Game Trekking: Not Games

Posted: May 26, 2011 in Game Review
Tags: , , , , , , ,

While wandering around the internet I found this pretty cool site, Game Trekking. He makes a bunch of games that are inspired by his travels around the world. These games or notgames as he often refers to them(though I prefer the term interactive experiences) are quite interesting in my opinion. The thing is, that you really need to play these with the right mind set. Most of these notgames aren’t really fun, so much as thought provoking. The good news is that they are really short. If you have  few minutes to spare, and you want to try a new experience give them a try, you might enjoy it.

Since they are so short I figures I could review a bunch of them at once. The first game is Freedom Bridge. Its pretty simple, you use the arrow keys to control a black square and you try to get to the freedom bridge connecting North and South Korea. It isn’t really a whole lot of fun, but the game, especially the ending, got an emotional response from me. Before you can get to the bridge your square must cross a few rows of barbed wire, and the trail of blood left by the square in his desperate attempt to reach the bridge, is more emotionally stirring than all the gore in God of War, DeadSpace, and Gears of War combined.

Next up is a little notgame called Loneliness. Controls are the same as the last game, use arrow keys to move around your black square. In this game there are other black squares, that are either immobile or move in simple paths. Whenever you approach group of squares they spread out and disappear. As the game goes on eventually the background gets darker and darker, until the player controlled square fades into the background. Not much to say about this one except that its pretty depressing, which is the point, I guess.

Next up is a game called Taiwan which is one of the most game like of all of them. There’s this big circle, and inside it is a smaller circle that you control. Your goal is to avoid hitting the edge or the center of the circle. So when it starts your circle will naturally get pulled to the center, and you can click to make it go toward the edge of the circle, but don’t click too much or it will hit the edge and you will lose. periodically it will reverse so that the circle will fall to the edge and clicking will make it go to the center. You just try to keep it from hitting the edge or the center as long as possible. It even tells you how long you lasted so you can try to to set a goal to beat your old time. I had a decent amount of fun with it for a few minutes and you might enjoy it as well.

The next notgame is The Kindness of Strangers, which is pretty nice. Its sort of a 2d Platformer/Maze game, with a twist there are people in the maze who will direct you exactly which direction you need to go to get through the maze. Needless to say there isn’t really much challenge in it, but I guess the point is to beat the game with the help of kindness of strangers. If you just want to casually jump around a maze without any threat or challenge this might amuse you for awhile. I got a bit of enjoyment from it, and it was a nice change of pace from the more action packed games I usually play.

The last game I’m going to talk about is The Killer. This is probably my least favorite of all of them. Although I liked the ending and it had a pretty deep emotional impact, but most of the game is simply holding space and marching a guy to a field to execute him in. The sidescrolling scenery is pretty nice, but I wouldn’t have minded if the walking part was a little bit shorter. Overall it was still a pretty interesting notgame.

I’d say this site is worth a look for anyone who wants a change of pace from the usual games that are available. He also has posts about his travels in other countries so that’s even more interesting stuff. Go on and give it a look.

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