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Category: Games

The Post-Dad game

I've been consuming a lot more gaming content recently to help guide my attention to where some of the discourse is headed so I'm no longer just separated from it all. During my time rediscovering a lot of modern gaming content (outside of Fortnite compilations and Minecraft build videos) I came across the term "Dad game" and this was referring to games like - Microsoft Flight Simulator, Power Wash Simulator, Euro-Truck Simulator, Farming Simulator, Etc. - Where the games tend to be quite dry, where you are set about with fairly normal task, weather that be washing dirty walls, or transporting a large amount of goods from place to place, the tasks are always firmly rooted in reality. 

Then there are the Post-Dad Games... These are the same kinds of games but with tweaks to the formula. Mostly that tweak takes the place in the form of location. Take House Flipper for instance. This game sees you slowly building up from simply tidying and cleaning up mess in peoples houses to buying a house, completely renovating it and then selling it on. That is a Dad Game, Then there's Viscera Clean Up Detail. Where you are part of a team of clean up crew called in to clean up a space that has recently been the arena for something akin to The Doom Slayer going on a rampage. The premise of cleaning and tidying the area remains very much the same, however the more fantastical nature of cleaning up the aftermath of and failed monster survival experiment. Xeno limbs, dismembered scientists, unknown futuristc tech, and spent ammunition of varying styles.

This is not to say the games are just mundane games with an air of fantasy stapled on. There is also games like Elite Dangerous where the simulation on that scale and the in depth control scheme allowing you to dock your ship properly, or even go whole hog and control it with a huge HOTAS rig (hands on throttle and steering) coupled with either a huge array of screens, or a VR headset for that extra immersion. But for all the fantasy in the game there are huge main paths you can exclusively run that very much have the game in this "Post-Dad Game" label. You spend huge swathes of time delivering data sets, shipping cargo, mining asteroids, and generally exploring/cataloguing star systems. And this is the side of things in Elite: Dangerous I love the most. It's like a star-ship version of Euro Truck Simulator. The Combat just adds that extra bit of fantasy where you can begin to enact your dream of becoming space pirate extraordinaire.

There are many more in this very recently coined genre that we can go into but for now I think I'll leave a small list of games to check out with a brief description of what they are. I'll leave it to you as to weather or not you want to try them out. 

I'll also include a couple that skirt the balance. They are marketed as simulators, but have enough wacky elements thrown in, or fantasy aspects thrown on the side that they skirt the balance. These would be games like Gas Station Simulator, where although it is a straightforward simulator where you buy a gas station in the middle of nowhere and need to balance your budget for restocking manually pump the gas for customers until you can afford to hire staff. Manage a shop for beers, Ice creams, and snacks, and even later on add on a mechanic, and car wash (so far as I've played yet). But there are some fantasy elements that have crept in to my attention on the side. Things like a random ghost that likes to float about playing late 1950's rock music that I swear is going to play a role down the line. Otherwise he's just there to be weird. 

But on that note here's a list of games to check out that either fit that idea wholly of the Post-Dad game, or skirt the line between the Dad game and the Post-Dad game.

Elite Dangerous - Pick the way you want to interact with this game, do you want to be a information delivery captain, expert space trucker, asteroid miner, bounty hunter, or space pirate. Or even any combination. You could be an expert space pirate who likes to mine asteroids in the evening for some legitimate money. You could be a salvage cargo transport that also takes part in bounty hunts. Or an intergalactic Cartographer that also delivers hot meals to stationed researchers while moving around the galaxy. This is one of the most open games I've come across.

Viscera Clean up Detail - Play as one of the cleanup crew following a variety of crazy visceral encounters, ranging from science experiments gone wrong, intergalactic warfare, Alien breakouts, and crazed robots. You'll work with your trusty cleaning mop, utility production device, and laser tool for repairing rivets, and welding breaks in metal structures. Play solo for a zen like tidy up game, or with a group of friends for some potential mayhem as they break the incinerator with explosions.

Hardspace: Shipbreaker - Cut, destroy, and salvage your way through various different space craft through both a campaign and free play modes. Use a variety of tools to break down massive space craft in Zero G making good use of the game's updated physics engine. In the campaign mode pay off your massive debt to escape a dying Earth for a new life.

Papers Please - A seemingly simple game where you take the shoes of a immigration control operative checking incoming immigrants paperwork to determine who is legitimate, and who is trying to pull one over on you. Be rewarded for diligence with bonuses and feed your family better, but be warned, among the hopeful immigrants are spies, terrorists, and smugglers. Your compassion and resolve will be tested as you balance your morality on the job and your families needs.

Gas Station Simulator - This is one that I would say seemingly skirts the lines. Purchase a gas station in the middle of the desert and slowly expand outwards to include a convinience store, car wash, maintenance garage, and much more. Where this one skirts the line of the "Post" dad game however, are some of the extra bits around the outside of the main game. You have a 50s rocker ghost, and even some potential Alien encounter elements going on. But also as part of the main game your cousin who initially owned the place appears to have Mob connections that can throw a spanner into the works from time to time.

Factorio - Mine resources and build the perfect factory line in this simulation game of planning and refinement. Create intricate supply chains, automate the process, perfect your factory and exploit the world to become ruler of resources.

Satisfactory - aVery similar to Factorio however in First person. The full 3d perspective allows for far greater customisation to create monstrosities of automated supply chains in full 3d while exploring a fully rendered world. What will you come up with?

Dredge - A simple fishing game with relatively minimalistic graphics that make for a charming game. A slight hint of Lovecraftian absurdity peers it's head in at night, and in general later on in the game. Upgrade your ship to hold more fish, be more durable, and move more quickly by selling your haul to nearby fishing ports. A wonder blend of eldritch intrigue and a simple workaday fishing game.

Dyson Sphere Program - Very similar in kind to Factorio, set across multiple planets where the main goal is find an applicable star nearby and build your automated factory to reach the star and build a Dyson sphere to send much needed energy back to Earth. A very interesting take on the idea of a Dyson Sphere.

I hope you have enjoyed this little ramble going on in my brain. If you do like it want to support even more of these as well as my Youtube content, please consider supporting me through Ko-Fi either with one off tips when you can or via my membership program. All available through this link: https://ko-fi.com/swhmusic

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Thank you for stopping by.

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organic_anagram's profile picture

Great post! This is so interesting! I never could have imagined such themes for games. The one with cleaning up alien horror scenes is definitely a game for me - I love cleaning really dirty grimey things. I'm going to buy it.

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Viscera clean up detail is amazing. And it is chaotic fun with a group of friends that enjoy causing chaos. But solo it's just a really nice tidy up game with a great lick of sci-fi paint.

Glad you enjoyed this, hopefully I'll have more of these out over the next few months as I cut my teeth ready for a proper blog... Then maybe a video blog type thing???

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