Thursday, March 25, 2010

And just to prove my point...

I'm really happy I let all that anger out of my system in the previous post. I genuinely feel better now. I also thought that, since I went on about how PC gaming is innovative, I'd link up some nice games which exemplify what I was talking about.

So first up, here's probably one of the most successful indie titles right now - Spelunky. It's a platformer which has you traversing underground caverns in search of gold and damsels in distress. The thing is, you only have one life and death means restarting everything from scratch. But the levels are always random so you never really feel like you play the same room twice. Even after several playthroughs you will still not have discovered every surprise the game has in store for you. Get it here!

Second is another platformer called VVVVVV. It's insanely difficult but actually pretty forgiving, with helpful checkpoints before each insane challenge. It has an oldschool look which is light on detail but heavy with atmosphere. It's very easy to learn but even within its simple set of rules there is a large number of difficult challenges to overcome. Grab the demo here!

And then we have a game which is as charming as it is short. Specter Spelunker Shrinks is another platformer which enables your character to grow to gargantuan proportions or shrink to microscopic size, enabling you to pass different obstacles by either leaping over them when you're huge, or finding a path through them when you're tiny. You have control over this function and have to figure out how to progress. Sometimes you won't even see your next challenge unless you inflate yourself to a big enough size to be able to perceive it. Play it here!

So yeah, this is just a taste of the small gems we have at our fingertips. It's not about reinventing the wheel as much as it is about experimenting with different ways of control, different functionality. They give new experiences by trying new presentations and ideas.This attitude and possibility is what brought us Valve's Portal.

...Maybe I'll do this too from time to time: I'll find and provide links to great small PC games which are just a little bit different. Sounds like a plan!

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