Studio makes actual minigame compilation based on those shovelware mobile game ads you see everywhere

Screenshot of a game based on shovelware game ads.
(Image credit: Monkeycraft.)

A feature of online life for anyone who's ever expressed the vaguest of interest in videogames is weird adverts for shovelware games. You know the type, my lord: little vignettes where someone's building a house, or saving a damsel from a burning pyre, or mixing gloop in an oddly satisfying way.

Well now someone's made a minigame collection on Steam with perhaps one of the most outstanding titles I've ever seen. I am going to give this name its own paragraph and allow it to retain caps lock for the full effect:


Or YYWTGRSHYGNLSYCT for short. Mostly I just admire the over-enthusiastic "YEAH!" at the start of what boils down to a stickman minigame collection. It seems inspired by a kind of longing, because one of the things about these adverts is that they mostly bear little relation to anything you can actually play: if you ever make the mistake of clicking on one of these ads, whatever it takes you to is usually (a) skeezy and (b) nothing like the 'game' you clicked on.

"Those Games" are what "you wanted to play to your heart's content, but couldn't". They're stickpeople in room puzzles, car parking challenges, test tubes with various liquids, some sort of stacking / running challenge, and one of those where you see lots of little buildings with icons. The game's simple setup sees you playing through various styles of minigame, with monthly ranking leaderboards for each one, and as you play you're rewarded with coins. These can be used on the "Gotcha!" machine (very good punnage), to earn plates and titles which, the developer claims, allow "8,910,000 different combinations!"

You cannot fault the enthusiasm. And people seem to actually like it to boot, so clearly the developer has tapped into something. The main complaint on Steam is about it being $13 for a collection of fairly light minigames aping mobile shovelware but, y'know, that's kinda the whole deal? And the overwhelming sentiment is that people want more: "Like the one where you have to collect a bunch of people and fight another group of people, or that knife throwing one," says Steam user Updoggo. The bizarre thing is I can call to mind exactly the kind of games they're talking about.

It gets even odder, somehow. The developer of this collection is Monkeycraft, which PC gamers will know best for the excellent ports it's been doing of the Katamari Damacy games. Like, this lot are legit. Clearly, however, they waste as much time noodling around on social media and mobile games as the rest of us.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."