The Vault №145
Are you a gamer with low sales resistance and limited free time? Then you'll love the great deals offered during Crazy Tricky's VaporStore Summer Sale! This is how it works: We're offering huge discounts on copies of top indie games that may or may not actually exist. In exchange for your cash, the titles will appear in your personal VaporStore App inventory. Now, you can't actually install any of them, but you don't really have enough time for the download anyways, so, really, it all works out! It's just great to see 'em there! Best of all, each week, I promise to use The Vault to distract you from that feeling of being had, by featuring quality games from the JayIsGames archives... like this week's collection of platformers, interactive art, and puzzles! Do we have a deal?
- Silent Conversation - Taking the concept of Interactive Fiction to its logical conclusion Gregory Weir's 2009 platform game Silent Conversation uses a bit of kinetic typography to transform greats works of literature into the hop-and-bop levels they were always meant to be. The closest thing to the upper-level version of Broderbund's "Living Books" series I've wanted ever since the 7th grade, Silent Conversation is a slow-paced, cerebral kind of work perfect for those who consider those last two adjectives to be positive attributes. Confession: I had never actually read H.P. Lovecraft's "The Nameless City" before playing this game, and I honestly don't know if I would have without it.
- Gray - There is no concept with such divided connontations as compromise. It is that which protects us from extremism, but also that which forces us to water down our own beliefs. It is fairness made manifest, and yet one is never quite able to shake the sense of deleterious appeasement. Gray, a 2009 piece of interactive art by Intuition Games, is one of my favorite ruminations on the subject. At once deeply political and startlingly apolitical, the gameplay of Gray is a perfect blank canvas for the player to cast their interpretations. As such, its page boasts one of the best collections of comments on this websites, with insights ranging from multi-page theses to curt-but-justified explanations about why the whole thing may just be pretenious bull-honkey. Still, any game that inspires such strong reactions can't be all bad.
- Clack - Clack, a 2006 puzzle game by Sean Hawkes, was the winner of the very first Casual Gameplay Design Competition, and rightfully so. What is, at first appearance, a jumbled and mysterious mess of mechanisms soon reveals the intuitive and charming chain-reaction puzzle just underneath. Clack provides the simple joys sussing out the rules for yourself, and still providing a worthy challenge once it has all clicked in your mind. Be sure to also check out the sequel (which with my vote, I just now pushed above the voting threshold, something I feel irrationally proud about).
While we welcome any comments about this weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!