Today I watched an E3 style presentation for a bunch of Mario fangames called F3.
I'm a big fan of Yoshi Commits Tax Fraud 64. There was also a Mario 64 like game but you played as Link and the Link model was very cute.
I love these kind of fan games because there's a lot of heart and passion that goes into making them (usually a team of one person).
Also nintendo would never make this kind of stuff ever. People can play with tone or do crossovers with characters and that kind of experimenting is so valuable to finding something unexpected and special.
Played a short game on itch called Missed Connection https://vaporshark.itch.io/missed-connection
It's about a teen skater answering a craigslist missed connection ad to meet someone at the mall.
Loved the setup and the look of the mall with its shifting and overlapping textures. Took me like 2 minutes to finish.
I found it as part of an indie game showcase called EEK3, which showed off a bunch of horror games press conference style.
It's part of a growing scene in indie gaming of fans of PS1/PS2 era horror games like Silent Hill.
It has a shared aesthetic of rough looking, pixelated textures that warp based on your perspective similar to how the PS1 would render textures on 3D surfaces.
This distortion created by the limitations of hardware back in the day enhanced the feeling of being in a surreal, familiar yet unfamiliar place.
Today we don't have the same hardware limitations but it's a deliberate aesthetic choice. It's also easier to make a game with low poly models and low resolution textures if you're an indie developer.
Some of the games I saw chose to set their games in the late 90s like the games they were emulating.
I like this idea of interpreting historical events in the art form that was popular/available at the time