Crunch numbers and bones in the bizarre debut from Squanchtendo

During PAX West I had a chance to meet up with the founders of Squanchtendo, a new game studio from Justin Roiland (Rick & Morty) and Tonya Watson (formerly Epic Games). They let me try out their first game, Accounting, which is best described as an absurd, uncut interdimensional Rick & Morty episode about crunching numbers, sort of. You'll need an HTC Vive to play Accounting, but if you have one, it's free and coming later this month. 

I talked with William Pugh and Justin Roiland earlier this year about Accounting when it was still a small Crows Crows Crows game, but what started off as a quick VR game jam project grew into something much bigger. Roiland and Watson met, formed Squanchtendo, and in collaboration with Crows Crows Crows, they decided to use Accounting as a flagship game, a free taste-tester that represents Squanchtendo's mission to "... make super duper games dooood."

If you're curious and don't mind some vague spoilers, check out the trailer up top or our interview below. 

I hesitate to say too much about Accounting since it's most potent when it surprises, but the basic framework is this: You start in an accounting office with mouse cursors for hands. You can walk around the scene and interact with objects naturally, opening drawers, tossing binders, and the like. All the while, characters voiced by Roiland and Pugh react to your actions and scream at you over an intercom.  After finding one object in particular, things get metaphysical (as if accounting wasn't philosophic enough) and the experience goes off the rails—in a good way. Accounting proceeds to get so strange and outright twisted that one moment in particular made me laugh and recoil in horror at once.

For more on Accounting, check out the website and subscribe to the mailing list if you want the immediate word when it releases.

James Davenport

James is stuck in an endless loop, playing the Dark Souls games on repeat until Elden Ring and Silksong set him free. He's a truffle pig for indie horror and weird FPS games too, seeking out games that actively hurt to play. Otherwise he's wandering Austin, identifying mushrooms and doodling grackles.