A downloadable game for Windows and macOS

Buy Now$15.00 USD or more

Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass is a Japanese-style RPG made by a guy from Texas. It was very much influenced by SNES-era jRPGs, particularly Earthbound, Final Fantasy 5, and the Breath of Fire series, among others. It was also heavily influenced by Yume Nikki.

The game takes place in the dream of an eight-year-old boy. When an alien entity appears and threatens his family and the stability of the dream world itself, Jimmy sets out on an adventure to save his family and eradicate the threat of the Pulsating Mass. Along the way, Jimmy will have to work with his family, confront his own shortcomings, and brave the creeping nightmares of his subconscious.

Features:
-Full-length Japanese-style RPG.
-Classic turn-based combat with some modern sensibilities.
-A big emphasis on exploration.
-As an empathetic kid, Jimmy gains the ability to imagine himself as several of the monsters he meets, allowing him to interact with the world in new ways.
-These different transformations can also be leveled up, granting Jimmy higher stats and new abilities.
-A story for adults delivered from the perspective of a child.
-Jokes.
-Unspeakable horrors.

Get the soundtrack here!

You can also get it on bandcamp.

Follow me on Twitter here!

Want to hang out with more people who like the game?  Check out the Discord!

StatusReleased
PlatformsWindows, macOS
Rating
Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars
(106 total ratings)
AuthorHousekeepingGames
GenreRole Playing
TagsComedy, Horror, Pixel Art
LinksSteam

Purchase

Buy Now$15.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $15 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass Mac.zip 266 MB
Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass.zip 244 MB
Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass--mkxp.zip 248 MB

Development log

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Comments

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Does the bee sting cake have a further evolution or is it fine to eat at +3?

(+1)

That's it's Ultimate Form.

What is the difference between the --mkxp download and the other one? They both include mkxp files

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It's a pretty minor difference, but mostly it's just that the file named "game" varies depending on the version.  On Steam, you have to set a default executable, so Steam has to have two versions.  I left it that way here since people who weren't familiar with mkxp and might not be the most tech savvy would have simple instructions for getting the game started.  There are also some in-game instructions that vary based on which version you're using; basically, mkxp allows you to resize the window however you want, and the standard version has a few set window sizes.

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Thanks for the prompt answer! (And then I take a week to say thanks…)

I see now some of that was also mentioned on the download page, though that isn’t accessible from the Itch app. And thanks to the mention of the Steam versions, I was able to find this from the Technical FAQ, for anyone interested:

What is the mkxp version and how do I opt into it?

The mkxp version runs Jimmy through a C interpreter. Basically, this makes things run at a much nicer framerate. However, battle music doesn’t loop correctly, and some people experience other glitches, so I felt it was too unstable to have as the main download.

(+1)

An amazing rpgmaker game with a cavalcade of content. This is on par or even better than the likes of LISA as far as testing the boundaries of what you can do with the engine's combat system. Seriously a lot to do here, 30 hours is the low end if you're trying to experience most of the side content.

Story-wise it's definitely good, when keeping in the context that you're experiencing the dream world how an 8 year old would. The music is fantastic. The sprite work is definitely rough around the edges even going for an earthbound style, but consistent in style and direction. A lot of the elements of the game really fit together to create an experience that's much more than the sum of its parts.

The only thing I find myself wishing upon reflecting over my dozens of hours with the Jimmy is that there were a few more transformation puzzles. Also this is certainly on the more challenging end on rpgmaker games so be prepared for that.

(+15)(-11)

I'm about 25 hours in, and while I mostly really loved it, I had a pretty big issue with it. I'll talk about the positives first, and then get into my problem, after a spoiler warning.

First, the positives: the art style is charming, especially the overworld sprites. The battles offer a good variety between battles with a trick to them, and battles testing your knowledge of the combat system and character abilities. I like how the game juggles characters in and out of your party, it keeps battle interesting and you on your toes. The game has a good mix of quirky, heartfelt, and horror, and while it goes fairly hard on the cartoon gore, it manages to stay grounded with the more cheerful sections in between.

