158: Stars and Squares

Stars and Squares

"Whatever you do, don't click."

"That's the mistake most players make upon first loading up The Marriage, the first widely released artgame by Rod Humble. In Humble's minimalist, abstract exploration of relationship dynamics, even the seemingly innocuous act of clicking the left mouse button forcibly restarts the game. As is the case with so many aspects of Humble's games, the 'don't click' rule first causes irritation, then confusion and, finally, acceptance (probably followed by a second, much more subtle confusion)."


That was a great piece. Arthouse games are rapidly becoming my favorite stuff to check out on the web. The best thing about them is you can slowly see their themes and ideas cropping up in more mainstream titles. Points in the game where the player is being convinced to voluntarily quit, game designs that induce emotion, and the progression of the medium in general thanks to these people doing something new and getting people to check it out.

I also hope Braid at least gets the Steam treatment like Everyday Shooter.

Reading this article on a Mac and thus not having means to play the game, I was hoping to be given more of an explanation of the gameplay. I kept reading, but nothing was made very clear. The games sound like they would be simple enough to explain - why not?

This definitely got my attention. I just downloaded the game and am excited to try it out!

While I'm very interested in emotion-evoking games, I find (as is alluded to in the article) that the barrier of entry - meaning the ambiguity of the mechanics and purpose - may be too high for most people (including myself) to enjoy the game.
For example, after trying Passage I started up Gravitation, only to find myself unable to go anywhere but the first room (is there even another place in this game? it's an arthouse game, so who knows?) and just not getting it.

I do how these things would keep on coming and being refined.


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