To quote Monty Python, and now for something completely different. Manchester’s Hot Shorts caught the ear of many with their excellently titled 2019 album, I Understand And I Wish To Continue. It is a record of hidden depths, a series of missives on the modern-day struggle, hiding behind a comic facade. As with many people, 2020 has been a bit different for the band’s guitarist Chris Killen, this manifested in him deciding to teach himself how to make video games. The result of that experimentation is, “a hugely playable music video/pixel art game about the horrors of being made to go to space when you don’t really want to”, released to coincide with the band sharing their latest single, Please Don’t Make Me Go To Space.
Described by the band as, “some kind of nightmare amalgam of Weezer and Super Mario Bro”, the game finds a tiny pixelated astronaut, blasting off into space, “for no reason whatsoever”, all the while accompanied by the sounds of Manchester’s finest.
The second track from I Understand And I Wish To Continue, Please Don’t Make Me Go To Space is seemingly pretty much about Chris’ lack of desire to go into space, set to a slice of distinctly 1990’s leaning slacker rock. The track chugs in on a beautifully fuzzy guitar-riff, before the driving force of bass and drums clatter into earshot. Throughout, the vocals exist as a passionate pained howl of fear, “why do I have to go to space? When there’s nothing there and it seems really dangerous”. Despite his protestations, Chris, like his pixelated spaceman equivalent, doesn’t seem to have much say in his own destiny though, and as the countdown starts and his howls become even more haunted, you really feel for the guy, “dear Chris, this is your final warning, you’ll be flying out to space in 5…4…3”. How will it end? Will our hero survive his journey, or burn up on lift-off, I guess it depends how well you do at navigating your Spaceman, best of luck Space Cadets!
You can download and play the game yourself – HERE, or check out the run through/music video below.