“We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when…" You know the rest.
So begins legendary gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson's descent into the madness surrounding the Mint 400, the great American desert race detailed in his seminal 1971 account, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
So, too, begins your adventure through the stark 8-bit Bat Country, playable in game designer and self-described "good guy from Russia," Da Neel's stellar indie game, The Sun Does Not Exist-- minus 'the rest,'of course.
Instead, the game begins with the player speeding through the desert alongside a silent parner who looks an awful like Raoul Duke, himself.
Using the "x" key to move through dialogue and to perform actions, and the arrow keys to explore the surroundings, gamers and Gonzo fans alike finally get to dive into the so-called "Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream,"--in this case, a pixellated landscape as surreal as it is treacherous.
Expect to find more questions than answers; one aspect we hope game designer Da Neel's using to stir up sentiment for a possible sequel. We know we'd play it.
Below, a few, spoiler-free moments from the fifteen-minute browser-based adventure that's about to become the highlight of your whole day.
The best advice we can give for beating TSDNE? Even when things are at their blackest, follow your instincts-- you know which way to go.