Sunday, November 11, 2012


Random Thought: "Am I going to be tortured in real life and then threatened with the spectre of more torture in Hell?"

This game had many incomprehensible layers, all of which necessitated much more time than the competition limit of 2 hours allows to unravel. The game certainly had many interesting mechanics, but I did not understand how to link or cooperate between the two dreams, and that crippled me for much of the game. After I finally gave up, and turned to the walkthrough, I realized I was only a little bit into the story of the game, and as such did not finish the game before the 2 hour time limit. So I will only comment on the game up to how far I reached: midway into both dream sequences.

The puzzles and mechanics seemed a bit arbitrary: the dream sequences of course were expected to have had their own rules with how the universe worked. And while the dream thankfully maintained rules and themes, some of those rules were so unintuitive, that they took either awhile to discover or they were just dictated by the game. I found the "you don't want to take a stake" puzzle especially frustrating: if I had been allowed to take a stake, I would have been able to make a bridge somewhere else! It would have been more clearly telegraphed if there had been one hole, and no second stake. And as I already said, I never would have found the cooperation mechanic without turning to a walkthrough. Even after reading the walkthrough, I can see how it was supposed to work, but I realize that I never would have gotten it without cheating, just because it seems too arbitrary.

With my time, I tried to piece together what was happening to these characters without the metaphors, and it seems to me that these two characters are perhaps kidnapped and close to death, and that closeness to their own death has them considering their fate, what will happen to them after death, how they have lived their life. The female has imagery of heaven, hell and judgement, while the male has imagery of everlasting entropy embodied by a sentient machine. Whichever one has the more accurate vision, they are both destined for terrible destruction, and the threat of how they have lived their life looms over them both. I'm not sure I enjoyed that theme: I feel the end-of-life reflection is a pointless exercise, because by then so much time has passed, that it's as pointless as judging someone else. Furthermore, it's very self-condescending to go over your judgments like that, and really the entire purpose of self-reflection is to improve yourself and avoid making the same mistakes. If you review your decisions at the end, you simply don't have the time or purpose to improve. Someone is just getting revenge on you. And if it's just you by yourself reviewing your own life, then you're just torturing yourself, for no reason. I don't feel that it's useful or deep. Instead of harping on people who have apparently lived happy lives up until their untimely demise, I'd prefer the real-time emphasis on improving and being empathetic.

That said, it seem well and robustly written, and while I am immensely curious about the ending, which I hope clears some things up instead of plunging us deeper into mystery, I have to say this game certainly was interesting and made me think. I imagine there will be plenty of people who absolutely favorite and love this game.


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