Though we cannot help but grimace at commercial undertakings by indie game developers, and by that we mean the inclusion of product placement/advertisement in their games, it has to be said that Dikembe Mutombo’s 4 1/2 Weeks to Save the World is too good to not share. What the hell is a game titled something like that all about? Well, it’s probably just as bizarre as you think, if not more so.
Announced by Adam Saltsman (Canabalt developer) on Twitter, 4 1/2 Weeks To Save The World is a collaborative effort by himself and a number of other creatives, advertising agencies Wieden+Kennedy and Driftlab, animation studio Powerhouse Animation and deodorant company Old Spice. The other indie developers include pixel art animator Paul Veer, who teamed up with Saltsman some months ago to create Hunger Games: Girl On Fire along with Danny Baranowsky who is not listed as a developer on this project. Another is Robin Arnott who has provided his sound design expertise on Saltsman’s recent release, Capsule, and is also famed for his own creep out, mask-wearing game Deep Sea. On top of that, the music was provided by Kozilek and highly-talented pixel artist Ptoing.
All of these collaborators have come together on this game mainly, it would seen, to advertise Old Spice. That’s not to say that nothing good has come out of this though! In fact, the game is downright wacky and worth a play just for the giggle. What we have currently isn’t the full thing though, as there are five mini-games all together and one will be released every week, with the last one arriving on December 17th.
Spray It On Me
As you can kind of gather from the game’s title, Dikembe Mutombo’s 4 1/2 Weeks to Save the World has you playing as retired Congolese American basketballer, Dikembe Mutombo. His mission is to prevent the world from ending through playing the series of games. This first one features Dikembe travelling down a flesh-filled well while dodging some hefty random objects, such as the burrito house pictured. His mission is to encourage Americans to vote by throwing ballot papers at them. The problem being that a particular South Korean song has basically taken over all attention spans and instead of voting, people are dancing. How dare they!
It’s worth mentioning that you learn all of this through a (skippable) scene before the game starts in which a highly intelligent bear tells you about it all. The dumb-witted Dikembe stands there, duck tucked under arm, mostly trying not to dance and nodding when it seems right to do so. It is here that the can of Old Spice is first plugged, as it serves as a jetpack for Dikembe to travel downwards on. Other than that you wouldn’t know this was a commercial product at all. Which is JUST manageable.
You can play Dikembe Mutombo’s 4 1/2 Weeks to Save the World in your browser by clicking on this link.