As he told us a little while back, Mark Essen‘s 8-bit aesthetic isn’t rooted in some kind of nostalgia for the classic era of gaming. This just happens to be the style of gaming he likes, and he sticks with it. While the look may have that “retro” feel, the gameplay brings simple controls into new realms of engagement and strangeness. No Mark Essen game in recent history is “normal” in terms of the tasks you are asked to complete in order to progress. His newest release for Adult Swim, Surprise Bullfight, is no exception.
The framework of Surprise Bullfight follows a somewhat archetypal framework, so let’s look at it that way. What are you defending? A giant on an operating table that is dying from a lack of blood. What are you attacking? Bulls. You’re a bullfighting gnome, so naturally… What’s the objective? Fight the bulls, kill the bulls, steal their blood-engorged hearts, and feed them to the giant, who will be ever so grateful.
Just like in real bullfighting, there are only a couple of moves involved—dodge, stab, and run like hell. Which will you employ first? Only one way to find out.
Play Surprise Bullfight right here.
Learn more about Essen’s process on his Creator profile.