~~ Here's the spoiler warning, for the game up through the sequence at the end of the library. ~~

After the library boss sequence, Jimmy and Lars end up on a beach, with Lars giving a little mini monologue about how he feels a bit directionless in life. This monologue becomes a rant about how he wants a Perfect Asian GF, who would never complain about the fact that he sucks. There's no commentary from Jimmy, or any other character, and this little monologue doesn't seem to get acknowledged afterwards. (I only got like, 30 minutes after this part, to be fair.) As someone who *is* Asian, and who has dealt with this kind of behaviour in the past, it was honestly really upsetting to hear this ideology come uncriticized out of the mouth of a character portrayed as a hapless but well meaning guy. Let's be clear - whether this is intended as a joke (or to setup some future event) it's an uncritical lighthearted repeating of a way of thinking that hurts Asian women every single day. It's said in a way that is clearly not meant  to have any introspection at all, from the mouth of a character the player is meant to empathize with and enjoy being around. It's worth noting, as well, that there isn't a single female character who clearly reads as Asian in the entire game, at least up until this point. 

I'm not going to say others shouldn't play this game, but personally, it felt like a giant red flag telling me that this game wasn't for me. As much  as I wanted to see the ending, for my own sake, I've decided to put the game down for now. 

my VODs from playing this game, for more of my thoughts

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For real. It gets even worse just after that as well. I've gotten some mild spoilers and I have a guess at what the game (eventually) might dig at but it remains very uncomfortably unresolved for many hours afterwards (Edit: It doesn't dig at it. It plays it straight and honestly is just plainly bad writing for this part even if the dev was attempting nuance). There's a certain cost even if the game is setting something up artistically.

(+2)(-9)

Yeahh for real I love this game for like, Every Single Other Part Of The Game Being Great and can even kinda understand Lars being.... like THAT as meant to represent how  "sometimes family members have really really cruddy worldviews and a small child might not understand how thats extremely bad" but then the rest of the island being "haha y'know anime!?" is just friggin' insufferable. And makes the Lars stuff worse. And how its resolved is like, ugh. Not good. The rest of the game is like a 10/10 for me which makes it suck even more. 

(+7)(-1)

"like THAT as meant to represent how  "sometimes family members have really really cruddy worldviews and a small child might not understand how thats extremely bad""

That's exactly what it is. You were so close to getting it. The rest of the island is Jimmy innocently trying to make Lars happy, without realizing any of the implications of it, because he's eight.

(1 edit) (+3)(-3)

Oh i understand that, it makes sense in context, but. one can argue its value regardless. Can't help but think there was a way to get that point in a different way? i wouldn't argue it isn't coherent or thematically sensible it just kinda sucks anyways to have stuff like that thrown around regardless of the intent being decent. Should've been handled with better sensitivity, despite its intentions, is how i guess I'd put it, i suppose.

It's not like I'm advocating that the story should've gotten into a 30 minute sideplot of the player getting told that racism is bad over and over either, its fault isn't in being too subtle lmao. (Heck, the sense of subtlety and its depiction of a three-dimensional nuanced family from the viewpoint of a not-terribly-nuanced but empathetic child's perspective is the emotional core of the friggin' game.) 

(+3)(-2)

This makes me intensely curious. How would you do it differently? What would more sensitivity look like in this context?

(+1)(-15)

Wow. That's crazy. Thanks for sharing this. I will not be playing this game.

(+8)(-2)

There isn't a criticism in game, because eight year old Jimmy doesn't realize the toxic nature of it, and the entire game is from his point of view and his understanding. Its worth nothing that every single family member is shown to have at least one major flaw that is simply shown and not commented on. The game trusts the player to recognize what is happening. None of them are shown to be perfect or indicated in any way that we are supposed to agree with them 100% of the time.

