October 1, 2013 1:50 PM | Paul Hack
The fascinating point'n'click mini-adventure 4-Lung Boy was made for the same Salt World 2013 game jam as thecatamites' Mystery Channel, and it has a similarly quirky feel. Jam entries had to be made in 9 days and named after a racehorse. 4-Lung Boy, by Anatola Howard and denzquix, boasts cool black and white art, a wonderful selection of music, and an interesting mix of the down-to-earth and the casually surreal.
You step into the shoes of Golden Boy, a stressed-out, frustrated teenager who just moved to a new town and is having trouble adjusting. This place has more in common with Twin Peaks than your typical small town, and the weird coexists with the normal. For example, an astronaut named Astronaut is a familiar face around town, and is preparing his rocketship for launch out in the forest.
One day, Astronaut shows up at your house and asks you to get him a list of stuff he absolutely needs before taking off, and you're just the person to procure them for him. Maybe he knows something. In any case, you set off to acquire the items. In the process, you explore the town, hang out with a pair of odd siblings, solve some simple puzzles, have a "healing" session, and play a game of Pong (which you can skip by hitting Esc, if you're having trouble besting the brutal AI).
At any point during the game, you can click the little black square near the bottom of the screen to access your inventory and see a list of the items you have yet to find. If you feel like you're stuck, try backtracking or using inventory items on people or things. Eventually, you'll learn the meaning of the title. After that, you'll have to make a decision that determines which bittersweet ending you get.
[via Terry Cavanagh, Free Indie Games]