• Mon. Mar 4th, 2024

Crapshoot: I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream, a game censorship made unfinishable


Jul 4, 2021

From 2010 to 2014 Richard Cobbett wrote Crapshoot, a column about rolling the dice to bring random obscure games back into the light. This week, a dainty little story of fire and pus and slithering hate… but in a good way, as long as you don’t find yourself one of its participants.

There are three basic ways to make a controversial game: crank the sex and violence up to 11, dare to take on subjects thought ‘not suitable’ for something as trivial as a ‘game’, or send a copy to the Daily Mail on a slow news day. I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream stands out as one of the best examples of the second one; a horror adventure that kept the gore in the background and focused entirely on psychology. There’s not many laughs to be had this week, just one very creepy little tale.

I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream… and just to get this out of the way, yes, it was indeed the first of a long-running series, including I Have No Nose And I Must Sneeze, I Have No Arse And I Must Poop, and the somewhat disappointing finale, I Have No Ideas And I Must Sequel… is a strange game. It’s based on a Harlan Ellison short story of the same name, that I’m sure you wouldn’t be able to find online with any kind of searching, and is one of the rare games that was originally intended not to have a ‘good’ ending. There was only going to be loss, and pain, and pus, and the gnawing of starving rats against dehydrated bone.

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