Want 300 indie games for free?

The Pirate Kart 2012 - a skull and crossbones against the IGF logo.

As a pretty novel and awesome entry to the Independent Games Festival (IGF) 2012, some enterprising developers have entered 300 games as a single torrent file. As IGF charges a $95 entry fee, this has allowed a lot of weird and wacky entries that wouldn’t have been able to enter normally – many of these games were made in 48 hours or less.

Read more about it on the Pirate Kart siteYou can download it for free, 100% legally. They’re mostly Windows-only games, however. Use the comment thread to tell us which games you liked, and why! I’ll be downloading this when I’m home from work.

Hasty edit – I didn’t get the chance to check some of the titles while at work, and some of them are beyond offensive, so trigger warning for rape, sexism, misogyny, etc etc. You can not play them, but the titles along are kinda trigger-warning-worthy. This could be the subject of a future article, but for now – presume all the worst internet stereotypes on a small percentage of these games. Sigh.



About kimadactyl

Kim has been involved in genderqueer activism since 2003 or so when they finally found there were other weirdos like them. In the last few years they have been thinking a lot about race, disability and gender from the perspective of privilege (being themselves white, middle class and well educated). As a gamer it didn't take long to start getting really upset about the blatant and unapologetic homophobia, sexism, transphobia and racism in gaming. Kim is studying for a PhD in acoustic aspects of gender identity, and runs various Queer events in Manchester, England. Kim is also a website developer, working with Drupal; you can see their slightly out of date portfolio at alliscalm.net, or follow them on twitter as @kimadactl.
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20 Responses to Want 300 indie games for free?

  1. TheLaquidara says:

    (Trigger Warning!)

    Who wouldn’t want to play such game such as: Lazer Bitches, Space Racist, Space Phallus, and You Have to Knock the Penis!

    Oh, and my personal favorite, Rape A Scientist! What? I have no context for what any of these games are as I have not played any of them, but the titles are worthy of mention/TW in the post.


    I’ll still check some of them out when I have the chance.

    • TheLaquidara says:

      Ack, typos and awkward sentences! I actually wrote the whole post before refreshing, forgot that the site doesn’t save your writing. I hastily rewrote it. :P

    • Maverynthia says:

      Lazer Bitches didn’t load, Didn’t bother with Space Racist or Space Phallus (which might have been a tongue in cheek parody). Rape a Scientist however is exactly what it says on the tin. Your an alien and I don’t need to finish the plot.

      Honestly if those are the kinds of games allowed in these kinds of “Indy Developers are Awesome”. I don’t want it.
      Awesome entry, HELL NO. Those few titles alone killed ANY interest I had in the thing, giving a pass at the other titles that might have been slightly awesome.

      Mind you YOU HAVE TO DOWNLOAD ALL THE GAMES to play any ONE of them. So “Rape a Scientist” gets Harddrive time on your system.

      Oh yeah “Fuck Ya’ll” is nothing but a pointless “kill everyone” side scroller. I think pirate kart needs to be more selective on what gets in. Otherwise it’s just another wank fest of racism, misogyny, abelism and homobigotry &&|| transbigotry.

      • N/A says:

        You’re expecting Glorious Trainwrecks to be selective on the quality of the games it releases.

        That thought seems to be a bit odd in my opinion, considering the general atmosphere of that community.

        • Maverynthia says:

          Considering the way it’s advertised to me by a Borderhouse community member as “Awesome”, I expect a certain level a quality from it. As we can see, that level of quality isn’t achieved. If the Trainwrecks community is as bad as you say it is, why was the PirateKart even mentioned here without being dissected?

          I realize the “We are going to stick it to ‘the man’” is awesome, BUT it seems to be merely a reflection of all that is wrong with game development/design.

          • Purplechairu says:

            My understanding is than there was no ‘selection’ process – every submitted game was included without judgement. The GT ethos is basically to encourage people from all walks of life to make games about anything. It’s probably on here because many of the designers come from minority backgrounds, and many of the games represent minority interests. And some of the others don’t.

            If you could provide a list of specifically which games you object to, that would be a helpful starting point for discussion.

            • Maverynthia says:

              Most of the ones I object to have been listed (Rape a Scientist and all that.)

              I add the one titled “Fuck Ya’ll” or such. The one with the yellow creature with a gun where you go around shooting people for no reason.

              I just hate that I’m forced to download ALL the games rather than having an option to pick which games I want and Download ONLY those.

            • Kimadactyl says:

              My torrent client (utorrent) lets me pick exactly which files from any torrent I want to download :)

          • Medicine Melancholy says:

            I agree with Purplechairu’s comments, but I think it is relevant especially with an AA game, and shows we have a sense of humour.

            Note that this comment isn’t to be read “Haha, they’re feminists but they’re cool with the occasional misogynist joke, they have a sense of humour” as I know that’s rage inducing for most of us, I mean in the general nonsensical and “apparently” offensive nature of much of the pack.

            As progressive gamers we need to look at fun weird shit every once in a while.

      • Medicine Melancholy says:

        Keep in mind that given how these things work, it’s unlikely most of the offensive entries contain the content you think, or are mercilessly tearing into the kind of games that would.

    • Kimadactyl says:

      Ugh. Didn’t check all the titles while I was at work. Maybe needs a TBH repackage? Ouch. My bad.

      • Kimadactyl says:

        Interestingly enough I think I might make this a case study as there’s so much to go from. Will have to be next week but will try. Feel free to keep cataloguing the pointlessly offensive games!

