Grow Home is a game for four year olds. So my only excuse for enjoying it so much is that while it is meant to be played by four year olds, they are clearly meant to be playing it through the convenient medium/controller of an at-hand adult, as the controls require far more precision than the kiddies possess themselves.
The game was released for linux about a year ago but as with so many Steam sale purchases I only found the time to sit down with it over the holidays [Editor’s note: Written, if not actually published, Xmas 2016].
Marc enjoined me to buy and play The Beginner’s Guide and let him know what I made of it.
Here are my first thoughts at the encountering of “the puzzle”.
The title of Else Heart.Break() keeps it’s conditionals hidden. If what else heartbreak? Suffice to say that so far the condition stil holds: I love this game and it seems to love me back and nobody needs to get hurt.
If you’ve read anything about Heartbreak it’s probably about the code. Most things – from cigarettes to mainframes – can be hacked. This is true but that’s not a fit description of the game. Else Heart.Break() accomplishes that rare thing of making me feel like I inhabit the character I’m controlling. At the outset I felt lost and disoriented in a bizarre world that seemed as ill prepared for me as I for it. A couple of hours in I feel like a bona-fide, bad-ass cyber-noir detective. Allow me to explain.
This was to have been an obituary. “Here lies Lorrie Olson who died of thirst after three days because she couldn’t find a container to carry snow for meltwater in.”
Turns out you don’t need a container for snow. Seeing as it’s everywhere, The Long Dark simply treats it a ressource you always have in infinte quantities. Lucky for Lorrie I figured this out just in time, having settled her in front of a roaring let’s-all-die-of-thirst-in-oh-say-five-minutes fire.
The Long Dark just launched for Linux/SteamOS and I just spent two hours surviving three days. And what three days they have been. Remember that time when we ate raw venison and got food poisoning because I was still figuring out the controls? What larks. And then when we ran out of water and were completely dehydrated and found a box of salty crackers? Man, Fate has a nasty sense of humour. Fortunately it also had stoved some carbonated beverages away in a cupboard for me or I wouldn’t have been able to swallow those crackers. Quite literally.
FlatOut is one the few games I have more or less completed and probably the only racing game. The nitpickers out there will probably want to know how I fared in the silly sideshow mingames that involved throwing a ragdoll test dummy out of the window and onto a dartboard and the like. And did I get first place in every race? Yeah, no I got to the final race and won. And then I had had my fill. Game completed. So there.