Buck's temper is the most obvious example, but Lar's lazy nature and disconnect from reality is consistently shown throughout the game. There's also Jimmy's Mom's ambiguous bipolar disorder, or his dad's intellectual distancing and his inability to both recognize or properly deal with Jimmy's learning disorder. These are all shown as is with no commentary from Jimmy, with the player trusted to put the pieces together. Only Buck ever gets a call out, and not by Jimmy. So its consistent throughout the game.

(+1)(-3)

ah yeah... on rewatch that does make me bristle to watch to come out of nowhere; at the time it passed over me as another sad sack quote unquote characterization of Lars but as a sad sack white dude I'm sorry you had to read that. if I can speak for the developer then I'm beyond sure they didn't mean for that to be hurtful. they're good people and like it was for me it must have been a blind spot, tropes and character aside. I can't quote from memory any specifics about this that happens in between that and Lars' arc concluding but I don't believe it gets worse than that scene, or at least that overt.

(1 edit)

I understand how that would offend you, but the context is important that perhaps would help you understand the game further. Major, end-game spoilers below. Please proceed with caution:

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All characters speaking are based off what Jimmy believes they would say. It's all in his head. He has cancer and is in a coma in a hospital bed. All these experiences are from the mind of an 8 year old child. This is why certain ideologies are overly simplified. The world is much more complex than these ideologies, and the horrors and issues that bombarde jimmy's reality, which he is overall powerless against regardless of his strength, are represented frequently, such as the mouse being raped and killed by Mr. Cat or Jimmy being required to still use the banking system even after beating the CEO in battle because the system of capitalism is too powerful for him to face. 

Lars explains his perspective on his desires in a partner in an over simplified way because its Jimmy imagining what Lars would say. Jimmy does not have a firm understanding of how that may be inappropriate as he is 8 years old.

I was unable to figure out how to save. Can anyone help? I got to the save screen to pick File 1, 2 etc. and I pressed every single key on my keyboard and it would not save. This game is so fun! Please help :)

(+1)

Z and Return both worked for me.

(+10)

Probably the best game I've played all year - and I purchased the racial equality bundle! It's funny, disturbing, touching, crazy

(+4)

I've beaten the game a couple times now- thinking on beating it again. I got it on steam. Legitimately one of my favorite indie RPGs- or RPGs in general- in a long time. Keep up the good work, Kasey! Great stuff!

(+1)

Thanks so much!  Always good to hear that people dug it!

(+1)

Loving the game so far, but incredibly confused on how to save the game. I can access the "Save to which file?" menu, but I have pressed literally every button on that screen to no avail. On the MacOS version.

(+1)

Try this?

https://itch.io/post/1313453

(+5)

this game is very good buy it, play it, love it.

(+4)

Howdy, I LOVE this game!

(+1)

Glad to hear it!

(+7)

Honestly, this is a truly fantastic game. It's quirky, loveable, fun, and the soundtrack... My goodness, the soundtrack is truly amazing. I've never had a chance to play Earthbound or anything, but this is a fantastic experience that I can see was inspired by it. So far this has resonated with me so much, and I'm so glad I decided to check this out from the bundle. Good job on this game!! Really one of the best indie games I've ever touched, and I could never recommend it enough. 

P.S. Punch Tanaka is truly a fantastic character, and every scene with him really is just wonderful.

(+1)

Thanks so much!

For Mac OS Catalina users that can't open the game, this tip from Long Gone Days worked for me. I don't understand it, but I can play now! https://laburatory.itch.io/lgd/download/OpQi_Qo9_Y6tay0slF7te_FwHdGLjK1Qrsu1sLRL

(+2)

Hi, I LOVE this game! Only one question: is it possible to make something within the game that would let me adjust sound volume / toggle it on and off? It defaults to very loud, so I have to lower the sound on my computer as a whole and miss other notifications against the music. [Seriously, though, wonderful game!]

