Origin of the term
The term "egglike" is used to refer to the unofficial game genre with the same name and to games that belong to said genre. It was first used during one of Vinny (Vinesauce)'s livestreams in which he was playing Fantasticaneer's The Fantastic Game, shortly after its release in June of 2012. During the video, he ironically qualifies the game as an "egglike" taking as reference the big, white Smash Mouth eggs located in the first area of the game, and he used said term with the intention to refer to every single weirdness contained within the game in just one, special word. The livestream of the first version of the game then got really popular, having about 1 million views as of now. Later on, Vinny revisited and livestreamed The Fantastic Game once again after it was updated to its 1.fun version, but this one has half of the views of the original livestream as to date.
Considered by many as one of his best livestreams, "[Vinesauce] Vinny - The Fantastic Game" brung the attention of many people including some egglike game creators such as Fantabuloso, who got inspired by Fantasticaneer's game and created his own, which in turn, boosted up the spread of the use of the term after releasing Le Fantabulous Gam in 2013 and officially naming it an "egglike game". The game itself stood out from the other egglikes for having characters to interact with, dialogs, bosses, different worlds to explore, and last but not least, a story. However, these new elements were still implemented into the conception of "weirdness" of the egglike genre, having memes mostly everywhere, use of the word salad, terrible graphics, and a weird story.
Currently, the term "egglike" is utilized in basically every game that is considered weird, one that has abstract scenarios, strange characters and places, games that house events that don't make any logical sense, etc.
The first egglike game
Although most people claim that The Fantastic Game was the pioneer game of the genre, it was actually LSD: Dream Emulator, a single-player game that was created back in October 22nd, 1998 by the development studio Asmik Ace Entertainment, originally playable only through Sony's first console, PlayStation.
The Fantastic Game, on the other hand, was made by a single developer (making it an indie game), Fantasticaneer, in 2012, and it is very different from LSD: Dream Emulator, but shares a similarity in regards of concept. The reason most people say Fantasticaneer's game resulted in the origin of the genre is that it has been played by Vinny in a livestream, which serves as the source for the word "egglike", implying that this game introduced the genre.
Because of this, we can't say that the genre "egglike" is official. LSD: Dream Emulator was made in a time where practically every game was either a shooting game, an adventure game, or a fighting game, and all of which had elements based on reality. However, LSD: Dream Emulator was extremely surrealistic, ending up being a huge and really unexpected surprise for the gaming community. Even though it became very popular, people didn't seem to be interested in making a series of games based on the PlayStation Classic, which ended up being classified as an adventure game, since it primarily involves exploration.
Wait, so egglikes were originally supposed to be adventure games?
Yes. The 2012 game was the first one to be considered an egglike by how it looks like, but in terms of gameplay, it is an adventure game. However, Shadow of Shrek and Scaregame.exe, for instance, are also egglike games, but they are horror games, and they came after Fantasticaneer's biggest creation. These games are classified as egglikes due to an element that all of these games share in common. There are lots of subgenres of egglikes, but now, we'll talk about what radically characterizes an egglike game.
The fundamental concept of "Egglike" and other characteristics
The term "egglike" refers to an unofficial genre of games. Games that fit the egglike genre are called "egglike games", or simply, "egglikes". The "-like" suffix can be traced back to the term "roguelike," a genre of video games that was having a resurgence in popularity at the time, with popular video games such as The Binding of Isaac, and later Nuclear Throne being staples of Vinesauce streams. "Egglike" defines games that possess a full bag of weirdness, more formerly speaking, that has the use of references about pop culture and memes all over the place, persuading the player to look for more references.
This persuasion is even higher in the case of egglikes that inputs an in-game currency for the player (which can be golden eggs, eggs, dollaz, etc.) and adding doors or barriers that can only be opened when the player has enough or more than enough to go through. Despite the fact that these egglikes have an ending, the majority of egglikes don't have a story, giving the player the simple objective of exploring and getting collectibles to get to the end of the game.
Most of the egglikes are very recognized for the clearly visible terrible graphics and level design, having basic textures and models (most of which are pre-made assets that are taken directly from the engine that was used to make these games). Usually, the terrain is also horribly designed, in which for instance, mountains and hills look like big cones made of grass, or canyons that have little to no detail at all.
The most classic egglikes used to utilize a very remarkable element which isn't so popular nowadays which is the word salad. First seen in Fantasticaneer's most famous game, the word salad grammatically transforms sentences, inserting misspelled words, exaggerated and/or inaccurate use of punctuation, sometimes making every letter lowercase. Coherence and cohesion are (generally) the less affected aspects of the word salad because they can be found after a hard interpretation of the text, which also might be the reason why this element ended up dying out in the next games.
Last but not least, it is good to note that practically all of the egglikes are singleplayer games, and that most of them are totally free to download, which is very fair due to their general quality. Most of these games don't have their own site, being uploaded in indie game sites (like Gamejolt, Itch.io or IndieDB) for people to download and play them. Additionally, some of the games can be downloaded as a file from MediaFire.
Although Egglike is an unofficial genre of games, it is still, a genre of games. That also means that it has subgenres that are also unofficial. Check them out:
This is possibly the most common subgenre of egglike. As the name suggests, walking simulators are egglike games in which the player needs to walk most of the time. In these games, you can sprint, but the character doesn't run as fast as a normal human would run, making it totally useless depending on the game.
The worst part about walking simulators is that they can bore very quickly due to how much the player needs to walk to get to a certain point and that boredom is increased audibly as well. Places that play no song or places that play the same music over and over again turns the game incredibly tiring, even if you still have places to explore.
At first sight, collect-a-thons are actually pretty similar to walking simulators. However, instead of just walking around, the game gives you an extra challenge: get collectibles. In games that fit into this subgenre, you're sometimes limited to explore the game, because there are some areas that are locked and that can only be accessed after you acquire a certain amount of collectibles, making them some sort of in-game currency.
Additionally, most of these games have more collectibles than the player needs to collect in order to finish the game, which is a good thing, since it only motivates exploration, especially in games like Scrib's Adventure, which has multiple endings and more than 30 golden eggs to get.
There's not really much to say about horror egglikes since the name is self-explanatory. These games obviously possess horror game characteristics, such as the presence of physical monsters and supernatural beings, usually acting as the main antagonist of the game, or blood all over the place. However, the antagonist usually isn't scary, generally is a direct reference to a meme (such as Shrek or Michael Stevens) and the graphics remain bad, like in the case of Scaregame.exe.
Most horror egglikes are based on non-egglike horror games. For instance, Elmo64 created a horror egglike called SCP:4076 Vsauce Michael based on the classic Slender: The Eight Pages. The dark forest area from The Excellent Game has also taken inspiration from this game.
Spread and popularity of the genre
Even though the first game to be considered an Egglike was made in 1998, its games and even the term itself didn't even get close to being recognized worldwide.
According to Google Trends, the word "egglike" has been noticeably searched only in Canada and in the United States, with the first results appearing in October of 2012. It seems that it was intensely searched (100%) from August 2nd to 8th of 2015, getting its search record as of now.