Mackerelmedia Fish is an odd, fun, retroweb adventure

Bet you didn't expect to be reading about a game named after deprecated multimedia platform Macromedia Flash in 2020.

Reading now: Mackerelmedia Fish is an odd, fun, retroweb adventure

Bet you didn't expect to be reading about a game named after deprecated multimedia platform Macromedia Flash in 2020.

Mackerelmedia Fish is the latest creation of indie designer Nathalie Lawhead, in which you play an internet archaeologist exploring a crumbledown website as it falls to bits around you. There are minigames tucked away within it, and a big fish to find, as well as a rat who eat bits of old webcode and some inventive Error 404 dead ends. It's a bit like Frog Fractions and a bit like Hypnospace Outlaw, and Lawhead calls it "something between an ARG, graphic novel, and text adventure."

It is definitely a text adventure, because I was eaten by a grue.

I've had Mackerelmedia Fish open in another tab while I work so I can duck in at my leisure, discovering things like a downloadable "electric love potato" desktop buddy and trying not to fall into the dark. It's a cheerful window back into a time before social media when there were a lot more colorful, amateurish personal websites and everything felt much friendlier online.