If you miss live music, Teenage Blob is a PC game punk album that captures the spirit of 'the show'

VIDEO: Play This: Teenage Blob, also available on YouTube

I want to get punched in the back of the head by some skinny punk's windmilling arms. I would do anything to have this happen to me again. Until then, I'll gladly take more videogame concept albums. Teenage Blob is a collection of six simple games set to six songs, billed as a split record between indie devs Team Lazerbeam and Philadelphia punk band The Superweaks

Teenage Blob isn't Thumper or Beat Saber levels of precise, perfectly integrated music and interaction, but it's rad as hell anyway. It's meant to be a dirty garage DIY flash game affair, like a bunch of late night pizza box doodles come to life, an interactive music visualizer and virtual mosh pit for the socially-distanced crowd desperately missing live music.

You kick things off as a teen getting ready for a show later that night, but you're also short a few bucks for kickass new boots, which means you'll need to work a few jobs before the day is up. There's a different minigame for each job, like selling guitars by shredding on them at a shop, delivering sandwiches by throwing them into mailboxes, or, the most quintessential job for a grimy teen: giving people high-fives in knock-off Doomguy (it's a toad) cosplay on a skateboard. 

Each game is super simple, a one- or two-key affair riffing on retro game game concepts like Paperboy or Trials, though none of them are particularly deep or even very good. But they're broken up by cute narrative moments that accompany dips in mood or pace with each song. Between delivering sandwiches I could press a key to stop and look at the gorgeous city skyline, or during my break at the guitar shop I could complain to my coworker about how exploited we were. Solidarity, yeah!

The games are all flavor dust for the music, something to prop up the tunes, even if they're pretty good rock jams that stand well on their own—if you're into this kind of stuff, I mean. And if you are, it all culminates in a goofy, surprisingly moving mosh pit game, where, like a risk-free Flappy Bird, you 'fly' a ragdoll avatar from the venue entrance, through head-bobbing crowds, over bars and merch booths, and into the pit where the band literally blasts you and the big, clumsy crowd with soundwaves. 

And at $8, Teenage Blob cute and dumb and good fun well worth the ticket price, a clever mix of music and little narrative doo-dads to poke around and laugh at while the rhythm and emotion seep in. 

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.