It's easy to think that video games all sort of look the same. To someone who doesn't really play them, or take a great deal of interest in them, it's easy to view Call of Duty, Halo, and Battlefield as exactly the same experience: and, to a great extent, they are. But while the natural homogenizing of the mainstream, where risk-averse publishers prefer to put out what's proven to work rather than what might push the medium forward, has led to all open-world games playing the same way, and bigger-budget racers typically offering comparably "authentic" sterility, in the indie sector, creativity consistently abounds.
There truly is a game for everyone in 2015—all you need to do is look. And for those who've always wanted to scrub down a hot dude in shades while he showers at a gym, Rinse and Repeat is now available to download for whatever you want to pay. It's the latest product of the singular mind of games maker Robert Yang, whose previous titles Hurt Me Plenty and Stick Shift have presented players with the opportunity to spank virtual partners and fuck their car, respectively.
Is this an appropriate point to confirm that Rinse and Repeat is very much not safe for work? Probably best to be on the safe side.
The first two minutes of 'Rinse and Repeat' (NSFW)
Rinse and Repeat, available for PC, Mac, and Linux, has been getting a fair few corners of the gaming press frothy since its launch on September 20. On Offworld, sometime VICE Gaming contributor Leigh Alexander writes that there's more to the game than meets the eye—which in this case is a hairy chest, toned contours, and a slowly swinging cock. She highlights how the game makes you wait, in real time, to encounter your shower pal—you need to check the randomly generated gym schedule and plan appropriately. It might be that he's not free until after "murder cardio," or "doom yoga." I mean, who'd not want to be in those classes?
On Kotaku, writer Mark Serrels calls Rinse and Repeat "amazing and hilarious." He goes on to explain how being a dude, showering with other dudes, was often incredibly awkward, something I know I can relate to. I'm sure I speak for most male readers when I say there was nothing fun about hosing yourself down after secondary school PE class was done, shifting yourself around so as to not directly stare at anyone's knob, and keep yours as well covered as you could while also dealing with post-hockey ballsack sweat. As you get older it doesn't matter so much. Dicks are just funnier once you're past 30.
"This game. Man, this game," Serrels writes. "It just completely skewers that feeling." Sure does. And it will make you laugh, whether you're in possession of a generous schlong or some other sexy parts entirely.
Yang has posted a blog that details his process and intent in making Rinse and Repeat—but it's advisable to play the game (which, again, you can do for free) first, as it contains spoilers. One key influence on the game's presentation is New York rapper Le1f's music video for 'Soda,' which shows guys getting their faces splashed with fizzy pop. What that visual metaphor is about, I have no idea. The music in Rinse and Repeat is just so fine, too—you won't be able to resist putting a little love on your buddy's back with this smoothness in your ears.
"Some no doubt bristle at the triumph of waiting mechanics in games, and would refuse to classify it as a mechanic since it is essentially non-interactivity that exists as interactivity," Yang writes. "But I'd argue that waiting is the quintessential easy-to-pick-up hard-to-master kind of skill that is massively accessible to most of society. It's brilliant and it happened underneath everyone's noses, probably because we were turning our noses up and sneering.
"Waiting is an act of submission, but that's not really a bad thing." And I'll leave it there because, like I already said, spoilers.
Weirdly—or, not so weirdly, given I wrote just up there that there really is a game out there for everyone—Rinse and Repeat isn't the first interactive shower simulator on the market. Earlier this year, Shower With Your Dad Simulator 2015 was green-lit on Steam. Check out its trailer here. Slightly different vibe, but it's got a nice feel to it.
Video games, people. Video games.
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