Saturday, June 13, 2009

Fathom - Finished the Game

Time: Saturday 1:45pm
Games Played: Quordy, Klonoa, Fathom
Drinks Consumed: 1 Sugar Free Rockstar, 2 Glasses of White Wine, 1 Sugar Free Red Bull, 1 Guayakí Yerba Mate Pure Empower Mint, 1 Guayakí Yerba Mate Pure Endurance, 1 Odwalla B Monster

Each weekend, the folks at Talking Time pick a free game out there and play and discuss it. This week was Fathom - an indy game with an art vibe (meaning that it is trying to convey some sort of message).

I got to a certain point in this game and then couldn't figure out what the hell to do. I had collected a ton of fish and done several other things but it just seemed that I couldn't continue at all. I asked for help, didn't get any, and was getting incredibly frustrated. I was about to give up, but then tried the game in a different browser. Turns out I must have hit upon a bug, because playing it in that browser everything happened as I expected and I was able to finish the game.

Despite my frustrations, I enjoyed it overall. The music is great, the aesthetics are nice and I really like how it subverts the tropes of video games. The game is mostly divided into two parts and the first part is well done, if not particularly creative. The second part is much more creative and sets a good mood even if playing it gets a little frustrating after awhile.

There's a larger discussion to be had here about whether games can really have a message. Can they express something through pure gameplay? Are they beholden having to be "fun to play" or can they use limitations on play control to express things? I think you can have "art games" much like "art films", though it's much harder to pull off a pure message game than say, a movie or book or painting.

But whatever. On to another game!

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