+=x

cover (15)

Potential spoilers, but maybe not really. I’m not sure.

I’ve played through this game a good half a dozen times now and I’m still not entirely sure what’s going on. This is a Chandler Groover game, so the text, taken by itself is richly atmospheric. At first I think I am on a war ravaged planet, on the shores of an underground lake – but then as the game progresses, I am a character aboard a spacecraft bound for Alpha Centauri. Or are we “We’re traveling to moments, not places.”

We play as several characters, each of whom receives a summons to become part of a great informational equation. To do this, they are given a blank card – and are reduced to a mathematical function by an iron wizard in a machine. Interspersed with this are the ruminations of a detective – who, ultimately, can’t escape this fate, either. The algorithm is strictly impartial.

We might be travelling through information – “The galaxy is a file: the right click could open its code”. Because as the player of this game, we are of course travelling through the information the author has provided, and this provides the clue to the game’s final puzzle. Which was a nice touch.

I enjoyed this game. I liked the language, the text. I like the fact that I was still thinking about it for quite a while. I like the fact that it doesn’t provide any easy answers or that, even with a final hidden reveal, meaning is still obscure. I would, to be honest, have like a little more – the game varies little whatever the choices you make. But then again, maybe that’s the point.

As for score? I have honestly no idea. I need to think about it some more. If only there was some form of equation…..

p.s. I played this a while ago at the start of the competition, and I could swear that the text in the final box of the actual equation was larger. Now it’s tiny and difficult to read. I’m not sure whether that was a conscious change by the author though or whether something’s going on with Texture. Or, I might be mis-remembering.

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