FMV Friday

For research for something I’m working on, and also just because I genuinely like them, I’ve started playing a lot more games with FMV in them and I guess I should write about them so people have more games to check out. No idea how often I’ll do this but maybe you’ll discover some neat stuff.

Internet Court

screenshot from Internet Court showing a web call between a big group and a caption from someone saying "There's only one way for me to win this trial - I have to like like crazy)

A pleasant surprise this week was Internet Court. I had seen previous games by the studio show up on Steam before but never really heard much about their games but a positive review on Adventure Gamers was enough to get me to check it out during the Steam sale and I’m glad I did. If you watch the trailer, you can tell that it’s extremely low budget and maybe doesn’t feature the most professional actors but even with its lack of polish (or because of it?) it is extremely charming. It’s just very silly fun but never leans into doing an intentionally bad thing on purpose. The game’s Steam page jokes about the game only having one actual actor but everyone involved, including the moms of the developers, gives it their all to delivery genuinely funny performances and I’m looking forward to checking out other games by the studio.

Markus Ritter – The Lost Family

This is a weird one. Markus Ritter is a short FMV game inspired by 90s adventure games like the Gabriel Knight, and especially the second Gabriel Knight game, down to having the player character having the last name Ritter and at least one other Gabriel Knight reference thrown in there. I have no idea what to rate it. It plays fine. The game takes itself so seriously but the acting is pretty goofy, and not all of it intentionally, that it ends up being amusing and charming in its own way I guess? Even the rough edges are unintentionally charming, like the many shots where the lead actor walks back to the camera to turn it off and it shakes a little when they do that and they just don’t clip that part out of the final product. I guess it has a sequel in August and I’m curious about it so it did something right. I’m being rough on it but it’s free so check it out if you’re really into 90s point-and-click adventure games with FMV like I am. It has some nice quality of life stuff in there too, like a built-in hint system and being able to highlight all the spots you can click on.

Aran’s Bike Trip

I wasn’t sure if I should put this in here since I don’t think there’s really any FMV in here, just 360 panorama photos you can interact with, but it’s neat so I’m putting it in here anyway. Aran’s Bike Trip is a game by Sokpop Collective, a small group that has been making a variety of short games for years, where you follow someone along on a biking trip one of the developer’s took. All you do is look at panoramic photos of the Dutch countryside while looking at notes from the designer and listen to calming music but it’s very nice. Sometimes a game can just be an excuse to look at photos of beautiful places in the world.

Date Me

I also wanted to check out some of the FMV games on Itch so I downloaded Date Me, a very short and gay dating sim created (I think) by university students. It’s funny and free so you might as well try it if that sounds like something you’re interested in but my biggest takeaway from it was mostly that I’m very jealous of college students doing goofy games like this instead of the boring, massive projects that people in my computer club were trying to push when I was in school. Where were the people like this?! This is far more exciting and was actually completed. Oh well.

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