(+2)

Glad you're digging it!  Unfortunately, it doesn't have that kind of feature.  If you're using Windows, though, you can right click on the speaker volume icon in the lower right of your start bar, click "volume mixer," and adjust the volume for Jimmy there.

(+3)

this is so friggin good. like. one of the best games i've played, tbh. Incredible soundtrack, good story, Punch Tanaka existing. 12/10 play this game!!!!!

(+1)

THIS.  THIS IS THE NOSTALGIA I WAS LOOKING FOR!

(+12)

We officially found the best RPG in the bundle. The closest I could thematically describe it as is a mix of Undertale and Earthbound. A mysterious force is corrupting the world and you and your shapeshifting powers are trying to take it back. Its a 30-50 hour RPG, has incredibly satisfying level up mechanics and a thoroughly unique world. I will definitely return to this to finish it. One of the biggest surprises so far. Its fun, original and probably the most entertaining classic RPG experience I had in ... ages. 5/5

More Racial Justice impressions and ranking:
https://itch.io/c/915453/quick-impressions-bundle-for-racial-justice

(+7)

I literally can't recommend this game enough. It's absolutely fantastic. 10/10

Hey just wondering, does anyone have any thoughts on the Mad Queen? I assumed she was Helga's mother given that the Legato residents mistake Helga for her... but Helga's mother is already represented by GAMM-E, and I don't know if it would break the "rules" to have a real person represented by two figments.

They seem so similar, though. They both say similar things about wanting to keep Jimmy forever, they both represent death deferred (GAMM-E is a robot, the Mad Queen is undead), and the Mad Queen is torn up about the death of her husband, just like Jimmy's grandmother. I can't imagine what the Mad Queen could represent if not that.

Does anyone have competing theories?

(+1)

Nice to see this here.

I felt this lost steam in the endgame and the ending was cruelly and unexpectedly bleak. I found the reveal so obvious I was certain there was something more going on, but it would seem not. The game is otherwise extremely charming and good, 9/10. (And after A Very Long Rope, I was very pleased to find that attacks always hit.)

Hi! I was really looking forward to playing this game when I discovered it was part of the Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality; I've heard so many good things about it. Unfortunately, the latest MacOS update broke the game-- under Catalina it only runs 64-bit applications, and Jimmy is 32-bit. I hope there are plans underway to update the game for the new requirements? I swear I wouldn't have updated if I'd known...

(+1)

Unfortunately, since I used RPG Maker to make Jimmy, I don't have the know-how nor resources to make that kind of update.  It does seem like there might be some workarounds as per this article:

https://www.pcmag.com/how-to/how-to-run-32-bit-apps-in-macos-catalina

...but that seems like it's going to be complex.  I'd love to hear if anyone is successful in getting this to run on Catalina.

Hey, not sure which exact version you're on, but I'm running Catalina 10.15.5 and I can open and run this game just fine !

really? mine doesnt work :( i thought it was because of catalina too

hm interesting. I'm just opening the standalone game app, not opening from the itch application. Could that have something to do with it maybe ?

thanks for replying! i'm opening the standalone game app too, dont even have the itch app. i got the game from the bundle, maybe something to do with that?

The game you get from the bundle and the game you'd otherwise get are exactly the same, so I don't think that's the issue.

this was my favorite rpg i played in 2018-2019. im still obsessed. love this game so much

i really love the mother inspiration <3 

(+4)

Hey! just wanted to say i'm a big fan of your work. I love indie games, but your game has touched my heart deeply like no other, it is one of those games i'll never forget. ill look forward to your future works with a lot of excitement. Greetings from Spain! :)

(+2)

Thanks so much!  I'm working on the next game currently; I'm hoping to have a demo and a bunch of other stuff to release next year!

(+2)

I haven't played much of this game myself, to be honest - but Grimith's LP of it was the show I was most excited to see new episodes of come available on YouTube a couple years ago.

