I remember my twenties as a very exciting but often frustrating time. I began to feel like the real me, the person I always wanted to be, but it was oftentimes fraught with frustration, self-doubt, and a steady stream of relationships that didn’t seem to go anywhere. So a game like Florence, if a game is really even the right word for it, strikes a chord with me, and I’m sure many others.
You experience the world of Florence Yeoh, a women in her twenties who feels a bit stuck in her daily routine. That is until she hears encounters Krish, a cello player performing in the park, and their relationship begins to unfold. The story is straightforward, but the experience that the team at Mountains has created truly makes you feel involved in Florence and Krish’s time together. From the App Store review:
There is a subtle beauty to Florence. This poignant love story intertwines a succinct narrative with smart interaction design to create moments of surprising emotional weight. Conversations are turned into puzzles that evolve as the characters’ moods shift. Memories fade into focus like old Polaroid photos. The way you touch the screen becomes just as important as the plot, which makes for a story you want to steer as well as follow.
What should also be mentioned is the brilliant art style of the game, which was led by Ken Wong. It gives the experience such a warm and inviting feeling, one that you might experience in a graphic novel or a web comic. The simplified color palette is also a really nice touch.
You can download Florence for iPhone and iPad (coming to Android soon) by clicking here.
It’s that time of year when Tokyo based game culture shop METEOR hosts their annual My Famiscase Exhibition, an art show unlike any other, featuring custom Nintendo Entertainment System cartridge designs. Entrants not only design original artwork, but also the creative concept behind the imagined video game. This year’s show marks the exhibitions 10th year and features talent from across the globe. It’s an interesting mishmash of video game culture and design with a unique twist on the traditional gallery experience.
Last week Bobby covered Firewatch, an upcoming indie game backed by a ‘holy trinity’ of game development. It’s sure-to-be-gorgeous-design reminded me of another beautiful up & coming game that I’ve had on my radar: Hyper Light Drifter. Video games are a huge passion of mine, and I’m not quick to gush over a title (especially one that I haven’t had the opportunity to play). Yet, here I am, gushing. In a world of increasingly creative and imaginative indie games, Heart Machine’s Hyper Light Drifter already stands out as one of the shining pillars of gameplay, art direction, and design.
Indie gamers rejoice, the holy trinity (in game form of course) has formed, and it’s going to be amazing. Campo Santo is a new game studio comprised of artist/designer Olly Moss, ex-Telltale Games designer Jake Rodkin, Walking Dead (the game) writer Sean Vanaman, Mark of the Ninja designer Nels Anderson, The Cave lead artist Jane Ng, and Gone Home music composer Chris Remo. Together they’re making Firewatch an upcoming game that sounds amazing.
In Firewatch you play as a man named Henry who has retreated from his messy life to work as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness. Perched high atop a mountain, it’s your job to look for smoke and keep the wilderness safe. An especially hot and dry summer has everyone on edge. Your supervisor, a woman named Delilah, is available to you at all times over a small, handheld radio—and is your only contact with the world you’ve left behind.
But when something strange draws you out of your lookout tower and into the world, you’ll explore a wild and unknown environment, facing questions and making interpersonal choices that can build or destroy the only meaningful relationship you have.
I ran into Olly a few weeks back and he showed me some of the initial screens and I promise you this game is going to be gorgeous. Who doesn’t want to wander around in an Olly Moss designed world? Plus with the track record of all involved I’m certain the story, music, and gameplay will be equally as captivating.
P.S. You can grab a giant size wallpaper version of the image above by clicking here.
“Who hasn’t dreamt, at some point, of filling a pool full of jello and swimming in it?” the description for the game The Floor Is Jelly asks. While I’ve never had that thought, it does seem interesting: what if the world was made out of a more malleable or differently consistent material, something that was softer or bouncier or slippery or some other property? The Floor Is Jelly is a game that plays with this idea providing an entire mini-universe for you to jump around and explore as you solve various puzzles.
You’ve played Portal, right? It’s a unique gaming experience that revolves around figuring puzzles using teleportation between two spots. How many times have you wished that existed in real life? A lot!
Nothing has come close to the game conceptually. There isn’t quite a way to knock off the game because you would literally be making the same game. Is there a way to play with the Portal concept but make something new? Yes, there is—and of course the people who figured this out were persons in Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center.
You could pretty much add typography to any game and I’d be sold. The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over The Lazy Dog (a type memory game with an obnoxiously long title) is one of my favorites, and I make any of my poor friends with a slight interest in type play me to keep my undefeated streak alive. But this month, Cosmigrafik released Type:Rider, a simple platform game available for iOS and Android.
Puzzle games, for me, always seem to be on the forefront of game design. Like Bobby wrote a couple of weeks ago, sometimes game design can feel turgid, rote, and, frankly, uninspired. So many stories lack, emotional depth or attempt to put a real feeling inside you. I mean how many different times do I need to run around with a gun or hack and slash through a dungeon to get loot or save a princess?
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons feels different right off the bat. This new release on Xbox and PS3 is about two brothers looking for a lifesaving ingredient in a beautiful fairy tale world. Josef Fares, a Swedish film director, linked with Starbreeze Studios to give the game a cinematic sweep.