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Welcome to the Rift! Please enjoy your stay!

Middens. A game title you've probably heard before, and if not, you're in the right place! Middens is a 2012-2013 game made by myformerselves with RPG Maker XP.
And that was the easy part... now the more difficult one: explaining what this game is about!

In Middens we play as "The Time Nomad", a mysterious person who flees his home dimension when his beloved culture dies via assimilation arrives to the Rift. This place is a strange world where all the unwanted parts of the different dimensions were sent to rot. For this reason the place looks like different widely different things were cobbled together and held by by the silk of worms known as "Virmis". The result is an anarchic world that looks like a collage of different art styles and beings. A chaotic mish-mash of things, some parts look like taken from old classical paintings, others resemble old videogame sprites.
Yeah, it's a strange place indeed! And we play as a wanderer in this unknown land.

Well, I see nothing wrong with that!

The plot is pretty simple: the Nomad enter this chaotic universe after leaving his dying world, and encounters The Genie, a talking gun that offer assistance. Apparently the Rift is sick, and the only cure seems to be to shot down some of its residents. What happens next, and who you will attack and kill is really up to you (it's also worth mentioning that in the beginning of the game you have three chances to back down. Yes, not one, three!).

In Middens we explore some weirdly beautiful dreamscapes, encountering bizarre creatures, some will be friendly and others will be threatening. Everyone can be attacked (even the driver of the Love bus, a thing that the game will suggest you to avoid, anyway you still are allowed to do that nonenthless!) and killed, even if for the Karma of the game each killing is wrong (killing in self defense isn't as bad as assassinating a harmless creature, but it's still considered wrong!), and this is symbolized by earning "Nothings" (bad karma? Well get enough and you get the option to commit suicide) that is hard to remove (but still possible!). Mind that the Nomad has the ability to summon three different entities (Lam is an attacker, Om is the healer, and Yam is the "wizard" specialized in status effects) to help him, but the freedom to attack anyone means that you can accidentally face some bosses that are too tough to beat, so pay attention to what you do, just like in real life!

Creatures are weird but their dialogues are also bizarre! Most characters have dialogues that consist in celebrity quotes, short stories, but also some really interesting comments. The Genie, the talking gun, instead will talk of philosophy, mock the protagonist and also try to speak Spanish!
Did I told you that this is weird game? oh yes, I already did!

Fight strange creatures like ghosts, weird cats, monster clowns, imps, cars, unicorns, and angels too!

Visually the game is a colorful mish-mash of edited sprites from Metal Slug, the Punisher (the beat 'em up) and other videogames, various pictures and fragments of paintings. The result is pretty much original and creative, the Rift features many desert wastelands, abandoned factories, plains with skinless animals, and so on. To add more strangeness, the Nomad also will sometimes scales to weird sizes while visiting the various locations of the game (and the dev said this was intentional).
This is without doubt a beautiful game, but I liked the music too! Well maybe it's a question of personal tastes, anyway it's a good aspect of the game.

Concerning the gameplay... well that's were you may love or hate the game: the fun isn't about a complex story (for example we do not know much of the protagonist, the Genie hints that he/she was a pacifist and apparently he/she is a skilled combatant, gunslingere and guitar player. I said he/she because while the Nomad looks male, his singing voice is femenine) or a complex gameplay, isn't about puzzles or other minigames. No, the fun of the game is the exploration, finding hidden passages, visiting the various dreamlands, the only problem is that there is absolutely no map so you can get lost easily. Good luck!
Combat is also a bit weird: the Nomad has few MP points so it's best using one summon each combat except for the hardest encounters (anyway Yam and its status effects are the key to defeat some of the hardest enemies!), and you will be forced to rely on the standard attacks for quite a bit, since you have to level up your summoned allies too in order to learn new skills. But isn't killing bad? Oh yes, it is, so what a dilemma! It's worth noting that not everyone will try to defend himself, some enemies just will try to beg for their lives. In the game there are no shops, anyway you can find worm-like power-ups, chunks of the roots of the World Tree (that is mentioned but never seen) that are usable in combat as items.
Uhm I think you may have an idea of what awaits you in this game so let's finish here.

Ok, time for me to go! And time to take the psycho-metal-slug bus once again!

Final Verdict
Middens was simetimes called the "open-world OFF" due to a similar weird world and the enigmatic protagonist, anyway it's very different from an aestetic point of view and structure. I do not want to discuss about the meaning of the game, I got my message and it's my own, anyway I've the idea that this is an interesting experience, and not just an artistic exercise of the developer. No, there is more than just running aroung shooting and killing who you want in an evocative world, but I think that it's a very subjective matter. Some players will love this game, others won't like the game that's not even an rpg but an exploration adventure, but it's ok in both cases.

John Clowder, myformerselves, revolverwinds or Takamo online, call the developer of this game as you want, but for me he did an excellent job: Middens is a memorable fantastic romp unlike most of the other games I played. It was sometimes disturbing, other times funny, but it always kept me amazed despite the simplicity of its structure.

Welcome to the Rift! Please enjoy your stay!