Photo via RuneStorm
In the epic action-laden bullet-fests that define the space marine versus alien invader gaming genre, no one notices the high body count more than the space station janitor tasked with cleaning up. In the free PC game Viscera Cleanup Detail by indie developer RuneStorm, you get to do the real dirty work of alien warfare.
Armed with gloves, a mop, and two buckets—one for water the other for collecting body parts—your mission is to clean up the bloody mess left behind by the unmentioned hero that saved mankind. Literally.
Blood, guts, and shell casings are everywhere, so don’t think this is an easy or quick process: your mop will need to be rinsed many times and fresh water for your bucket fetched. There is blood on the ceiling and body parts located on top of high places requiring you to stack blocks to reach them. Accidentally drop a body part (or punch it) and blood splatters on the floor. The same goes for tipping over your bucket by running past it.
Levels are long, with many corridors and darkly lit corners. Sometimes the task at hand seems too much for one man or woman. You might grow frustrated, but you persevere against the odds, and once your assigned corridor is shiny and looking like new, you are rewarded with... another area to clean? Oh. Not the medal you were looking for.
Created in 10 days during a RuneStorm game-jam, the developers themselves admit Viscera Cleanup Detail is an “incomplete prototype.” Maybe yet-to-be-designed levels have you building little robots to help you clean faster or later on you gain the ability to dual-wield mops or mop-jump. Perhaps your character learns how to whistle while they work, too.
Regardless, Viscera Cleanup Detail is a heavy-handed interactive art piece with tons of gore more than it is an enjoyable playable game. It’s good for a laugh and some reflection on the violence in modern videogames but you’re probably not going to play longer than 20 minutes. The tedious monotony will get to you. Or maybe that’s the point.