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Bubsy3D

Indie developer revives Bubsy for bizarre, introspective art museum adventure

By Matt Gerardi • November 12, 2013

Arcane Kids, the developers behind Perfect Stride and Sawbuck fave Room Of 1000 Snakes, are celebrating the 18th birthday of Bubsy, the cartoon cat who starred in a string of maligned games in the ’90s and who has actually been around for longer than 18 years, by reviving him for a new browser-based adventure. In Bubsy 3D: Bubsy Visits The James Turrell Retrospective, Bubsy does exactly what that comically long subtitle says. Directed by talking giant frogs, he jumps through a psychedelic landscape until he reaches the Los Angeles County Museum Of Art and takes a tour of the James Turrell retrospective, faithfully recreated from the exhibit that’s really open in that real museum. There, he finds lots of happy museum patrons reflecting on Turrell’s installation art and, as impossible as it may sound, things get way weirder.

There seem to be lots of secrets lurking under the game’s insane surface level combination of nostalgia, existentialism, and art criticism. At least one of those secrets is handed to you at the end of the game, but it opens up a new mode of play that’s filled with even more mysteries. You can find Bubsy 3D: Bubsy Visits The James Turrell Retrospective right here.

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22 Responses to “Indie developer revives Bubsy for bizarre, introspective art museum adventure”

  1. ItsTheShadsy says:

    YES thank you so much for posting this. This is one of my favorite games in a while. I love the little touches, like the ball counter that goes far past its limit or the increasingly large frogs. It’s also genuinely informative about installation art!

  2. The_Misanthrope says:

    Charlatans! This is no Bubsy! Where is his righteous ‘tude? Where are his smartass quips delivered by the unheralded talent of Lani Minella? No, this is merely a fake Bubsy, a “Fubsy” if you will! Contact your local congressperson! Don’t wait until this happens to other neglected video-games IPs, like Gex or Croc!

    • Boonehams says:

      More like “Flubsy”. ‘Cause he… flubs.
      Look, it’s early and I haven’t had my coffee yet. Cut me some slack.

  3. Girard says:

    James Turrell is pretty boss. Way back in undergard days the Mattress Factory museum in Pittsburgh turned over their whole building to him, and every room became a weird world of light and color. There was also a weird color bubble you could pay to be inserted into that would work magic with your eyeballs. It was great.

    • DL says:

      Your comment reminded me of this installation I had seen YEARS ago in
      the Modern Art floor of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. It was a dedicated room that had this
      trippy grey painting on the wall that wasn’t really there. I looked it
      up, and it surely is a Turrell piece called “Acton”!

      I feel like
      I’m not so much a philistine…it was my favorite piece in the
      top-floor, modern exhibit that, at the time, I declared was put up there because
      “[feces] floats”.

      • DL says:

        OK, I take that back. I just played through that game, and I AM a philistine. Either that, or I don’t like being beaten over the head with the message. The Designers Republic did a way better job of criticizing unchecked capitalism and the individual’s futility in fighting it.

      • Girard says:

        Acton is pretty cool. Fun fact: Turrell made a similar piece, except that it was a wall that wasn’t there, rather than just a painting. It’s now illegal to exhibit it in America because some idiot tried to lean on it, fell through, hurt themselves, and sued the artist.

  4. Cloks says:

    Reminded me of Friday Night Lights,

  5. Xyvir says:

    Soo…. a quick Google search revealed a Metafilter post about the game, which in turn listed many of the cheats. One of the cheats, ‘cinematic mode’ is a youtube link to this monstrosity of CG animation. It’s too bad to not check out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDoLszwmL4Q

  6. Merve says:

    dafuq did i just play?

  7. Matt Koester says:

    That was really, really good. Thank you, Video games.

  8. chrisk says:

    that ending was a lot of fun!

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