Loved it so much I got one of my best friends to buy it and try it - and am happy to continue to enthuse about its amazing story-telling... In one little corner (won't spoil where for people who haven't seen it), I think it got the essence of Lovecraftian horror exactly right, which very few pieces of media ever do, and I have excitedly gushed to friends about that on more than one occasion. And that's only one of the bits of awesome here!

Now it's part of the Racial Justice Bundle too!? Awesome. Noble. Perhaps even Tanaka. Thank you. <3

(+2)

Thanks so much!  I enjoyed Grimith's LP; he shared a personal story near the end of his LP that really got at Jimmy's mindset towards the end of the game, and it was so heartfelt that it really stuck with me.

(+2)

Same! I've been a long-time fan of his, and I don't think he had ever shared that much about his personal health condition. He tended to talk around it before - I had known him to mention that one of the things that gets to him is the sound of a heartbeat, but he avoided going into why... until the end of the Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass series.

The person I pushed to buy it is one of my best friends who was born with a significant disability and had through the past few years gone through a lot of self-discovery and self-transformation into a sort of phoenix persona. There were quite a few times throughout the game I'd thought of them, so I absolutely had to show it to them. 

(+1)

Wow, that's even more poignant; I admit that this was the first Grimith LP I watched, so I just assumed he was a guy who wore his heart on his sleeve.  I'm really touched that Jimmy has been able to reach people on that level.  I hope that my future games can hold onto that as they improve in other areas!

Also, damn, there's definitely a clear connection with Jimmy that they would appreciate, re: the phoenix imagery.  Hope they like it!

(+1)

They have. We wound up switching to watching the LP together, but they've been talking about trying to play it themselves again lately.

I'm not sure whether to consider him heart-on-sleeve. He speaks of other personal issues and is unapologetically opinionated - but he had avoided talking in any depth about that subject before. I think he's been generally more open about his views on mortality since then.

hi! i just bought this game but i can't open it...

my laptop is mac air 2014 and i'm having os Catalina 

please help me......... 

Hey, probably a silly question, but you downloaded the Mac version, right?  If so, you should just have to run Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass.app.  If you're doing all of that, is it coming up with an error message or what?

yes i downloaded mac version. error message says 'this application jimmy and the pulsating mass' can't be opened'... deleted and redownloaded.. I also put the file.app to applications

Have the same problem.

Sorry if I'm missing an obvious answer somewhere, but what's the difference between the Legacy version and the regular version?

(1 edit)

That's an old naming scheme that I should adjust, actually.  But, the "regular version" is just the game run through an interpreter called "mkxp."  Mainly, it will just allow you to adjust the screen size as if it were a window.  The "Legacy version" will let you switch between a few set screen sizes.


Edit: I changed the display names to make this a bit clearer.  Really, either version should work just fine.

Thanks!

(1 edit)

um im kinda new but how do i save? I went to the save menu but every time i try to save it wont let me

You should be able to save anywhere--with the exception of a few areas where saving is disallowed because it could cause some problems when I update the game.  Most likely, you should be able to save where you're at.  If you can actually open up the save menu, then the folder the game is in might need to have more permissions:

https://bigfishgames.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/230297128-Game-Not-Saving

I also can't save playing on a Mac. Hitting Z or space or any other key to confirm "File 1" or any of the others in the Save menu just gives an error sound effect

Here's a post from someone who had that same issue with another RPG Maker game.  Check the second post for the solution, and let me know if it works out:

https://rpgmaker.net/forums/topics/21884/

That made sense but I don't receive an error message like they did, so I don't really have a file path I can attempt to duplicate. I created two folders, one called "Resource" and another called "Resources" with folders in both called "Save," "Save Files," "Saved Files," and "Saves" and set all with permissions to Read / Write but no luck.

Weird.  So, normally, it should be saving to the base directory where the game's .exe is, which is "Resources."    I don't have a Mac in front of me, so I can't see what you're seeing, but can you go to that specific folder and set permissions?

