My Friend Pedro is the latest game to be published by Devolver Digital. If you're unfamiliar with the games of Devolver, it may be one of the wackiest, most interesting game publishing companies in the history of the gaming industry.
Where most companies shoot for the highest profits, or publish the same game over and over again, Devolver always seems to be looking for the most unique, esoteric, or downright insane games possible. They're rebels in an industry filled with executives who are terrified to take risks. Hell, if you want a true example of how out there this company is, all you need to do is watch one of their E3 presentations.
Not many companies fill their press conferences with miniguns, blood, lobotomies, and references to Robocop, and The Terminator, and that's a damn shame.
To get a true sense of the kind of publisher that Devolver Digital is, let's take a look at some of the absolute craziest games that they're ever published throughout their decade of madness.
Hotline Miami was a revelation when it first landed on PC in 2012. From the beginning, the game seems to be about a masked hitman who breaks into buildings, and kills everyone unlucky to be inside.
However, as the game goes on, you see that the story is much more complex then it originally led on. There's government conspiracies, warped reality, and questions about morality scattered across the game's chapters. Combined with its 80s inspired soundtrack, fast paced gameplay, and its top down pixelated art style, this is practically the quintessential Devolver style game.
Special mention goes to Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, which throws some good ol' fashioned nuclear war into the mix as well.
While they never outright admitted it, it's very clear that Contra's main two soldiers, Bill and Lance, were supposed to be analogues for Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Sylvester Stallone. Broforce doesn't even try to be coy about it. You not only play as multiple versions of Sly and Arnold, they throw just about every action hero you can think of into the mix as well.
Want to play as John McClane? He's in the game. Chuck Norris? He's there complete with cowboy hat. The Bride from Kill Bill? Sure, why not. Mad Max, Blade, Neo, Indiana Jones? That's a Texas sized 10-4 good buddy. Of course, Devolver wasn't going to shell out the cash to license each character, so they just get a bro-themed moniker to help dodge any copyright infringement. Who needs Robocop when you got Brobocop?
Each level is a mad dash to the end, with the entire screen filling with explosions and pixelated gore. And just when you think things can't get any crazier, your heroes wind up in Hell, trying to win the war against the Devil. But even Satan himself can't compete against the Bros of the USA.
People hate clowns, and Dropsy plays to that hatred pretty well. In this point and click adventure, you play as a hideously disfigured clown, who despite his terrifying appearance, is actually a kind hearted, lovable creature who simply wants to make people happy.
The entire game is spent trying to clear your name from a horrible tragedy that occurred at your family's circus, while also trying to win over the people in town who don't much care for you. Of course, if it were that simple of a game, then it wouldn't be a Devolver game. To ramp up the weirdness, the game features no dialogue, with pictures in speech bubbles being the main form of communication.
There's also aliens, government conspiracies, mad science, evil baked goods, people dressed in chicken suits, etc. In the end, a disgusting looking clown turns out to be the least weird thing in this truly bizarre mind trip.
Twitch banned this game from being played on its service, and it's not hard to see why. We're not particularly sure we can even talk about this game. We're not even sure where you're even allowed to show footage of this game. We couldn't even find an image that was remotely appropriate to put here.
In case the name didn't tip you off, this is literally a game about anthropomorphic penises battling each other. It actually gets pretty explicit, so we won't go into too much detail about how you win. If you really want to see how a bunch of male genitalia go to war, well first off you have a strange fetish, and you'll just have to check the game out for yourself.
Released earlier this year, Ape Out has a deceptively simple concept. You're an ape, you get out of your cage, and now everyone around needs to be squished. That's about it.
It's how the game executes this idea that makes it truly special. The game's soundtrack is a jazzy drum beat that gets more intense each time a scientist gets splattered across the wall. The tempo and volume increases as your kill count rises, and each time you use your monkey strength to obliterate someone, cymbals crash loudly as a signal of your mayhem.
With its simplistic but eye catching solid-colored art style, and it's addictive Hotline Miami-esque gameplay loop, Ape Out is a perfect example of the kind of game that only Devolver could bring into existence.
Finally, there's absolutely no way you can talk about Devolver Digital's weirdest games without bringing up perhaps the outright strangest game in their entire catalogue. Dating simulators are a big hit among a certain section of gamers, so it's not surprising that Devolver would want to publish a game in the genre. Hatoful Boyfriend basically works the same as any other dating simulator you've played, with you talking to various characters in order to find your perfect match.
It just so happens that these potential suitors are also sentient talking birds.
Yup, Hatoful Boyfriend takes place in a dystopian future where your only romantic options are talking birds, even though your character is a normal teenaged girl. Oh, and in case that's not weird enough, if you go down certain paths in the story, the game will somehow transform into a full on murder mystery.
Words honestly don't do it justice. If you want to experience a dating sim that's even weirder than Doki Doki Literature Club, then you need to seek out Hatoful Boyfriend, the cream of the crop of Devolver's insane library.
This is only a small taste of the kind of games Devolver Digital puts out on a regular basis. The company will seemingly continue to release more and more head scratching, yet thoroughly enjoyable, games well into the future. Even next year will see the release of games like the crazy side scrolling horror game Carrion, and the manic platformer battle royale Fall Guys. Plus, there's still the remaster of the utterly bizarre Metal Wolf Chaos coming out sometime soon.
Along with the burgeoning Devolver E3 cinematic universe, it's safe to say that they company will continue entertaining us, while also making us all feel very uncomfortable, for quite some time.