Faking It is a game with a delightfully simple premise and absolutely devilish controls. First spotted by Alpha Beta Gamer, this free Ludum Dare game jam project from developers Alec Gamble and Hannah Payne casts you as president Hugh Mann, a politician whose numbers would absolutely tank if the public found out he’s actually a tentacle horror from beyond the cosmos. Do you have what it takes to keep it together and placate the American public, or will you slip up and reveal your otherworldly nature to all and sundry?
My first run through did not go so hot. You have to maintain a normal guy’s speaking pitch with your mouse wheel, slap away your uncooperative tentacles when they pop up with a left click, remember to blink every few seconds by pressing the spacebar, and, most vexingly, individually pose each of your arms when prompted. Your left and right arms are mapped to ASDF/HJKL respectively, with each key representing its own position. This facet reminded me a lot of Bennet Foddy’s QWOP, and frantically trying to do something normal with my hands every few seconds was a real frantic treat—Faking It feels like you’re trying to keep plates spinning in the air, and I really dig its absurd, slapstick sensibility.
That first time through, I hit my poses and blinks just fine, but neglected my pitch, and the plebs just weren’t having it: “You blew it,” my advisors informed me. “Now you’ve gone and traumatised millions of people and your terrible secret has been revealed. This is going to cost you in the next election. Probably.”
My second time through went a lot smoother, and those shortsighted rubes—er, I mean, my valued constituents—were none the wiser as to Hugh Mann’s celestial origins. That was only on the easiest of four difficulties, however, with increasing run times and more aggressive challenges available to test your capacity as a normal man—I know my capacity as a normal man is challenged quite enough by real life. If you’d like to try hoodwinking the people of this great nation yourself, I would recommend running for public office or, failing that, checking out Faking It on itch.io or the Ludum Dare website.
(Image credit: Alec Gamble, Hannah Payne)