The Dink Network

Sour Gummy Worms

One of the many screens with ever changing enemies
January 5th, 2021
Score : 8.5 good
Peasant Australia steam
I've come to get my meat 
For those who aren't aware of the author's great history on this web site, their interpretation of what he has produced and what it represents in the grander scheme of things will almost inevitably be lacking in some way. I will spare you an in-depth history lesson and instead direct you to type "POOPY SAUCE" into the search box on the forum search page with deleted messages on so that you may marvel at the standard of discourse. However, if you're at all acquainted with this and other such behaviour over the last ten years or more, the rationale behind "Sour Gummy Worms" will be at least somewhat obvious.

What may strike newcomers to the D-mod world as somewhat baffling is that the author's earlier DMODs did actually aspire to some sort of worthwhile standard. Compared to Sour Gummy Worms, "Smallwood-Man!" was a veritable masterpiece in regards to the finesse and apparent craftsmanship involved. At the start of 2015 there appears to have been a violent shift towards Dmods of deliberately poor quality. To these uninitiated individuals who are left shaking their head while wondering what went wrong, they have once again missed the point. The world of Dink modding has a long history of poorly-produced questionable uploads, with there being an equally long history of a sort of meta-commentary that surrounds these "bad" mods and the apparent disgust they inspire in the player. You can be assured that the clamour of distaste for ABCDEFG was far larger and lasted much longer than it ever took to download and finish. Similarly, the discussions surrounding GlennGlenn's uploads and whether or not he was making deliberately bad D-mods to torment the community with were more long-winded than all the lines of dialogue in "The Scary Beast" put together. The author thus continues this rich tradition by making what is essentially a fusion of everything unpleasant from the archetypal "bad" Dmod.

When Sigmund Freud and his students were in the early stages of refining his process of psychoanalysis, they stumbled across a phenomenon that they couldn't make sense of. A certain subset of patients were almost impossible to successfully treat. It was found that whenever they made any sort of noticeable progress, they'd end up somehow becoming worse in the aftermath to the point where their progress was effectively negative. Freud concluded that these individuals were ultimately driven by the "death drive" or "Thanatos" rather than the desire for life, or "Eros" as he termed it. Through this lens we may observe that "Sour Gummy Worms" is the culmination of what may be achieved when this desire for self-annihilation is harnessed for the sake of Dmod development and taken to its extreme. If you can't be the best at something, why not attempt to become the best at being the worst at it instead?

Unfortunately Sour Gummy Worms does what it does extremely well to the point where it transcends the category of "bad dmod" and ends up becoming something incredible in its own right. Similarly to how "The Quest for Cheese" and "Dry" attempted to subvert the conventional, Sour Gummy Worms takes it one step further and manages to upend just about every aspect of what one expects to be the norm at just about all stages of playing a D-mod. For any seasoned Dink veteran this actually becomes a somewhat welcome contrast to the tedium that is present in most standard D-mods in which Dink visits the king, is teleported somewhere by a wizard and then must punch things for a while until the ending occurs. The deviation from established norms begins from the start in which the title screen's buttons are incorrectly labelled, and attempting to load the included saved game turns out to be a trap of sorts. Upon starting the game, the player is presented with enemies that periodically disappear, tiles that don't convey any sort of path, and a number that talks to you and provides advice.

Overall, "Sour Gummy Worms" is an assault on everything that we as D-mod players find sacred, and successfully subverts just about every established norm that we're accustomed to. Although you may start with a sour taste in your mouth upon first bite, the resulting insulin spike is more than enough to keep you going for that little while longer.