Video Game / Sluggish Morss

"Okay, I'm going to stop acting like I'm surprised at what I'm about to see, because, obviously, I'm not meant to understand any of this."

Sluggish Morss is a trilogy of somewhat-interconnected sci-fi video games by Jake Clover and Jack King-Spooner. There are currently three games in the series: Sluggish Morss, Sluggish Morss: A Delicate Time in History, and Sluggish Morss: Ad Infinitum. As far as a story goes, it seems to involve space travel, the future of mankind, prediction of the future, and contact with alien beings. The first two are made in Game Maker and can be downloaded for free and finished within 15 minutes.

These games contain examples of the following tropes:

  • All There in the Manual: The names of some of the NPCs unnamed in the game proper are revealed in the end credits of A Delicate Time in History.
  • And Now For Something Completely Different: The introduction and ending of Sluggish Morss feature pot leaves and reggae music.
  • Anti-Climax:
    • In the first game, the end is a meeting of some of the characters in the game, with trippy visuals and reggae music.
    • The end of A Delicate Time in History has one of the aliens tells Widok that humankind is a disappointment. That's the end of the game.
    • The third game features a monologue about mankind's failure to colonize much of space.
  • Art Shift: Sluggish Morss: Ad Infinitum seems to feature claymation, cartoonish hand-drawings, Flash-like animation, possible 3D CGI or physical models, a greater quality of Uncanny Valley in some of its visuals, and a greater usage of fonts that are not Courier New; in general, it has a more organic feel to the visual aesthetic. There's also a more three-dimensional component to the motion in the game.
  • Book Ends: The first game has a Non Sequitur area with reggae music, a trippy background, and reggae music that appears towards the start and finish of the game.
  • But Thou Must!: A minor example, wherein one cannot "bound" to the Morss unless they complete a different area of the game, even though they must pass the bounding place before getting to the place they need to do something in.
  • Call-Back: In the third game, a scene on a rail-transport-type-thing recalls a similar scene from the second, including similar dialogue for the player character.
  • Casual Interstellar Travel: Seems to be averted, if some dialogue from the first game is any indication—one NPC states that they will not reach their destination for over five years. Possibly played straight in the sequel, though.
  • Creepy Child:
    • The Superbabies, especially the ones with speaking roles, are just the heads of babies that speak either in creepy machine-like speech or in a foreign language. Gnik in particular looks like someone cut off the lower half of his face and welded a bunch of scrap metal and dentures to it.
    • The low-res baby face from the first two games has closed eyes and often flips back and forth rapidly. It's unknown if it's supposed to be a Superbaby or not.
  • Cyborg: At least some of the Superbabies may qualify, Gnik in particular due to how his face looks like something Scott Cawthon might have made up.
  • Dying Dream: Very possibly the entire first game, the protagonist seemingly having been killed by his brother in a dispute over money. In Sluggish Morss: Ad Infinitum, some character dialogue implies that a murder did occur in the first game.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: A large, creepy, purple rat has these, and same applies to a similar-sized tabby cat in the first game.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Mandarin Chinese and, in the case of the name "Sedno Kier", Polish appear in the game.
  • Fetch Quest: Subverted.
    • In the first one, the goal seems to be to get all the coins…but there's seemingly no real reason to do so other than the plot demands it.
    • In A Delicate Time in History, one person won't let Widok pass without gathering four of a certain item. The character is later told that said items don't actually exist.
    • The third game in the series features the coins but doesn't even really mention them in the narrative.
  • Fun with Subtitles: Two examples from A Delicate Time in History, though they're not strictly subtitles:
    • Gnik's opening speech is transcribed in the opening crawl, but there's at least one sentence in there that is not only unspoken, but has zero contextual relevance.
    • In the end credits, when Jack King-Spooner's name comes up, the credits degenerate into "bla bla bla".
  • MacGuffin: The coins. Maybe. They seem to have no other purpose than to speed the plot along (and in the third game, aren't so much as paid lip service!).
  • Machine Monotone: Comes with the territory of the Synthetic Voice Actors used. The aliens from the first game sound like Microsoft Sam was used to voice them.
  • Mushroom Samba: The entire first game might be one. The protagonist is seen smoking some sort of cigarette-like thing throughout the game, the visuals in general are trippy, many of the NPCs (and even the player character) are seen lying around doing nothing (perhaps as if stoned), and the beginning and end of the game have pot leaves blatantly represented on flags.
  • Nightmare Face: Gnik, the first Superbaby from A Delicate Time in History, qualifies with its cyborg collage of a countenance.
  • No Cartoon Fish: Averted—if anything, the large, man-sized fish is the most cartoony sentient animal in the first game, especially when compared to the perfectly life-like tabby cat of similar size.
  • No Name Given: The protagonist of the first game is never named.
  • Palette Swap: In A Delicate Time in History, one has the option of consulting a database on several planets in the universe. One of the planets appears to be a Palette Swap of Neptune.
  • Random Events Plot: Both games, especially the first one, come off as this.
  • Shout-Out: To Star Wars: Episode IV, when Widok finds the robots that are malfunctioning in A Delicate Time in History.
    Widok: This is the droid I was looking for.
  • Smoking Is Cool: The protagonist of the first game seems to like to puff on something.
  • Starfish Aliens: The headbanging elephant/puffin-thing aliens have a different approach to the perception of space-time than we do…apparently…
  • Stock Scream: There's a Wilhelm Scream in the first game.
  • Synthetic Voice Actor:
    • The Starfish Aliens from the first game (though this is seemingly averted in the second) sound like Microsoft Sam.
    • Several voices from A Delicate Time in History, particularly the pilots of the flying cars.
  • Vocal Dissonance:
    • Gnik's supposed to be a Superbaby, but that voice doesn't sound anything like a baby's…
    • Some of the characters seem to have a Synthetic Voice Actor of the opposite gender. For bonus points, one might expect something more human-sounding, instead often getting speech synthesis.
  • The Voiceless:
    • The protagonists from the first and third games do not speak.