• PrintMag

What is FLomm?

FLomm is a design history video game developed from a class Steve Mehallo has been teaching since 2003. He had noticed the visual similarity between De Stijl and bitmap-based video games of the 1970s. And that was the starting point. Then, he found the Futurists—and that’s where speed, bullets and explosions came in. The Fauves provided inspiration for color, the Russian Avant Garde and the Bauhaus: visuals, typography and theory. He wondered: What would it be like to fly through a Hannah Höch collage? Then a Picasso quote emerged: Art is a battlefield. Of course, I’m intrigued, so the questions came pouring out. (You might want to check it out first.)  

What does FLomm mean? Absolutely nothing! Like Seinfeld. Or DADA. FLomm was a random word I had been tweeting around the time Twitter showed up. It seemed to bug a few people, so it made sense to name this game after it.  

How do you play? Gameplay is extremely simple. The interface is based on classic video games of the early 1980s. FLomm is designed for fidgety fingers, something one can play while standing in line or sitting on a bus. And there’s enough random elements to keep the visuals constantly changing. Advanced difficulty options and an abstract “mirror” setting allows for a more challenging experience. One thumb controls your vehicle, [and the] other thumb fires font-based bullets. You blow up anything that isn’t you, and collect colorful power-ups to help with your battle. At the end of each level, you go up against a boss—with the option to convert him into a modernist. So it’s actually possible to beat tradition and win the game.  

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