The Rob Fearon Filthy Phallus award for the game that could be the worst euphemism ever if you squint really hard (I said squint etc…)
Up against GoatUp, Land A Panda and Greedy Bankers for the prize, Vertex Dispenser is rather obviously the only one of these that couldn’t possibly, not even in a million years, be construed as anything even remotely rude.
The lengths I’ll go to for a tremendously shit and unfunny joke should never be underestimated. Nor should the lengths I’ll go to to raise a shout out for a game I fear underappreciated either.
It seemed fitting that the award it would receive would be one for which Vertex Dispenser is ill fitting precisely because aside from “fucking great”, it’s a bastard hard game to pin down exactly where it belongs in this gaming universe. Vertex Dispenser is ill fitting for most categories so it was either this or “best game that is Vertex Dispenser” and where’s the fun in that?
It’s abstract, it’s abrasive, it’s uneasy, it’s an RTS, it’s a puzzle game, it’s an RTS puzzle game at exactly the same time. It’s an RTS puzzle game with fucking graph theory puzzles to solve on the fly. It’s the sort of game that looks like something you might have played before, kinda behaves mostly like something you’ve played before but isn’t afraid to spit in your eye and say FUCK YOU, I AM MY OWN MOTHERFUCKING GAME when it suits it.
It could only be made by an indie developer. You might get the push/pull landgrabbing RTS gameplay past the marketing drones but the graph theory puzzling? They’d shit a brick.
It all seems so simple but as with the best simple systems, it invites mastery. It knows it’s smart, it wants you to be smart too. But no-one likes a smart arse and so it’s remained overlooked far more than it should ever have been.
Now seems as good a time as any for you to remedy that and go and take a look at it.