After digging in the dirt on a solo quest for digital rocks in the The League of Lonely Geologists, you may decide to toss one of your finds into the mysterious space portal situated in the otherwise mundane landscape. Immediately, another rock will be hurled back out of this strange gateway, but it won’t be yours. Instead, it’s one found by a previous wanderer of the game, their annotations and specimen name left behind in an ongoing catalogue of the terrain.
Created by Takorii and recently shared by Rock Paper Shotgun, The League of Lonely Geologists is available as a pay-what-you wish download for PC. It’s billed as a game of “awkward & uncomfortable rock collection,” yet rock collecting is only part of its mechanics, which are revealed through experimentation. Toss a plant into the portal, and get a phonograph cylinder back, which may play some jaunty tune, or just an eerie hum. Throw in the phonograph, and the moon-like vista may spit out a shiny badge.
While the game can only be played in Windows, anyone can flip through the online catalogue of finds. As of this writing, 669 “geologists” have discovered over 2,000 rocks, such as the “dented lid” that’s “just a trash can lid someone spray painted gold,” and the “unstoppable rock” that’s constantly in motion, and “no obstacle can stop this movement.” Some players take their naming and description more seriously than others, but it’s surprisingly enjoyable to have this kind of anonymous sharing. And like any scientific survey, albeit one steeped in absurdity, it keeps you curious about what else is out there.
The League of Lonely Geologists is available for Windows on Itch.io.