Recently, we spent time in Austin, Texas at Fantastic Fest. In addition to being the country's best genre film festival (read: geek/horror/sci-fi/Asian/shock), they've added a Fantastic Arcade element that highlights the weird and wacky games out there, particularly in the independent games arena. We'll be presenting those for you right here.
If you're an indie game developer living in Sweden, what do you call yourself, and what sort of games do you create? Well, if you're Jonatan Soderstrom, then you call yourself cactus, and you get to work designing a redneck simulator called Norrland. It's a game about hunting, fishing, drinking, punching bears, pooping in the woods, playing Russian roulette, and ... well, plenty of other activities that cactus associates with redneck behavior. Activities that could only be described as sordid, and that's on a good day.
Norrland is the name for the northern part of Sweden, and its a very rural area, known for it's rivers, forests, and naturally, its hunting areas. Which could also describe portions of the United States as well, causing cactus to joke, "Maybe I should change the name of the game to Texas." At least, we assume he was joking. After playing the game, it actually does seem like calling it Texas wouldn't be much of a stretch.
Norrland is presented in a retro style, complete with glitches meant to look like it's being displayed on a wonky old television, and you play the game with only the directional arrows, and the Z key which pretty much does everything in the game, from shooting, to drinking, to punching. In fact, the trailer below should explain most of it. Like the game itself, this trailer is pretty much not safe for work. You've been warned.
Norrland definitely presents a stereotypical view of the hunting lifestyle, and people are going to have problems with it. Especially with the ... bodily functions part of the game. Punching bears is entire awesome, but some of the other activities in the game are a bit disturbing. Especially the ones involving deer carcasses. At any rate, cactus is still out there in the wild, designing games (he's working on a game for Adult Swim currently, and he's just finished one called Metroidvania). Better yet, should you be brave enough, you can download a slew of his games for the PC for free, including Norrland.
Oh, and while we were waiting on his presentation to start, Cactus put up this video for us to enjoy. Truly bizarre. Now you too can enjoy it.