WEAVE (2015)

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WEAVE is shockingly original. Can I say that? From the interactive title screen, I knew this wouldn’t be like anything I’d experienced before. And it was not.

According to its creator, WEAVE is about “an abstract journey of two characters, who are both trying to cope with a shared event from the past in different ways”, and this concept is conveyed quite well. There is a consistent unity to the graphical content. Everything swells, sinks, and expands, bringing to mind a plethora of surrealist paintings. Still, there is at the same time nothing recycled here. The color palettes utilized are so rich, so emotive. There is something strangely reminiscent about those colors. It’s as if all of the furniture from a Mad Men set had been melted down into an amorphous blob of color, and then slowly – ever so slowly – injected into the game’s central nervous system.

WEAVE was created by Taut Nerve. Follow him on Twitter.

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The Fifth Apartment (2015)

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Briefly experienced but poignantly felt, The Fifth Apartment is a quiet and dark accomplishment, from a seemingly modest source (I don’t know who is behind the title) It details the slow churn of an old Belgian woman’s move toward death, as her mind and memories begin to deteriorate.

The mood of the game is exceptionally executed, as I felt continually immersed in the world before me. The visuals were beautiful as well, giving the game a grandeur to contrast its hellish theme. Everything is shady, brittle, and dusty, with no space for light or dreams or expansion. Pock marked walls cry out for mercy. Claustrophobia abounds.

I wanted to bring attention to The Fifth Apartment because I think it deserves your time. Consider playing through it. It will only take a couple of minutes.

Made for Ludum Dare 33.

FOC/US (2013)

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It would be unfair to say that FOC/US is a game about taking pictures. Rather, I feel it appropriate to say that FOC/US is a game that asks all sort of existential questions. Its dialogue is witty, and its characters are sharp. And perhaps most importantly of all, FOC/US asks the player behind the camera to examine himself. Unlike the very small characters that are being spotted with a very, very, very long lens, the player must concern himself with his role in the world around him, not merely as a detective looking for information, but also as a fellow character, being watched by some other lens of sorts. Brought to us by Felix Park.

The Very Organized Thief (2013)

My initial play-through of The Very Organized Thief was met with both a sense of curiosity and with fear. The moment I began my journey as a thief, scouring the house of some unknown victim, I was overcome with a real and present anxiety. This anxiety was the result of feeling pressure to secure the items I had made a list of, and to do so without being caught.

As I began my thieving, I had many questions: Whose house is this? Why am I robbing them? Why do I have a list of items to procure? Is anyone home? All of these questions swirled through my head at a hundred miles per hour, an indecent speed to properly and sufficiently meet the conviction of each respective question.

The mechanics of The Very Organized Thief were delightful; the gameplay, exciting and unique. The atmosphere crafted by the developers was also extremely well-done. My only complaint would be with regards to the A.I. I found its interaction to be deterministic, and one-dimensional. Even with repeated plays, the character of the returning house owner struck me as irrational, illogical, and unsophisticated. Brought to us by Redefinition Games.