What's that, you say? Batman: Arkham Asylum is the best licensed game ever? It captures the essence of the original license and then explores it through completely fitting gameplay mechanics like no other licensed game in existence? WRONG! That was the case, but now we have Black Lodge, a simulated Atari 2600 game by Jak Locke, based on Twin Peaks. It does all the things Arkham does, but thanks to its brutally unsophisticated block-o-vision nature (rather than despite it), it actually does them just as well if not better.
The game is, you see, set in the nightmarishly psychedelic, labyrinthine Black Lodge which Agent Cooper has to negotiate in the last episode of the show. And as such its concept is a perfect fit for a 2600 game. The Black Lodge itself and 2600 games in general, you see, operate on the same rules. Both look and sound weird. Both have abstract internal logic at best. Both make bounteous use of repeated, identical rooms. Both are tough to navigate, are completely unfair, and will go all-out to kill you for every second of your contact with them.
Also, the attention to detail in the full download is insane. You'll get the game itself as a PC or Mac .exe, and also a 12-page JPG reproduction of an Atari 2600 manual, authentic down to the garish, blurry painted artwork. It even has a lo-fi, bloopy version of Angelo Badalamenti's Sycamore Trees at the beginning. Get it here (or here if you're a Mac user). Get it now.
Now I'm going to get out of here before one of you uncharitable sods makes a joke at my expense about my beloved Deadly Premonition already being an Atari 2600 Twin Peaks game.
Cheers, Welcome to Twin Peaks
September 27, 2011