Exploring Glitchy Atmospheric Landscapes

These are a couple of free independent computer games that I came across some time ago and found interesting. Both feature a glitchy aesthetic and neither offers much explanation.


Icefishing V

Icefishing is a series of projects by Nate Gallardo. Icefishing I-IV are sound-only, and can be found on this Bandcamp page. The fifth is the game, and can be found here:


In each area of the game, you’re to find and enter an object that resembles a telephone booth. How to do this in each area is up to the player to figure out. At one point, I thought I had exposed an unintentional glitch and become stuck, but after a sort of detour I was able to continue.



Memory of a Broken Dimension

For this one, even reaching the main part of the game can be a challenge, unless you are familiar with command line interfaces.

Here’s a hint (highlight to reveal): dir

And here’s the solution, if you need that:

1. remote
2. voidscan
3. dive

These are direct download links for the game:

Alternatively, you can play it in your Web browser here:



Here’s one more that I happened to discover the day after I originally made this post. Unlike the other two, this one doesn’t appear to have any goals other than exploring the nightmarish landscape. (I could be mistaken about that, however.)

These are direct download links for the game:

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  1. Greetings and hello clysm!

    A ‘thankyou’ and an ‘awesome’ for this post. I’ve been feed-camping your website for a while and I’m glad I’ve kept it up. Your posts unearth arts and styles I’ve never had contact with before — seeing a new post in my feed reader draws a smile no matter my situation.

    I’d love to encourage you to become more prolific, but that’s a message that would make you feel pressured and be counter-productive overall. Do what you enjoy: if you don’t enjoy something, change the way you do it. Spare nothing — for nothing is sacred, and your site is your domain.

    I found your website eons ago and it lead me to Rez. Although my dreamcast has died prematurely (it deserved to outlast me!) I won’t ever forget that game. It still sits on a shelf behind me in a glorified pose, permanent-marker letters on its oxidised surface shouting “PLAY ME, PLEASE!” every moment of my life.

    Oh the SEGA gods are cruel… but I must go on.

    “Memory of a Broken Dimension” looks completely different to me from your screenshots, but alas I’m running it under Wine. Things look even _more_ glitchy, with no paper-esque styling and complete visual-noise disorientation in some places. I absolutely love it, and I’m still trying out the other two games.

    It took me a while to start deciphering the 3D space from the noise — the room names /really/ helped. Is it possible to get past the BSOD? I’ve reached that point twice now.

    A game you might be interested in is Zineth, a 3d platformer where your speed determines your opportunities: http://zinethgame.tumblr.com/ . The Twitter functionality is probably broken by now, but the speed-oriented gameplay are what makes it unique. It’s perfectly playable without a controller and has a few clever mysteries and rewards in its progression to the moon. Do not fear the eagle: embrace it.

    The project I’m part of at the moment ( http://unvanquished.net ) is probably not your cup of tea, with a focus on unique gameplay rather than art. But hey, I’ll throw a plug for it here anyway :P

    Enjoy what you do!


  2. Thanks for reminding me about Zineth. I downloaded it some time ago but never tried it, despite being impressed with other games by Arcane Kids. (In fact, I should go ahead and mention their games here while I’m thinking about it.)

    As for Memory of a Broken Dimension, you’ve reached the ending as far as I know.

    You’re right that Unvanquished doesn’t seem to be the type of game I normally play, but you never know. I like the monster designs.

    I’m glad you’ve found some of my recommendations helpful.


  3. I didn’t know they had released other games. I’ll have to check them out :)

    A lot of large game projects (not only commercial ones) follow many common and tested themes, development styles and gameplay. This is really saddening — games are art and experience, but when both are none then the game is neither. Luckily the ‘big names’ are only a small fraction of what’s available: small games provide a lot of the great experiences.

    Have you ever had a look at accelerated game development projects such as Ludum Dare? Authors are encouraged to try and create (free) games in very short periods of time, so they can focus on trying new things out. Intermingled within the walls of variety found on these sites are a lot of great ideas, implementations and stories.



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