Playdate Pop Up Pop Up
"a selection of our past and present curations. altgames, artgames, feminist, lgbtq, experimental, short form experiences, or strange broken trashgames...we love them all!"

Playdate 2019

Playdate Pop Up 2019 was wonderful. Thank you to the LA Zine Fest organizers & volunteers, all our exhibitors, and everyone who came through and played the games. We appreciate all of you, and can’t wait to be back next year.
Packing Up the Rest of Your Stuff on the Last Day at Your Old Apartment
It's a hot, hot August 31st in Chicago. You've got both fans going on you. The bare mattress feels so cool on your back... A train rumbles by. At least you won't have to do this again for another year. And it will be fall soon. The playlist on your Ogg Player repeats.
Queering Spacetime
Wave Break
Grab and grind to your heart’s content in Wave Break! Inspired by classic arcade skateboarding games, with a splash of boating, explosions, and cold-blooded murder.
Affection Game
your intimacy assistant! a game made by @robohaven & their need for help to spill their guts to their partners
Tuned Out
Tuned Out is a broadcast of handcrafted arcade games that you can switch between instantly, like you would channels on a TV. Chase the high score across a clusterflux of stylish games. Switch channels to escape death, mess with your competition, or just because you feel like it.
Witches Brew
Roll ingredient dice and add them to your cauldron as you rush to complete your potion before your fellow potion makers beat you to it! But be careful what ingredients you add, you might just ruin your brew and have to start over.
Love Eternal
A horror platformer being developed by @tobyalden, with art by and music by @emilyxglass
The Parade
Spindlewheel Detective
a collection of Spindlewheel games by Sasha Reneau
A small tune inspired by road trips, beaches, and the passage of time.
dinosaurily is a queer dinosaur game about found family and affection !! with hugging and planting flowers and stickers
Electric Zine Maker
The Electric Zine Maker is a printshop and art tool for making zines.
Wrong Box
You happen upon your old desktop computer while packing up your childhood bedroom and get sucked into a digital landscape full of forgotten websites and Internet clutter. The space is familiar but doesn't function quite like it used to.

The 2018 Games

Below is our little mosaic of games that were showcased at the event. Click on any of them to go where they can be played, bought, or learned about. Playdate Pop Up 2018 was a delight, thanks to everyone who attended and showcased.
Yi and the Thousand Moons
Yi and the Thousand Moons is a short video game musical written and developed by David Su. Through the course of several original interactive songs, featuring a full cast and live band, the game weaves a story of the archer Yi's journey to save her village.
The Colorfly
The Colorfly is an experimental edu-game and an ever-changing page from a coloring book.
Pull stars into your heart using the intersection between your 2 lines of sight. Careful not to touch the boxes!
My Lil Fanfic
My Lil Fanfic is the world's wholesome fanfic writing simulator. Never before have players been able to experience the creative processes of an author of fan fiction so directly and so viscerally.
A kingdom between a fantasy that never was
And a future that could possibly be
A kingdom not too unlike ours
For us to better see
The problems of our day and age
A kingdom changing from old to new
There were the challenges they had to see
Take a glimpse at what you would do
Emotica was co-designed by Anna Anthropy and Leon Arnott, and programmed by Leon Arnott. Your game world is automatically saved to Emotica_World.json.
eCheese Zone
Enter the zone with your guru: Cliffy Cheese!
Desert Child
You are a hungry, young hoverbike racer who needs to get off Earth before it E-X-P-L-O-D-E-S. Hunt bounties, throw races, and do whatever you can to get to Mars and win the Grand Prix.
Spindlewheel Microgames
a collection of Spindlewheel games by Sasha Reneau
Cute Animals & Tough Questions
A vulnerable party game that's both ridiculous and deep.
Black Room
“Black Room,” is a browser-based, narrative game about falling asleep while on your computer, on the internet.
Affection Game
A downloadable relationship assistant
Adrift is a cooperative card game where the Oregon Trail meets a Sixteenth Century Spanish Shipwreck.

The 2017 Games

On May 28th, 2017, LA Zine Fest was held at the California Market Center in Downtown Los Angeles. Playdate Pop Up returned with twenty games to give Zinefest attendees some personal, political, and DIY games to experience.
Below is our little mosaic of games that were showcased at the event. Click on any of them to go where they can be played, bought, or learned about. We also conducted interviews with fifteen of the developers for the Playdate Pop Up Podcast. You can find look through the individual interviews here.

