Review: Jerrys Game

Rick and Morty Presents Jerry’s Game
Developer: Big Pixel Studios
Publisher: [adult swim]

It is Monday the 15th of August 2016 and I am very tired but unable to go to sleep.
I’m in a room I can’t leave and internet access varies drastically minute to minute.
Recently on my phone I have mostly been playing Pokémon Go but as I can’t walk around that is kind of pointless. I’m too tired to really concentrate on anything so while I have a solid wifi connection I download Jerry’s Game.

The game itself is simple enough there are balloons each time you click one it pops and you get a point. There is a timer constantly going down but clicking on a balloon fills it completely eliminating any real challenge. The only real fear of losing comes from the black balloons with the skull and crossbones on them. One click of them and it is game over.

With my tired brain I happily click on the balloons, with each new milestones tiny celebrations happen and either Rick or Morty appear and give me encouragement to continue.
I don’t know if there is any sound or if Rick speaks when he appears. My phone is silent the balloons help me not focus on the fans and lights in the room.
Every milestone I hit also gets me bonus balloons making it easier to hit the next. Each bonus bigger than the last encouraging Jerry … me to continue onward.

I am constantly encouraged to keep clicking the balloons. For I am Jerry and this simple task is enough for me now. Each balloon it’s only little victory, every milestone a triumph. The little parades help tell me i’m doing well even if Rick and Morty’s encouragement feels a little hollow. I am achieving something. This is my game and I will click the most balloons. The timer cannot stop me and I will not be fooled by the black balloon.

Though I am not Jerry at the moment it helps to be him. The balloons occupy a tired brain and I see how this game could easily have been made by Rick to distract Jerry for an hour while he takes Morty on an adventure. Jerry would probably keep playing even after figuring this out. It is the perfect game for Jerry.

For a short time it’s the perfect game for me too. For fifteen minutes it distracted me allowed me to think of balloons and weird little scenarios of Rick trapping Jerry. Placing me in Jerry’s mind while I ignore where I really am.

I however cannot continue to ignore it. I allow the clock to go down while waiting for a black balloon. As soon as it appears I click it and end the game.

All the balloons I got can be spent on power ups and different shaped balloons. SIlly DLC options are there to con Jerry out of his money in exchange for better balloon hauls in the future. I click through the power ups and switch the game off it’s not time to be Jerry any more.

Jerry’s game is a simplistic game that I could easily believe was made as a joke.
For 15 minutes it was the greatest game ever.
It pulled me out of one of the worst moments of my life for a short time.
It allowed my brain to not completely focus on the hospital room I was sitting in.
Now the game is off and I look at my wife thankfully asleep after going through the worst day of our lives.

In the tiny bed next to her our son lies looking as though he’s asleep as well.
Our poor Lucas who never got to open his eyes, or laugh, or cry.

Playing a silly mobile game that was probably a throwaway idea at adult swim allowed me to not focus completely on losing our son for 15 minutes. That in turn allowed me to finally cry and begin to grieve.

Jerry’s game didn’t come out in 2016 but it was my game of the year.

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Writing Challenge. Rebirth.

My original attempt at my writing challenge was stopped originally for the short term because I was writing a lot of background for the game of seventh sea that I was running. From time to time I included some parts of it here.
Then the real world jumped on top of me and stopped me even considering writing for some time.
Now I feel is a good time to try it again. While not a new year’s resolution it is the first of January and feels a good time to retry something.

So 2017 version of the rules.

Every day I must submit something with at least 100 words.
This can take any form. Fact or fiction. Deeply personal to bizarre fever dream.

All writings are not meant to be clean I’m mostly going to do 1 take on it with editing being little more than a quick spell check.

This is now over 100 words so counts as an entry.

The Kings Speech (Vestenmannavnjar)

When I was chosen to be High King I felt as though I was cursed. Hounded by our ancestors I was shown the destruction our people were inflicting upon each other. How cousins killed each other in the name of progress or to defend the past.

I knew what the Grumfather had selected me to do and I prayed for him to change his mind.

The task impossible and I was not the man to take on such a role.

Ignoring the cries of our ancestors I travelled in secret from town to town. Meeting Vendel and Vestenmannavnjar alike. We were not so different, unfortunately we are equally stubborn and hardened our hearts towards one another. How could one man change the heart of a people divided.

