The Strange and Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge

By: Derek Yu

On: December 12th, 2008

The Strange and Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge

The Strange and Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge (a name so long it breaks TIGdb) is one bloody funny adventure game. Even as a Yank, I feel I can inoffensively use the word “bloody” in this situation, because Desert Bridge employs a kind of droll, British humor that is genuinely infectious. Seriously, the amount of wordplay, puns, and nonsense in the game is staggering – it really takes absurdism to a whole new level, even for a genre that is kind of heavy on it.

“It’s an orange carpet. It smells of oranges.” That was the first giggle the game got out of me, but it certainly wasn’t the last. Your giggle-mileage may vary.

But what ultimately makes the game so good is not just the surreal humor, but the fact that, despite how random and weird things can get, the puzzles themselves are quite straightforward. Jonas Kyratzes (who also created the decidedly less humorous Last Rose in a Desert Garden) has done a good job of imbuing his game with a strange internal logic that bubbles out from beneath the absurdist veneer. And it helps that the hand-drawn crayon graphics and the music are both very good and jive well with the game’s atmosphere.

If there’s one minor complaint I have, it’s that it can be easy to get lost in the game, given its first-person viewpoint. But the areas are not big enough that this became a serious issue for me. I still recommend it highly.

(Thanks, Gregory!)

TIGdb: Entry for The Strange and Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge

  • Sigvatr

    Shitty crayon drawings by an eight year old for game graphics; another indie gaming masterpiece.

  • Scoreboard

    Petulant complaints employing inaccurate accusations of age and incorrect usage of the semicolon: yet another analytical triumph for Sigvatr.

  • The title doesn’t lie. Beneath the whimsy surface lies something deeply sinister.

    This game made me sad.

  • Zaphos

    Your first link goes to Last Rose in a Desert Garden! Oh my.

    Despite these adverse conditions, we have managed to download the game and are enjoying it very much.

  • Derek

    Oops! That’s all fixed now.

  • @Scoreboard

    I think Sigvatr was complementing it.
    He did say ‘gaming masterpiece.’ after all.

  • Winterous

    Played through the whole thing.
    Loved it, although I didn’t read the journals :P

  • Cybolt

    Just finished with the game and I have to say that it is a very good story. I really enjoyed the adventure (solved it by myself! =P) and I liked the theme of the story and secretly wish for it to continue.

    All in all, thanks for bringing attention to something that I would have otherwise never knew about.

  • Sigvatr

    Oh dear, I’ve attracted the wrath of Mr. Intelligent McBigwords.

  • Gr.Viper

    Cute! Stuff the graphics – by the amount of text it’s more of an IF with rodent control attached by the tail… Reminds me of The Lurking Horror with puns and suspence mixed.

    P.S. Are all Russian IPs banned from TIGforum or every single of ’em?

  • Honesty

    Eat! Smell! Gerbelize!

    Yay Flower Power!

  • Derek

    Gr.Viper, send me an email with your info (email, host, ip)… I may have inadvertently banned a large portion of Russia (from which comes a lot of spam).

  • Jad

    sigvatr: haha, that was a meak ‘wrath’ indeed then. stop flamebaiting, guy.

    derek more or less says it’s a ‘game worth playing’ and you’re countering with a sarcastic ‘masterpiece’, an argument against something noone said.

    Anyways, the TIGsource comment section isn’t really where people make their best posts, so I guess I should just leave it. But man, stop trolling. (that is, expressing yourself in a manner as to create arguments/controversy)

    Ironically enough though I’ll have to agree on the graphics part, that one screenshot doesn’t make me want to play the game at all, but hell, I guess I should give it a try anyway :

  • RayRayTea

    Just downloaded the soundtrack (the link to the musician is on the game’s page and there’s the complete archive free to download), liked it very much.

  • Lailoken

    @Winterous: I think the journals are worth reading, especially near the end.

    Started at about 11:30 pm and it kept me hooked until I finished it at 2:00 am.

    The artwork isn’t gorgeous (but like it), the humor isn’t sidesplitting, and the puzzles aren’t that hard, but it somehow all comes together into what I thought was an amazing experience. I don’t even like adventure games that much usually, but I’ll probably play this one again sometime.

    The sinister undertone does build throughout the game, especially when you take a look through the telescope and start reading the harder to reach journals. And the ending is strangely sad and uplifting at the same time.

  • gulo gulo

    this would be on linux, wouldn’t it

  • pnx

    This was probably one of the stranger games I’ve played, it was very fun and interesting and the weird sinister tone that builds as the game progresses made for some interesting story. Odd really, it was very different than I expected to see.

  • Quetz

    I like this a lot.

  • GRRRRRRR (Pretzelking)


    Also, your games blow and I am liberal. TAKE THAT, SIGGY!