        • Holly says:

          Here’s one which isn’t POINTLESSLY offensive but so far is the one that’s made me the most genuinely uncomfortable – Inside Job. It’s a story-based stealth game (taking a few heavy nods from Metal Gear Solid) in which you play as a psychic ninja capable of taking over peoples’s bodies. When you do so, you can read the minds of the guards, and they’re generally thinking light-hearted stuff about how the water cooler tastes funny or how they dislike their job.

          However, in the last level of the game, you encounter the person in charge of the building and we come to realise that he murdered a woman and kept her body in a mysterious ‘vault’. In the dark universe we go to after this, the guards are demons, and reading their minds causes them to narrate from the point of view of the villain about the girl he killed – how he went through his emails, how he hated her, and how when he crashed the car they were ‘finally one, metal and flesh’, and how she ‘deserved to die, that bitch’. All this is fine – we know from the Metal Gear Solid trope book that this man is our antagonist and antagonists don’t have to represent positive or progressive points of view.

          The bit that felt problematic to me was that, at the end, your player character catches up to the antagonist, and tells him that he didn’t murder her – “it was an accident. You got angry and lost control. She forgives you.” Your player character then promises to send the man ‘on’ to a place she will be, and it’s clear we’re supposed to find him totally sympathetic by this point.

          I want to make it clear I do think misogynist characters, murderers and attempted murderers can be sympathetic characters in stories, and can be redeemed. What I don’t care for is how the story is about a woman being killed (or nearly killed, depending on how you interpret the story – it could be that he is in a coma and the main character is sending him back to reality to join the woman) by a stalker who hated her for not being in love with him, forgiving him without getting any presence or words of her own, and this being a happy ending. It misinterprets the antagonist’s flaw as the actual act of his murdering and absolves him of it by calling it an accident, when in reality his flaw was his obsessive need to be loved by a woman who didn’t care for him and his hatred of her because of this, and his murder was just the terrible end conclusion of that. By giving him her forgiveness, the game is basically giving him the ‘approval’ from her that he sought to begin with – it doesn’t solve the fundamental problem of him being a misogynistic “Nice Guy”.

          On top of this, the guards often think things like ‘I wonder if she notices me the way I notice her?’ and ‘”I don’t want to ruin our friendship…” Because a rejection is going to give it a real boost.’ There’s no alternate points of view presented anywhere in the game. I don’t want to speculate about the author’s personal opinions of women, but if someone told me the game was made after a bad breakup I would be thoroughly unsurprised.

          It’s unsatisfying and deeply messed up. In my opinion. Will someone else play it as well and tell me if I’m not just imagining it being as bad as it was? I really liked the rest of the game and I don’t even mind the main story, I just think the ‘happy ending’ cast it all into a very problematic light.

    • Holly says:

      Space Racist has nothing to do with racism. It’s a pun based on the game being a 2D, 2P racing game with a couple of cross-shaped ships and no story at all. Space Phallus and You Have To Knock The Penis are just “innocent” dong humour – in Space Phallus, you are a blue spaceship and your enemies are penis-shaped ships that shoot sperm-shaped missiles, and the joke (imo, not a funny one) in You Have To Knock The Penis is that it’s a snowclone of several other games in the kart, but with the elements swapped out for variously themed objects, and the theme of that particular instalment was genitalia. Dick jokes, yeah, and crude, but there’s no rape imagery or rape jokes or anything marginalising at all. As for Laser Bitches (a descriptor of the main characters – “bitches with lasers” – not a command – “you laser bitches”), it’s a two-player Anna Anthropy game about two butch women in bondage gear shooting at each other with lasers, so it’s fair to assume the word is used in a consenting BDSM/humil context.

      I’m not here to say you shouldn’t find the use of those titles offensive or even problematic; just to explain what the content of the games you mentioned actually are.

      Rape a Scientist is pretty much exactly that. The nastier stuff is more insidious, like Let’s Learning English (a typing game where you start by playing innocuous phrases and as the game progresses end up narrating an abduction and murder of a little girl – all played for laughs, of course). My Secret Boyfriend is not marginalising, but it is a genuinely quite disturbing horror game that deserves a trigger warning for violence. I haven’t played all the games yet, but innocuous stuff (like Happy Kitty Eats Christmas for instance) massively outnumbers the offensive stuff. There is something here everyone will enjoy, though I think players who have a trigger might want to ask a friend to vet the game for them first.

      But yeah, a game on that kart everyone here would find interesting is My First IGN Interview. It depicts sexism in a light-hearted way, but for a satirical reason – it’s about how hard it is for alternate perspectives to break into male-heavy game journalism culture.

  2. Nathan of Perth says:

    Oh my… that wasn’t quite what was advertised.

  3. PurpleChair says:

    Would it be possible to put together some kind of list of which games are problematic, and why? I can see a clear case for something like Rape A Scientist, but I’m sure there are many others that wouldn’t occur to me.

    Not that I’m in a position to do anything about it, I’m just interested to hear what people have to say.

  4. Maverynthia says:

    Maybe a repack of the games without the problematic ones? That would be pretty awesome, then I could give Kitty Eats Xmes some time on my HDD without narrating murder.

    • Kasey says:

      I’m pretty sure you can get any individual game elsewhere. The idea of repackaging the contents of this Kart without consulting the creators makings me deeply uncomfortable.

  5. Medicine Melancholy says:

    I’m pretty hard to trigger, I just get very angry at things. So I may have a look through some of them and issue various warnings. Though to be honest I’d rather steer clear of the awful ones and focus on the better ones.

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