Queens (and 1066)
While I'm not entirely sure what Canadians celebrate on Canada Day, I'm pretty sure America's Independence Day is about escaping from the machinations of an abusive king. Guess what. I've got a game about precisely that.
Queens is a painfully difficult but blissfully short platformer, in which you play as a queen thrown into a killing machine by her abusive king. As you attempt to escape, the king follows along, watching your struggles to escape a nearly inevitable death. You can die in all the standard platformer ways, and all of them send you right back to the beginning as the king's next bride, complete with a new appearance and name. It's both a cycle of abuse and a somewhat abusive mechanic. No ludo-narrative dissonance here!
Why You Should Check This Out: Because if you don't struggle to escape the king, you're going to end up like one of those lame commonwealth corpses, and the South Park guys will never make an over-the-top marionette movie about how awesome you are.
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"But wait!" you scream at your monitor, "I'm a citizen of one of those commonwealth nations!"
Well then let me congratulate you on backing a country that took the somewhat more peaceful route. You guys were once part of a pretty swell empire too, so well done there. Perhaps you'd like to celebrate just how strangely disjointed the former British Empire has just about always been, but in a slightly more aloof manner? Well, luckily the BBC commissioned 1066 for just that (or somewhat similar) purpose!
1066 is a turn-based strategy game built in Flash, and playable either alone or against an opponent. Armies comprised of various medieval units face off in a combination of vulgarity and artistic flourish. Beyond movement, actions such as archer fire, charges, melee and taunting are built around mini-game mechanics that determine your action's efficacy.
Why You Should Check This Out: Not only is 1066 a fun, well-produced and challenging game, but it's also unabashedly educational in a way that doesn't skimp on the Flash-animated gore. You also get the bonus of never really being a true "bad guy," since all three factions ended up interbreeding to create what today we see as the modern Englishman. You can make your own calls as to which sport's hooligans are more like which original culture.
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