So I hid. Like a coward I hid.

I hid as our people slaughtered each other. I hid as the nightmares of our past attacked our spirit.

I can hide no more.

The Great Wyrm has returned. We must overcome our stubbornness and stand shoulder to shoulder as a united people or we will all fall before it.

Every Vestenmannavnjar and Vendel killed is one less soldier to fight the Wyrm.

Gather all your men, all your ships. We are going to war with the greatest enemy of our people.

United we shall win.

The Kings Speech (Vendel League)

My name is Gjæving Asbjornsson, I am the High King of the Vestenmannavnjar and I am aware how little that title means to many of you gathered here today.

I come before you today not to claim sovereignty, instead I come to join you.

I have recently joined a guild and even acquired a seat.

The guilds of the Vendel League have always looked forward, you have helped shape the destiny of Theah and made other nations fear aggression against our home more than any High King, Jarl or raider fleet ever did. Through commerce you have ensured peace and that should be commended.

Now however you face a foe you do not understand. An enemy of the past who cares not for money, who can’t be negotiated with and is only interested in our complete subjection.

The Great Wyrm is real. Its power is overwhelming and it hates all of us. Every time it has come for us we have pushed it back as a united people. The Wyrm attacks now for we are a fractured people. The Norvik islands have never seemed more far apart than they are now.

The divide between the Vendel and the Vestenmannavnjar has harmed every man and woman gathered here today. Our families have been torn between tradition and progress.

We have all lost. Perhaps too much damage has been done for us to be one people again.

Hjalmar has fallen and soon the rest of Viddenheim will fall with it. Your more traditional cousins are fighting the Wyrms forces to buy all of us time to make our attack.

I beg all of you gathered here today to not let those brave men and women die for nothing.

The Vendel and the Vestenmannavnjar as enemies cannot survive. Together we have a chance.

Please do what you do best and look forward. Look toward a future of peace between our people and the nightmares of our past forever laid to rest.

I have a plan to rid our people of the Great Wyrm if you are willing to listen.

Margaux

Tomorrow Margaux would join L’Empereur’s honour guard. Years of training had brought her to this point. A dedication greater than that of any monk. A life devoted to the defence of a nation and the family at its heart.
Everything she had sacrificed was all for this. So why now for the first time in her life was she unsure?

Deep down she knew but instead focused on how she got here. How she snuck her way into a recruitment camp two years before she was allowed. How she taunted the sergeant into training a poor girl from Echine despite having no-one to recommend her.
How the boys overlooked the small girl and how they were humiliated in every sparring session.

That was before she was ever given the tabard of a musketeer. The simple days when swordplay was but a game.
After the tabard the game became real. No matter the danger that threatened her home she would always be the first to leap at it no matter the cost. With passion she fought for Montaigne and with pride she bled for the crown.

The Officers stopped seeing the little brawler from slums who they had trained to hold a sword. They began to see a confident defender of the throne. Reckless but devoted, brash but graceful, uncultured yet charming. They trained her to be a true champion of L’Empereur and his people.

She seduced spies, making them betray their own cause. She caused inquisitors to doubt their conviction long enough to quell their flames. She boarded pirates forcing them to abandon ship. She charged towards cannon fire to inspire a final defence that prevented invasion.
She fought with a grace and elegance that inspired courage among those on her side. She fought with a determination and fury that caused enemies to run.

She did all that was asked of her and more. To defend her homeland and its people were her passion. To know the royal family was safe gave her peace.

So utterly committed to her people and those that governed them that she was blind to what would happen.
To defend some noble whose name she had never even heard before Margaux was forced to fight her fellow countrymen. Not criminals, not murderers or terrorists. Normal people whose only crime was that they were vocal about the fact they were starving.

A simple protest that should have been resolved with kindness was instead met with malice from the young and brash count. The fool Threw an apple core at one of the poor children and openly laughed at them when they started to eat it.
Margaux wanted to kill him herself but instead saved his bloated arse from the mob.

She fought them. She killed them.

She killed Montaigne’s who had refused to be humiliated and starved.

