Medium: Flash Games
Yesterday I posted about the game ImmorTall. What was unique about ImmorTall to me was that it requires no skill from the player, the story progresses no matter what. While one might play again to see all the endings, ImmorTall is an excellent example of a new breed of games, the interactive art toy, as the folks over at JayisGames.com call them. To me what is impressive about these games are their simplicity and the lack of traditional game mechanics. While some of these games employ puzzle elements and others action sequences, they are on the whole not goal oriented. There are no points to earn and no correct ways to finish. The multiple endings of many of these games seem to exist not to rate the player’s performance but to make some statement about either choices that you make or the subject of the game. The following are a list of games from two developers: Daniel Benmergui and Gregory Weir. All games are free to play. While there are many other games like these that I will write about in future posts, I felt that these have a sense of cohesion. They all share a similar art style and they all seem to directly respond to traditional conceptions of what a game should be.
To me this game is about, more than anything, consequence of actions.
This game is apparently based on an Italio Calvino short story.
I found this game a little to abstract, but intriguing still the same.
Split into three parts, this game explicates the myth of dragons.
In Japan there is a popular genre of game called “Sound Novel.” These games are most easily described as visual choose-your-own-adventure games. They are text and still images only. Most of theme feature characters that are see-through ghost like figures with no facial features or distinctive clothing. The idea being that rather than create a concrete image, the player both creates the characters in their choices make and in their imagination.
The above games to me are yet another kind of interactive fiction. These games take a distinct idea or an emotion and through the medium of web-based flash games, allow the player to explore the many sides of that central concept. If you take a look at the comments people make about these games, you’ll notice that the subject inevitably turns to the relationship between art and games. While I am still uncomfortable calling games art, I think that there is great potential in theses interactive fiction games. There is a line in the Fellini movie 8 1/2 that I think can be applied to the state of artistic games today.
You see, at first it’s obvious the film lacks a fundamental idea, or say a philosophical premise…. That turns the film into a series of completely senseless episodes. Oh, their elusive realism is, perhaps even amusing, but what is the writer’s real intention? To make us think? To frighten us? From the very opening scenes there is a total lack of poetic imagination. I’m sorry but this could be the most pathetic demonstration, proof that cinema is 50 years behind all other arts. The subject doesn’t even have the merits of avant-garde films, though it has all their drawbacks.