An artist who has taken up retro video game development as a pandemic hobby has turned the situation on the Suez Canal into his latest creation.
Eric Wilder, a book cover designer from Rochester, New York, designed a game where users play a tiny bulldozer, given the gargantuan task of freeing the 1,300-foot Ever Given freight liner boat from where it’s grounded in Egypt’s Suez Canal.
Suez Canal Bulldozer, released on itch.io, only has three simple controls. Players can move with the direction arrows and press “J” for the Action button.
“Someone wedged a barge in the Suez Canal, halting a massive amount of world trade. You drive a bulldozer. See if you can make it budge,” reads the game’s description.
As reported by GamesRadar, Wilder made the GameBoy-style game in under two hours after seeing a meme of the bulldozer and cargo ship going around online.
Players can try to free the boat repeatedly with the action button, but whatever you do, you’ll only get the same message “It’s super stuck,” a reference to the “It’s super effective!” pop-up in mainline Pokémon games.
“IDK why I made this, but you can play it here,” Wilder posted on Saturday (Mar. 27) along with a link to his website.
A couple of days later, the game has gone viral, with Wilder tweeting out that it had amassed 38,000 views and 10,000 gameplays since he released it. The game has also gotten attention from major gaming and technology websites.
Wilder says the reception has been great and it's gotten a lot of laughs—which is all he really wanted.
“I just thought the futility of the meme was hilarious,” Wilder told Kotaku over email. “Had to spin that into a game.”
No doubt, many people stuck at home due to restrictions amid the ongoing global pandemic can relate to the bulldozer.
You can play the game on his website here.
Wilder’s other games on his site have just a little bit more action, but not much. “Over High Falls in a Tiny Barrel” allows users to move arrow keys to avoid rocks and birds while failing down a waterfall. In “Tiny Design Agency” you play someone trying to stay busy around an agency while awaiting client feedback. *Spoiler alert:* They want you to make the logo bigger.
(Images via Eric Wilder)