Now she was being rewarded for it. Given everything she had ever wanted.

Could she bear the weight on her soul in the name on L’Empereur?

Cave

Facing east the entrance to the cave is easily missed. The white stone of the coast reflects the sun almost blinding anyone who would dare stare at it. The slippery and sharp stone of the coast is far too dangerous to approach at night.
Only at midday can the cave be safely found though it should only entered by those willing to spend the night. As part of tradition, the locals bring their dead here allowing them to rest with their ancestors. The living must spend the night in the cave to remember those they are helping pass into the next life.

Once past the narrow entrance of the cave we found a large circular room hand carved by locals. Covered in small paintings showing the faces of those who have come to rest here. None of the paintings show sadness, rather they are a symbol of the joy of a life well lived.

From the entry room there is a small passageway that leads further into the cave. The white stone brightly mirroring the light of our torches. Some newer paintings can be seen in this passage to our surprise we saw two that looked like Théan faces.

The passage led on for little more than fifty yards before slowly opening up to a natural chamber the stone of the passageway marbling into the bright blue of the chamber is a truly wondrous site well worth the trip itself.

We journeyed through the blue chamber long past any sign of the marbling, our torches usefulness diminished as the blue walls grew darker.
The temperature slowly increased the deeper we went. As night was falling and the rest of the island cooled we slowly began to cook beneath it. Spurred on with awe in our eyes we longed to see more of this glorious place.

With the heat also came a smell at first unsettling growing to an unbearable stench akin to rotten eggs. Through sheer single-mindedness we ventured onward till our noses grew accustomed to it.

For our stubborn persistence we were rewarded by the flames on our torches fading to almost nothing then just as we were about to turn around the fire turned blue and bright. Leading us further into the cave though the heat unbearable the walls began to lighten up once more. Almost as if they began to glow naturally the ground no longer felt stable and if pressed upon hard the imprint of our boots could clearly be seen. We began to see small rivers of molten blue rock that almost became white it was that bright with a light blue gas emerging from the rivers.

All of us were having trouble breathing at this point and were forced to turn back. The irritation in our throats and eyes we put down to smell. We had convinced ourselves we were fine.
That folly led to the deaths of three of our party. Inhaling the gas killed them and blinded our shield man. After 6 months I have recovered but I ask members of the society to avoid exploring this cave beyond the marbled chamber as the locals strongly advised us to do.
Though you will all no doubt be as stubborn as we were.

The Path Intro

‘A whole evening wasted’ thought Jay, whatever it was that had been killing tourists at the airport the last few nights hadn’t shown up tonight.

It didn’t make sense 6 nights in a row and then nothing, no other hunters had been here and the damned monsters tend not to stop once they get into a pattern of blood lust. ‘They must have sorted it in house’ he guessed. It made sense a newly turned vampire out of control and the elders got the child and taught them a lesson if they didn’t kill them. ‘Best to forget about the whole thing go home and sleep try and pick up the trail in the day light.’

Jay had just about gotten home when he saw the smoke and the sirens, he knew better than to run toward the scene. He walked slowly just another passer by gawking at potential tragedy. Sure enough the fire department were busy putting out the flames in his flat. Once it was out the police or the fire investigators would find the weapons he had stashed whilst looking for the cause of fire.

Once they know he’s not dead the police will be looking for the person who lived there. Another identity burned. Jay watches the flames and tries to think who could have known he was staying there. He hadn’t even told Cameron.

He would have to visit Cameron to help figure out what happened but more urgently he needed a place to crash till he could set up a new safe house.

Cameron was the one who recruited Jay to “The Path of the Hunter” as he always called it. Jay thought that was always just his way of making his love of violence seem noble. Jay’s Dad and Cameron hunted together for years till his death, since then Cameron has been trying to find out what it was that killed him and help Jay get revenge.

Dawn was starting to break when Jay arrived at Cameron’s place. He went in through the side entrance surprised to find the door unlocked and ajar. The light switch wasn’t working either, the entire place in darkness. Jay reached for his gun then CRACK a huge smash to the side of his head sends him flying across the room.

He lies concussed facing the ceiling as the lights come on. Dangling from the rafters is what is left of Cameron.

Then he blacks out.

It’s been a very bad day.