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'Space Funeral' Leaves 'Earthbound' For Electronic Music and Surrealism

Our New Year's resolution for 2011? Be weirder. We have more realistic first-person shooters and self-important RPGs than we know what to do with. We want more games that evoke the singular dream-like wonder of the films of David Lynch or the music of 'The Residents'. Care to join us on our trip into the strange? Then check out this week's picks for time wasters that will leave you as captivated as you are confused.

All we really need to say about 'Space Funeral' to make you play it is that the soundtrack features pioneering electronic musicians Ruth White and Delia Derbyshire -- and Lez Rallizes Denudes, too! If, sadly, these names are unfamiliar to you, go check them out. We can wait. Back? Great. Now you understand our excitement about this game. How could anyone who's a fan of these brilliant artists not make a game that's both weird and wonderful? 'Space Funeral' creator thecatamites has come up with a game so perfectly strange that it totally justifies its musical accompaniment.

At its heart, 'Space Funeral' is a traditional, SNES-style, turn-based RPG. But that description does this game's originality a disservice. (The only RPG to which we'd be willing to liken it to would be 'Earthbound,' and that's as high a compliment as we think we could pay a game.) Like 'Earthbound,' 'Space Funeral' has a rough-edged aesthetic style like some demented child's drawing come to life, filled with a nightmare of a world populated by headless bodies, Egyptian gods and blood-sucking wizards. You play as Phillip, a shambling hulk who is perpetually in tears, as he and his companion Leg Horse attempt to find the City Of Forms. Even if you aren't familiar with RPG mechanics, it's easy enough to make it through without tedious grinding. We can't wait to see what thecatamites comes up with next, and we hope a version of this (with soundtrack intact!) can be ported to XBLA or PSN. Whether it comes to consoles or not, it's heartening to know that one developer can create a piece of phenomenal work using a $60 program. Mac gamers, do yourself a favor and get Boot Camp set up immediately, so you can play this PC-only gem.

Tags: apps, Earthbound, gamesonthego, role playing game, RolePlayingGame, rpg, RPGs, space funeral, SpaceFuneral, timewasters, top, videogames, windows