Note: epileptics may want to steer clear of this title
I’ve never found something as hipster or that would fit under the definition of independent game as much as Keyboard Drumset F*****g Werewolf. As soon as I saw the title, I knew I had to play it and boy oh boy, do I not regret it. If you have heard of Hotline Miami, imagine that game, a gory psychedelic acid trip, and compress that entire game into a two minute experience, sprinkled with a hint of confusion. Keyboard Drumset F*****g Werewolf takes its core audience, the indie punk and retro gaming scene, and takes anyone else who comes across it for a crazy ride filled with guys turning into werewolves. As an indie gamer, I’ve played my fair share of crazy games like Cod of Duty, Soda Drinker Pro, and You Have To Burn The Rope, but I’ve never seen a game that encompasses what it means to actually be indie as Keyboard Drumset F*****g Werewolf.
Graphically, the sprites are crude and all over the place, the screen flashes sporadically, the graphics are intentionally broken at parts, and there isn’t a definite art style to the game. Clearly, whoever made this game was not afraid of anyone or anything. The game represents an insane creativity unseen in any game in my experience. The game isn’t of the horror genre but it gives off the impression that it’s meant to disturb the player with its use of blood, gore, and violence. The game is easy to play but the imagery makes you anxious and second guess yourself.
The game itself has no bounds. There are rocket launchers, unicorns, barrels, ice climbers, bats, and acid trips. The game is set up as a string of fast-paced interconnected mini-games. If you lose, you have to start back from the first mini-game. In a way, the game plays like WarioWare but unlike WarioWare, each part creates a story, albeit one that doesn’t make sense.
Keyboard Drumset F*****g Werewolf shines at its presentation. It doesn’t hold back with shameless blood and gore. Middle fingers are flying all over the place along with vomit dripping down a guy who seems to be naked. Despite how disgusting and possibly revolting Keyboard Drumset F*****g Werewolf is, the 8-bit and retro inspired nature of each scene makes it seem more necessary with the core gameplay. It’s as if the game makers already knew that it didn’t make any sense, and plays it up by making sure its core aesthetic is all over the place. At one part, you’re climbing an ever-melting ice sculpture, while in another, you’re in a forest evading the military.
Music is a big part of the game as it’s actually why the game was made. Each part of the game, each mini-game, is connected together by part of a song made by the band F*****g Werewolf Asso. Centering a game around a chip punk song makes the nonsense more meaningful. The one song has high screams for the insane parts, buildups before the big bad boss, and a light punkish opening at the start, matching both the wintery scene with crude graphics and the simple jumping gameplay.
Surprisingly enough, Keyboard Drumset F*****g Werewolf is a music game. It isn’t a regular music game as there is no need to have rhythm. You don’t have to be a master drummer or anything, you just have to put on some headphones and play the game.
Bottom Line: Keyboard Drumset F*****g Werewolf is a different type of game. It’s crazy but even that crazy is beyond crazy. From the music to art style to gameplay, everything is connected in the game but it still doesn’t make sense. Then again, that’s why this game is so good. It takes every preconception of weird and normal and melds the two so dynamically that it’s beyond understanding. It’s a music game but you don’t need to hear the music. It’s abstract in its design but it’s easy to pick up and understand since its instructions are clear. The graphics are vomit inducing at times but you’ll always know who you are or what you’re controlling. Keyboard Drumset F*****g Werewolf takes everything and spits it all out in a glorious pile of game that could only be made by the indie game scene.
by Matthew Maravilla