at least until you start getting guns). Fortunately, Mike is basically a zombie and soaks up a ridiculous amount of damage, but this also makes it feel like the action/side-scrolling aspect of it has no real point.

So that leaves the possibility that it's a "message game", but as to what the hell that message is supposed to be other than the inarticulate "GRRRAAAAAW" of a death metal singer is completely beyond me.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video