2021 Indie Games Week 12: Trash the Planet

Trash the Planet is a free browser game on itch.io that follows the rise and fall of Raccoon capitalist society. It is a very direct and clear metaphor for human society and capitalism and goes deeper and hits much harder than you would imagine.

The game starts off with a lot of really funny writing mocking humans and our silly modern day customs, from being obsessed with our wallets to heteronormative dating. You gather trash and food to keep alive your growing raccoon community and as you learn and study humans more and more you begin to learn our customs surrounding profit, etc. Act 2 thrusts you into a global profiteering adventure manipulative stock markets to buy and sell trash that you now have enough power to produce and manipulate at a whim. The metaphor for the real stock market is very clear and very well done: it is a fucking sick joke. The stock market is a video game for rich people and they would happily murder you for a chance at gambling to make more money. You, the leader of the racoons are now surrounded by a cadre of powerful raccoons representing various segments of modern day society: the religious leader, the libertarian, the liberal welfare establishment, and then some more modernized ones like the pop-obsessed social media raccoon.

The game continues to a clear end and statement about consumption, capitalism, and how utterly fucking evil and inhumane our modern day society is. It’s obvious where it’s going but damn does that game have an ending. It hit me a lot harder than I thought it would.

I definitely recommend Trash the Planet. It is clever enough to justify it’s 2–3 hour length and its systems really give you a sense of fun that you come to realize real capitalists must also feel while playing with people’s lives. It’s a great game, and one of my faves of the year so far. Just incredible all around.

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