Thursday, June 30, 2011

App Addicted: 'Supergay' iPhone game delivers hero-powered gay pride


iPhone and iPad game "Supergay" offers up some gay-pride-themed gaming along with a comic-book-style coming-out story with a twist.a

By Winda Benedetti

There have been plenty of apps that have tried (and thankfully failed) to promote a hate-filled anti-gay message in Apple's App Store. But should the powers of darkness attack once again, fear not! "Supergay" is here to save the day.a

Or, well, at least it's here to deliver some gay-pride-themed gaming along with a comic-book-style coming-out story with a twist.a

The new episodic app released for the iPhone and the iPad is called "Supergay & the Attack of his Ex-Girlfriends" ($2.99).a

The basics are this: You play Dr. Tom Palmer, a young man on his way to becoming the pink-and-black-clad hero known as Supergay. As the game opens, we find Tom working on a controversial cloning project while coming to terms with the fact that he's not really into the ladies ... all of this right before he's about to wed his boss' daughter.a

Nefarious secrets are afoot and a cloning experiment goes wrong as Tom tries to live a lie rather than admit the truth. Check out the trailer here:a

As of right now, you can play the first ten chapters of "Supergay" which present a variety of gaming styles — fighting, stealth, racing and there's even a dance-filled rhythm game. If you find yourself in a tight spot while fending off legions of, say, cloned ex-girlfriends, you can unleash our hero's Rainbow Ray. No, really.a

The gameplay itself is not entirely, well, super. Instead, it's a touch Average Joe. The controls are pretty rudimentary and I did experience a couple of crashes while playing it on my iPad (though I did not lose any progress).a

But there is plenty of variety to keep things interesting here and the comic-book art style is nicely done. Meanwhile, the story (funny, touching, corny) grows increasingly intriguing as you unlock each chapter. But what I really dig is the game's tagline and ongoing message: "Be yourself."a


Which leads me to the best thing about this game: The fact that it stars a gay superhero. Make all the Ambiguously Gay Duo cracks you like, but gay characters in video games are sadly few and far between, and even more rarely are given anything close to a leading role.a

Mainstream triple A games avoid wading into these controversial waters, so it's up to the little developers to take this kind of risk. And thank goodness they do.a

"Supergay" comes from Barcelona publisher Klicrainbow. They say this is, in fact, the first game to star a gay superhero. I'm not familiar with every single video game that features a man in tights so I can't say for sure if this is accurate, but I certainly can't think of another.a


While I hope the "Supergay" chapters that are "coming soon" feature a bit more polish, "Supergay" is already a step in the right direction. The world (or at least the App Store) is ready to be saved by a super-gay hero.a

Tune in to In-Game for new installments in App Addicted, our ongoing feature that uncovers some of the best and most unique games to play on your phone and tablet.  a

For related news, check out:a

'Sword & Sworcery' summons magical iPad gaming Senators tell gay kids: 'It Gets Better' 'L.A. Noire' studio accused of abusive working conditions Black Eyed Peas dance their way to Xbox and Wii

Winda Benedetti writes about games for You can follow her tweets about games and other things right here on Twitter.a


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