This is the one hundred sixty-seventh entry in the Scratching That Itch series, wherein I randomly select and write about one of the 1741 games and game-related things included in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality. The Bundle raised $8,149,829.66 split evenly between the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, but don’t worry if you missed it. There are plenty of ways you can help support the vital cause of racial justice; try here for a start. Lastly, as always, you may click on images to view larger versions.
Our one hundred sixty-seventh random selection from the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality has taken to the streets with a mask and a tennis racquet. It’s Lacrymo Tennis 2016 (+2018), by Les Jeux d’la Tête, and its tagline in the bundle reads:
No one does bourgeois revolution quite like the French.
Je suis d’accord.
“Lacrymo” means “tear gas” in French. Lacrymo Tennis 2016 is a game made in about eight hours for the Jeux Debout game jam, inspired by this famous photo of a protester in Paris in 2016 using a tennis racquet to knock a tear gas grenade back at the police. The game, which is playable in a browser as well as via download, sees players moving their character left and right on the screen with the mouse, as he swings his racquet around and around. Protesters march by in the background, and tear gas grenades are hurled in periodically. Players must knock the grenades away with their racquet, protecting the protesters and their own lungs. Inhale too much gas, and it’s game over.
It’s a simple, silly game, even in its updated 2018 form. In fact, that’s the version I played, since it has both English and French language options and allows players to play the original 2016 version or the updated 2018 one. The 2018 update changes the controls a bit, tasking players with manually winding up and then releasing their tennis swings, rather than using a continuously swinging racquet. It also has more tear gas, making a given play session a bit shorter (although even the original takes just a few minutes to play once). According to Les Jeux d’la Tête, it also features more inclusive protesters, and more slogans for the signs they carry (which remain in French, even when choosing the English language setting for the game).
This one is quick and good for a few laughs. I also enjoyed the ending screen, which not only told me how many tear gas grenades I’d knocked back and how many protesters I’d protected, but also how many taxpayer euros had been spent on those grenades. It also notes that the long term health costs will raise that price even further. A little bit of biting satire at the finish, there. If you’re in the mood to whack a few tear gas grenades back at the police, Lacrymo Tennis 2016 (+2018) is completely free, even for those who missed the bundle.
That’s 167 down, and only 1574 to go!