Sitrep: Miasmata and the Urine-Drinking Emergence of the Gryllscore

Miasmata and Bear Grylls

By on January 15, 2014 at 10:51 am

The fact there are insane mods that make the optional survival aspects of Fallout: New Vegas totally harrowing made me wonder why Bear Grylls has not licensed his likeness and habit of guzzling his own urine to a video game. It sounds silly but it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. What are games good for but escapism and fantasy, even if said escapist fantasy is not what most people would think of as either?

I’ve seen peeps on YouTube who will play Skyrim like some kind of outdoorsman sim. They’ll pick somewhere remote to live and treat each day like man vs. wild rather than an epic quest to yell goats into submission. It’s interesting, but it’s usually peripheral; players skirting the framework of a flexible world. Someone must tap the emergent genre of Gryllscore and — o hai, Miasmata.

Where there are niches there are indie games, and Miasmata is not about to let you get away without rolling your feverish body down a hill while you quest for healing flowers. Eh, what?

Look, maybe some of you have already played this thing. There is always that one guy whose job is to experience every obscurity ever and then pompously let everyone know whenever he can. This is an internet rule very far removed from rule 34 but a rule nonetheless, and though I have just discovered it, I am filled with a desperate lawlessness I have not felt since five seconds ago. The world is not your oyster but rather your goiter, all festering and fat with untold loathsomeness. I know. I just rolled down a hill with the filth of a strange land clinging to my sweat, only to meet my end at the claws of a wild beast I am sure has no name.

Finding a knife in this game gives you the same sense of “COME BACK HERE AND SAY THAT” you got when you first tripped into the BFG room. Not a bomb, not a gun, not even a sword – a knife. Such is Miasmata’s relentlessness and dedication to the rotten freshness of its muse. There is very little told to you save that a human poison is in the air and you have it. There is no HUD, or even a borderline patronising tutorial despite the negative gaming space you’re about to enter. Survival is what has to be learnt, and I don’t see Bear Grylls quaffing that morning’s recycled OJ around here, do you m8? So you must teach yourself, and so this is gaming as only the PC seems ready, willing and able to do.

It’s pretty magical. Though marred by the framerate hiccups and texture leprosy of the independent set, if this were given to big money for polishing I would worry. Those portly felines wouldn’t get this, even though the concept of survival underpins just about every game ever made since the dawn of gamekind. We know. We feel it in our cockles and even below the cockles. Survival-horror was not originally billed as such; it was decided on by a populace who instinctually knew dat feel when it gripped their chests and turned their foreheads slick.

Why Miasmata and Day Z and what I am sure will be more of their ilk did not become A Thing ages ago, I do not know. Pee-drinking mini-games are a tough sell in the board room.

Read our review of Miasmata right here.

6 comments (Leave your own)

A frustratingly good game. In the six seconds it took me to lose myself on the map I knew I had to remember that there wasn’t a minimap in one corner of the screen, sitting there like a safety blankey. Rogaining (look it up) and computer games rolled into one – what’s not to love!!

 
Toby McCasker

solo0017,

“Rogaining.” Epic. Henceforth I came up with that.

 

I’ve been Rogaining before, thanks Tobes!

I hope they do make more games like this. A while back I got a big itch for a game just like this. It was a toss up between minecraft and DayZ. I got minecraft because I heard that DayZ was going to be a standalone game soon (lol, soon).
But I think minecraft allows you to get comfortable too quickly.
I have miasmata, I must give this a proper go.

 
Toby McCasker

tacitus42,

Hey big fella. Question: What is the appeal of gamified survival for you? Very curious.

 

Miasmata, yet another game I discovered I already own but have never played. Honestly, I’ve got way too many games… <_<

 

Don’t know, really. Maybe the simplicity of it, the challenge.
One thing I enjoy in survival games is the balanced journey to making things better / more efficient.
You can get this kind of thing happening in any game with an economy. Anno 2070 is a good example, but even simple things like building more SCVs to mine your minerals in starcraft.

So yeah, maybe it is the appeal of starting off with literally nothing and then traveling that journey from struggle to safety to eventual dominance.

 
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