The Thermals Release Online Video Game

by Steven Spoerl

One of this year’s best emerging trends may very well be the unexpected rise of the retro online video game. Okkervil River was the first to implement this with an exceptionally intelligent take on the 8-bit adventure game as part of their brilliant promotional campaign for The Silver Gymnasium. Today The Thermals have released a simplistic action game to accompany their song “The Sword By My Side” off of their Saddle Creek debut, Desperate Ground.

Thermals bassist Kathy Foster is the game’s central figure, cutting up demon bat-like creatures with her sword. Around the halfway mark, Hutch Harris and Westin Glass appear as helpful sprites to aid Kathy in her quest to defeat evil. The Sword By My  Side doesn’t take long to play and qualifies as dumb fun, an aesthetic The Thermals do wonders with (see: literally any of their music videos) and something everyone needs once in a while.

As the deadlines for year-end pieces are approaching quickly, the game also serves as a nice reminder that Desperate Ground was an unreasonably strong record and deserves to find itself in contention with many of this year’s consensus picks thus far.

Play The Sword By My Side here.