Game Journal Week 09/14<Finished>
Updated: Sep 17, 2019
Game 1: Her Box ( https://www.freegameplanet.com/her-box-browser-game/ )
A brilliant short puzzle piece fused with surreal visuals. A very unique and unforgettable point+click style game.
The imagery and symbolism presented in the game, through uniquely hand-drawn black and white pictures, are subtle, dark, grimy and psychologically unsettling.
I can say that almost every moment of interaction in this game has been much memorable. I actually played the game twice because after the 1st play-through I wanted to go back to explore more of its themes and imagery .
There are certainly a number of clever design choices that constitute such artful experience. Here I would like to list one extraordinary case:
Almost every camera shot in the game is reminding player that he/she is peeking into a tiny little world that is completely derailed from our ordinary world. It's almost a sense of invasion: Player is invading into a deep and dark inner corner inside the heart of this little girl. There is a part in the game that player has to climb down a seemingly infinite ladder. The camera shot at that ladder is simply sublime.
The camera blur on top part of the ladder, the straight down camera angle, the gradation of shading in the background, along with the ambient music that describes a windy and chilling cave-like environment, instantly stimulate player's sensations, offering a psychological impression that the player is creeping into somewhere unknown, descending into somewhere dark and forbidden.
This is not the only case in the game where camera, 2D imagery, lighting and music all work together like a symphony to deliver chilling experience. Developer clearly has talent in design and knows how to manipulate these elements to create these special moments in game.
Game 2: Estação Liberdade ( https://gtnardy.itch.io/estacao-liberdade?download)
A visually really appealing and atmospheric first-person horror experience.
Much of the 3D assets used in the game are from a 3rd party developer.
Not much to talk about this game. There was a jumpscare at the end.
Game 3: Maggot Diorama 2( https://www.kongregate.com/games/kiklop133/maggot-diorama-2 )
A super fun pastime game made with hand-drawn 2D animation.
Maggots are invading and player has to build up a defense system to prevent the invasion from happening. It's a bit like a tower defense game plus a tons of mouse clicks(player can kill maggots and mine resources by clicking)
There is only one level and the objective is to finish building up a cannon which can destroy the maggot nest. Building up this cannon requires several stages of purchase, each with an increasing price tag, so the cannon won't be finished until later in the game.
Game progresses fairly quickly and they are many purchasable items that can greatly facilitate killing maggots and gathering resources. Some of these items offer more depth and progression for gameplay. Since more powerful maggots will show up as game progresses, the order of purchasing these items need to be strategic from player's perspective. Some items are often more useful in early game, while the others are more expensive and more effective late game.
There are two kinds of resources, wood and ore, in the game and both can be mined indefinitely. Killing one maggot generates one mouse click that can be used on gathering these resources. However, an interesting design in the game is that there is an "efficiency meter." Whichever kind of resource the meter is indicating(randomly), the output of it per mouse click is multiplied. This mechanic adds a twist to the gameplay pipeline and requires user to pay attention to the meter while intensely fighting the maggot army.