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Introducing Abandonware, a New Series About Weird and Wonderful Early Games

In the first episode, our hosts tackle Sega Dreamcast’s "Seaman."
September 14, 2015, 3:00pm

Do you ever get nostalgic for the smaller, sometimes outright bizarre releases from gaming's earlier days? Enter Abandonware, a new series that showcases the forgotten artifacts from videogame history.

In the first episode, hosts Adam Pendek and Michael Sykora play the Sega Dreamcast life simulator Seaman, which took them three weeks in real-time to complete.

Narrated by Leonard Nimoy of all people, Seaman is a ploddingly slow game where the player is responsible for taking an egg through its bizarre life cycle until it reaches its final frog-like form and hops off. You feed your hatchlings, adjust the aquarium temperature, and so on—but you have to figure everything out for yourself.

At some point, your creatures become evolved enough that you can speak to them with the controller's microphone peripheral—but, as the episode shows us, their responses can be rather rude. ("You look great." "So does your mother.") Eventually your last surviving creature turns to you and implores you to help him escape the tank so he can track down his long-lost love.

Early on, Mike notes that Seaman "has the pacing of a Terrence Malick film." And like Malick's 2011 film The Tree of Life, he thinks Seaman is about parenting: "Right down to your child growing up to be an asshole."

Watch the full episode to see our hosts go on a fishing trip, observe some bizarre fish-man sex, and hear a surreal nightmare-thing speak very condescendingly to two guys just trying to be good dads.