(+5)

Hello, 

I've played perhaps every single indie rpg that takes influence from the mother series, and this is by and large the best one I have ever played. You should be very proud, and I hope this game is selling well, because it absolutely deserves it. 

(+6)

Thanks so much!  The Mother series has influenced a lot of cool games, so that means a lot!

(1 edit)

The game's been excellent so far, but I figured I should report that I found a minor mapping glitch in Legato Castle concerning the corner wall top tiles.

EDIT: It seems to happen on the opposite side too.


(+3)

Thanks!  A couple of these things slipped by because I saved over a spritesheet on accident with an older version of it after I testplayed those areas.  I'm going to do a quick run through soon--probably today--and update. 

Anybody else having problems with the game not running? Since the latest update it never loads past a black screen and jsut closes after a few seconds.

Oh no!  What version are you using?

The non-legacy for windows. I've had a similar issue with another game on the same engine. The legacy version seems to work fine, but when I close that version, I get a sprite error message.  
"Script 'test' line 5: NameError occured. 

undefined method 'set_upper_sprite' for class 'Sprite_Character'

I'm aware of the error message--it's totally harmless and will be addressed in the next update.  I was just putting it out there before I patched it in case other bugs came up.  So, are you thinking that your computer just has some issues running RPG Maker games through mkxp? 

Its possible? I've had the same issue with another mkxp game.

(+7)

Highly recommend this game, the amount of content put into it is unreal. The thought and effort goes beyond what one would expect in an RPG Maker game, but it just goes to show that you shouldn't judge something by the engine it's made in. As a developer in the engine myself, the things that HousekeepingGames has accomplished with this title in RPG Maker are really admirable. Definitely stands up there with any of the great RPGs like Earthbound and Final Fantasy. Get out your wallets and pick Jimmy up, it's well worth the price.

(+1)(-1)

Darn it, now I'm hungry.

Hey, do i get a Steam key if I buy from here? The game seems amazing, I'm looking forward to play it!

You don't get a Steam Key; you can just directly download it from Itch.  If you want to play it on Steam, just buy it on Steam.

(+1)

Thank you!

Dropping in to wish you an early Merry ChristMASS! (I'm not sorry)  Also, thanks for helping keep good game design alive with Jimmy and the PMass. This was one of the most emotional games I've ever played (in a good way!).

Hey, thanks so much!  Merry Christmass to you, too!

(+2)

Fresh.

Is there a demo?

There is an older demo here: https://rpgmaker.net/g/jimmy/ 
I should probably update that at some point, but the game functions basically the same (it's just a little harder and a little buggier in the demo).

(+3)

Thanks! I appreciate you taking the time to respond and hear bugs are a great source of protein anyway. :)

(+1)

I'm excited to play this! Would you be willing to provide a linux version, too?

(+1)

That's something that might be on the horizon.  There are a few outstanding issues with the mkxp version, which is what I would use to run it on Linux, so I'd like to smooth those out first.

Hello, it's been a while! Do you have any plans to release on Linux?


Thanks for your great work. :)

(+1)

I currently don't have plans to release on Linux.  That still might change in the future--basically if Jimmy gets popular enough to justify the work for porting it.

Too bad, but I understand. I bought it anyway as it works well in Wine. I'm really enjoying it so far.

(+1)

Hey, awesome!  Glad you found a workaround!

(+1)

Great to see this here!  Downloading the game right now. 

It might take me some time to get on a windows machine to properle play it, tho. 

Still, I'm super excited. 

This looks so cool, very excited to play!

(+1)

Loving the game so far. I'm about 2 hours in. I love how the melodies are all over the place, and the whole imagination/empathy shtick is a good one. Definitely belongs in the pantheon of quality Earthbound-inspired RPGs from what I've played.

(+1)

Thanks--glad you're enjoying it!