(Playdate Pop Up 2017 flyer by Floppydisko.)
Walden, a game
Play as philosopher and naturalist Henry David Thoreau in his experiment in self-reliant living at Walden Pond. Live off the land, seek out the small wonders and beauties of the woods, and find balance between your need to survive and your desire to find inspiration.
10000 YEARS
We can never truly escape the consequences of our actions. There is a facility in the New Mexico desert which exists as a monument to that fact. Uncover the reason for this place, and hope its many forms will stand strong against the test of time. Explore ruins. Listen to the wind. Speak with strangers.
"Everything is going to be OK"
"Everything is going to be OK" is a desktop labyrinth of vignettes, poetry, strange fever dream games, and broken digital spaces. It is a collection of life experiences that are largely a commentary on struggle, survival, and coping with the aftermath of surviving bad things.
You Must be 18 or Older to Enter
You're alone at home, and you heard about this thing called porn at school.
Liyla and the shadows of war
Liyla and the shadows of war is a game based on actual events, it tells a story of little girl lives in Gaza during the war in 2014.
Liyla and the shadows of war is a game based on actual events, it tells a story of little girl lives in Gaza during the war in 2014.
At Sundown: Shots in the Dark
Liyla and the shadows of war is a game based on actual events, it tells a story of little girl lives in Gaza during the war in 2014.
Opening the Horse
Opening the Horse is an approach to queer game design. The first part is a series of three zines that detail the approach. The second part is a series of three games that enact the approach.
Lucah: Born of a Dream
HACK, SLASH, ASCEND. Lucah: Born of a Dream is a harrowing struggle through our worst nightmares.

You have been MARKED, cursed to have your inner demons come to life as vicious Nightmares. After awakening a false god, you must atone. Traverse the hellish realm of dreams, endure the nightmare onslaught, and uncover the strength to accept yourself.
What is the meaning of life, dreams or words? Thinking about these millennial questions, this game is a "metaphorical platformer" that uses words instead of platforms. But combining mechanics and meaning, "Me" tells an insane story about The Pursuit of Happiness,
Sundays with Absalon
Sundays with Absalon is a short narrative game about Adelaide, a mother who struggles with feelings of self-doubt and depression because she does not have primary custody of her son Absalon. As the clock ticks away on Sunday, the time when Absalon's father comes to pick him up gets closer and closer.
“Thing-in-Itself” is an interactive short story about the struggles of understanding another human being. Using Immanuel Kant’s concept as a framework, it leads the player through stages of a relationship, exploring how perceptions may clash and surroundings can alter.
This is a stunning fully interactive story-driven adventure experience. Unique interactions designed to tell the mysterious and heartfelt story. Discover each surprise with multiple endings. Enjoy the fun puzzles!
Blue-Collar Astronaut
The best space-student-loan payoff simulator you'll ever play!
A Hole New World
The city is being invaded by monsters from the Upside Down World! You, the Potion Master, must defeat evil all alone, with no tutorials or "Easy Mode" to assist you. You'll have to rely on the help of Fäy, your companion fairy, and your potions!
Keep in Mind: Remastered
Keep in Mind: Remastered follows Jonas, a man haunted by alcoholism, depression, and grief. One night, he awakens to a shadowy mirror world where beasts lurk and the stars don't shine. Lost and scared, Jonas must face all those twisted beasts if he ever wishes to return home and learn the truth about his darkness.
PSYCHIC: Purrivate Eye
PSYCHIC: Purrivate Eye is a single player game that is equal parts Saturday morning cartoon and Choose-Your-Own-Adventure. Play as telepathic detective duo John Hollis and his cat sidekick Devo to search for a missing reality star who holds the cure to a deadly mind-altering Internet meme.
Jog! Jump! Switch! Coordinate the crazy conga line of alien athletes in this autorunner / puzzle platformer for 1-4 players.
Welcome To The Underwhere!
Make some underwear, and walk around in it while holding hands with a friend!
It's you vs. the mountain, the environment, and everyone! Climbers in CLIMB! will fight against dynamic environments, falling rocks, frostbite, cloud cover, lightning, lava and an array of outrageous weapons and gadgets in a mad scramble to the finish! Scale cliffs in various hazardous environments around the globe. Get to the top and brag to your friends, or fall to your death in a shower of ludicrous gibs. Are you good enough to scale the world's deadliest mountains?
The first world of Elsewhere is a dystopia/utopia titled Oasis that beckons reflection. Asking what is a neccesary resource when death is inevitable. Will we measure our time in the water that passes through us or the pleasures that we consume? Installation and concept by Floppydisko.
Special thanks to our friends who helped make this possible:

