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Browser game of the week: Howard Glitch

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We know the deal: You're looking for ways to waste time at work, and we're here to help you waste it. Hence, Browser game of the week, where we'll comb the depths of the Flash game vortex and pick different games for you to waste away your Wednesday with. We'll do our best to feature a wide variety of picks, from click-happy puzzlers to artsy showboating. Our pick this week goes to Howard Glitch, a YouTube game that will leave you scratching your brain and investing in altered state pharmaceuticals by the end.

First off, this is a YouTube game, which means the actual control given to you is nerfed down to point-and-click choices. That said, this isn't an easy game -- in fact it's one of the more mind-bending of story-based browser games. As it goes, you're on a space shuttle recently sent to its doom by a sleepy remote driver, you have no chance of survival and you're posed with a choice: escape reality or sit and die.

From that first choice you'll see a number of scenarios play out and as far as we can tell, there is no "win" scenario. There are different ways to end the game and certainly a number of means to make it more interesting. Along the pathway to enlightenment you'll be tasked with removing a piece of reality from your brain by exiting a remarkably complex puzzle -- you'll be forced to chose between reality and escape at several points and you'll be screwed with by the narrator repeatedly.

Whether or not it's a game is up for debate in linguistics circles, but for our purposes, it functions just fine. It's part of a larger work that includes an EP, artwork and a book to go along with it. The work as a whole seems to be all about perception -- think William S. Burroughs meeting Raymond Kurzweil in a dark alley and telling each other stories, and you'll get the picture.

As it stands, Howard Glitch is an interesting experiment well worth your time, and certainly worth keeping an eye on. We're not sure exactly where it's heading, but we can be certain it's heading somewhere -- or maybe not. Maybe that's just reality interfering with our perception.

Play the game here.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.