We don't often cover "casual" games, but Out of Your Mind is from Gamelab, one of the most creative and interesting independent game developers -- and its gameplay is original enough to make us pay attention.
From a gameplay perspective, Out of Your Mind is basically an elaboration and extention of Loop (also by Gamelab); in each level, your job is to draw loops around on-screen items, following certain rules about what's allowed inside the loop and what isn't.
From a backstory perspective, it seems like the Gamelab folks said "Okay, we want to do something with this gameplay idea; what fantasy can we build around it that will appeal to the middle aged women who are the primary audience for casual games" -- and came up with the idea of setting it in a spa. Relaxing in a spa, pampered and cossetted while people massage you and smear your face with green mud. Not something that appeals to me, but then, I don't belong to the target demographic.
What happens in this spa isn't, however, oatmeal baths and aromatherapy; no, your brain is flossed. Wiped clean of "negaticks". Making you fresh and happy and ready to re-engage with the world as a happy, brainwashed pleasure toy. Or... something.
Or at least that's how it feels to me: you're brainwashing people. Flossing their brains of all those nasty negative thoughts, leaving only happy ones behind. Turning them into happy giggling pretty bimbos. Perhaps after they happily pay you for their treatment, you can make even more money by selling them as sex slaves.
"Flossing brains" is not a metaphor, but what the gameplay is literally about. At various places on the screen of each level are spools of different colored floss. You click on one and pull out a length of floss. Your objective is to clear all the nasty sludge-like stress-inducing spots inside the brain by looping floss around them, and letting it retract back to the spool. In addition that sludge stuff spawns "negaticks," little animated critters whom you can get rid of by spearing them with your floss along the way.
There are multiple colors of negaticks, and multiple spools of the same colors; you have to spear negaticks with floss of the same color. And while some sludge is a neutral brown, and can be cleared by any floss, others are of particular colors and require same-colored floss.
As you play on and the levels become more difficult, additional elements are added: negaticks can get "mad" and blow up, splashing more sludge across the screen if you don't clear them soon enough; obstacles on the screen make it harder to reach parts you want to clear with your floss; and so on.
As it goes on, the game becomes surprisingly challenging in fact -- perhaps more challenging than commercially appropriate in the casual game market, where the general rule is to foster relaxing rather than challenging gameplay.
But -- and in this regard, Out of Your Mind is similar to Loop -- you look at the totality of this game and think, my god, are the developers nuts? Sure, the actual gameplay is original and interesting, but combine it with the fantasy -- and this is no longer a fantasy of having yourself pampered in a spa, but having your mind "cleared" of "negative thoughts" by people brainwashing you and emptying your wallet at the same time.
And rather than being a fantasy to appeal to the middle aged female demographic, as intended, it seems like the people it would most appeal to are those into hypnofetish and mind control fantasies. (Both those links are NSFW, btw.)
Indeed, if you play with that in mind, you may find the game more interesting. Yes, dear, I will floss your mind, and soon you will be my total bimbo sex slave. Mind empty. Giggling. Pretty. Heheheheh.
In fact, the animated cut scenes (from co-developer Curious Pictures) perhaps unwittingly play into the same fantasy. Yes, welcome to the Blissful Brain Holistic Spa my pretty. We will clean your mind of all negative thoughts. Won't that be fun? Heheheheh.
Doubtless I'm reading too much into this strange juxtaposition of a particular gameplay mechanic and the bizarre frame chosen for it, but you know, it's not a bad game at all, if you like level-based puzzle games with clever using of a limited set of elements. Which, actually, is a type of game I do like.
And boy, am I going to get shit from Eric Z about this post.