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Wednesday
Mar042009

Don't Look Back

Even though games have a potential to SAY things, uncomfortably few make a genuine attempt. This simple Flash game on Kongregate surprised me by having such a simple design (and no text) yet I felt it said something. Bravo.

Reader Comments (45)

Yeah, that was pretty awesome. I've always been a fan of those games that can get a meaning across without exposition. Things like this with no text work well, but even those that use text and voice, but without spelling it out, are always the single-player games I remember.

March 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDan Harris

I did not enjoy it because games are incapable of saying things and my friend made a game that is twice as good.

March 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLofobal

I just finished this game, and I was so impressed on how it did everything right. The Puzzles where tricky, the game was forgiving, and the conclusion left me feeling haunted. There was another minimalist game that I'm trying to remember now which felt like this one... Anyone have any idea what it could be?

March 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterXander

Well, I'll try not to spoil the game for the rest of us, but the story behind the game has been done before (a very long time ago).
I enjoyed it personally because it was based on that old story, and you don't even realize the story until halfway through the game.

But I don't know. It didn't seem to say anything to me.
Besides, 'hey, if you liked this go check out what it's based on' and 'look i can tell a story without text'.

The ending is a bit different, so I guess that could be showing how hopeless trying to change fate is.

March 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermiroda

The game has one piece of text, "Don''t Look Back."
Would the game have been better "art" if the author hadn't spelled that out for the audience? Or would that have just made it obtuse and not interesting? I think it would have made the ending better, and when I got halfway through, I would have had a nice grin over realising the story instead of immediately seeing it as a direct game mechanic implementation of the message.

March 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSage

A very well done game. Touching, yet pixelated. Much thanks for the recommendation!

March 5, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterspecs

@Xander

was it, by any chance, 1213?
http://forums.sirlin.net/showthread.php?t=886

The game reminded me a lot of that game. The haunting, yet flowing music. The pace at which the game was played.
And then it was all about story, even though you thought it was indeed a great game.

March 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRoie

I think this game is not that good...

March 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterUvaz

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
I beat it, then they add achievements and a kongai card.
ugh.

Its surprisingly harder the second time through. I have no clue why.

March 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRoie

Thank you for showing me this.

And poo on you for robbing me of the night's sleep I'm gonna lose because I'll be contemplating the ending.

March 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBlackbeltsam

Fun game, but I have no idea what you mean by 'it said something'. What did it say?

March 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEC

I wonder what people think it said? because to me it said nothing

March 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWaterD

Hey guys! I think the story to this game is based on the following Greek myth:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurydice

BTW, the first boss is supposed to be Cerberus, but it's hard to tell.

~Z

March 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAvatar Z

giving the fact i was a bit drunk yesterday, i finished the game pretty and didn't understand a shit. at the end i was carrying her and i run into me or clone again and the game ended. she would die if i look back on the second part alright i got that from the title but still didn't get the wisdom of this game.

March 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfiremyst

Xander: you might be thinking of Passage.

March 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterZem

I'm really not sure what I think of the game. I definitely don't think it is good. I think it is a decent example of vague player paced narrative.

I hate to admit that that game only got time it got based on it being recommended by Sirlin. I'd say it is less a game and more a mini experience. Like a little desk puzzle you keep in your cubicle that loses its charm and overall usefulness after being completed. I certainly will not play it again.

March 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNapkinSchematic

So people DIDN'T get that it's a retelling of Orpheus and Eurydice? Seemed pretty glaringly obvious to me.

Also, what exactly does it "say" beyond what the original story had to say?

March 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWobberjacky

I thoroughly enjoyed this, good find :)

If lumping this in with Braid offends anyone, I apologize, but I like what both are doing:
-Very forgiving to try things over, but still a moderately tough level of difficulty and some brain exercise
- 2D with minimalist mechanics but creative ways to use those mechanics
- Concise story that works well with the "concise" game

Both are great evidence that one good idea done very well makes a great game, no need for the extra fluff many games (unfortunately) feel the need to add.

March 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFrozenStorm

Hmm I thought I wrote a comment about this but it seems to have gotten eaten, which is probably for the best as it was a little long winded.

More to the point I normally enjoy games that tell stories like this but I didn't particularly care for this one. I thought the game play was lacking and necessarily difficult on some screens. Too many screens featured challenges which felt cheap or unfair and a few others had timings that were unnecessarily deceptive. The game mechanic was amusing but it doesn't do a whole lot to boost gameplay.

March 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLogo

What this game said to me is "click on the scores tab when playing on kongregate so you don't have to listen to 13 year olds discuss a game while you play it."

March 6, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermarx marvelous
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