The 2016 Games

In March of 2016, L.A. Zine Fest was held at the Majestic in downtown Los Angeles. Among the thousands of people who came to celebrate zines and DIY culture, not a few of them were surprised to see something new: videogames. Attendees of all ages and backgrounds stopped by to get told a story by an interactive plush, experience new underground music in a brutalist environment, and generally learn or remember that games are building a vibrant, DIY culture of their own.
(Photo courtesy Octobo team)
Absurd Elevator Simulator
Rethink your everyday actions with this dazzling elevator sim! Who will board next? Where will they want to go? As the absurd elevator operator, you decide! Choose a combination of 3 buttons and tell your passengers to enjoy the ride.
Keeper of the Cosmic Birds
We were just hanging out and wanted to make something chill (in a relaxed way) for the global game jam 2016. It’s supposed to be a relaxing, rose-smelling simulator game. No winning, losing, challenge, or puzzles. Just walk in the park, smoke a little weed, feed the birds, and blast off when you’re done.
Failsafe is a parkour exploration game that follows a young woman named Isra on her journey through the forgotten ruins of an old civilization. Failsafe’s still in development, but we’ve exhibited solid builds at shows like IndieCade, PAX, and Riot Games’ game night.
Tonight You Die
Wander a dreary city of concrete structures and unknown melodies tonight you die is an audio rich first person exploration game. players are abandoned in a desolate brutalist cityscape with only a menacing note as a clue: “tonight you die” Made in collaboration with LA band GRYPT and deathbomb arc.
Temporality and EnviroGolf
EnviroGolf is a horrid game. It’s a combination of a genre (sports game), style (text-based) with a theme (environmental protection) that shouldn’t work together. Yet it does. The game itself is quite enjoyable, silly interactions and EnviroGolf has been shown at Different Games Conference in New York City, at EGX in London, as well as at Giant Robot, here in LA. Temporality, on the other hand, is a somber musical experience; control a soldier on the battle field, “D” moves him forward across no man’s land. “A” reverses time. No key holds it still. Temporality is particularly relevant as we continue to experience the 100 year anniversary of The Great War. Temporality won Bronze at Serious Play Conference 2015, is a Jury select in the 19th Japanese Media Arts Festival, and was on display at the National Arts Center in Tokyo.
TWO SIDED is a play experience inspired to Milan Kundera’s novel “The Hitchhiking game”. Switching the play experience in two different game worlds, the game represents metaphorically a girl’s self-discovery of her two opposite “sides” coexisting each other as indissoluble parts of a unique personality.
OCTOBO is a game that has a hybrid of physical and digital gameplay. He is an interactive storytelling plush octopus companion for children that will respond to storybook cues and player interactions. He has a tablet display on his head and sensors integrated throughout his body that feed into an Arduino. Gameplay emerges when players follow the story prompt and “play” with OCTOBO physically.
Every night when you wake up / You try to put on your makeup / I say a little prayer for you…” Just because you’re a vampire doesn’t mean you don’t want to look good. No reflection, no problem! Right? Just grab your lipstick and eyeshadow, stand in front of the mirror, and apply it where you think it should go.
My Mind
This was a collaboration between four girls at the USC IMGD MFA program. we wanted to explore internal battles. you, the player, face an irrevocable challenge: you are invaded by an alien virus. the game rewards balance and punishes one-sided thinking. sci-fi is used to speak iconically about everyday inner conflicts. the narrative structure is combinatorial, meaning that it will work well in many different orders. this aspect in particular required many tests. we found that, in leaving the gender ambiguous, players generally projected their own gender onto the protagonist. this game has 7 endings and successfully elicits replays. we are new to game jolt and have just published it for this application. we are very lucky to have the music of Disasterpeace.