No text. No rules. No enemies. No multiplayer. No time limit. No expectations. No reward. Proteus isn’t your normal videogame.
A 16-bit, 90MB monolith made over the past year, Proteus puts a player on a randomly generated terrain which contains aural cues, so the soundtrack changes as you interact with the land, or, well, simply walk through it. There might be a way to win if you want to find it.
Gaming always works best when it makes you think. Creators Ed Key and David Kanaga molded a game on how a brain responds to a variety of visual and audio interactions. In other words, not a bean counter for how many zombies you can blast. The bitterly surreal graphics, minimalist feel, and lack of a story recall fantastic moments of “not playing” a game. Like checking out the landscapes of Skyrim or evolving in flow. But Proteus‘ enchanting music has plenty to do with it. A melody or a motif might be hooked when you touch a tree, look in a certain direction, or stand next to a rock. The sun will rise, the seasons will change, the music will as well. But why? Why?