I know Chris just wrote something about the game but we’re often redundant like that.
The game is Reunion by Mike Bithell, I found it on GameSetWatch a few days ago. This is an amazing game. I believe the execution is phenomenal. I need more big sounding words to show how much I like it! Immediately the game reminded me of something I’d see coming out of Cal Arts, such incredibly good design going into it.
When the game starts the first thing I noticed was simply how pretty it was. Here comes the music man with the flickering firefly moving around him. Suddenly my cursor is in control of the firefly. I move it around to play with the lighting on the character, which is dynamically lit through clever use of Flash’s bevel function. I think to myself “I gotta ‘borrow’ that technique.” Now I’m guiding a musical note through the air and smashing lanterns, rewarded with tones. What a mellow intro. A great way to introduce a story.
While the presentation is great, the game is hindered by the poor framerates I’m getting on these G5’s at work. I know the Mac Flash Player is slower, but it leaves the game almost unplayable. 🙁 And these computers are fast as hell! It made the gameplay a chore because a lot of the time my clicks weren’t registering and when I’d let go the character would still keep walking. I wanted to close the browser every time I fell and had to redo a section but I kept playing.
Every so often there is a new gameplay element added that livens up the idea a bit. But this is ruined by the fact that there is no variation in the background artwork for the entire game. It’s beautiful at first, but you’re never given an award for your hard (and frustrating) work. Just glimpses of the cat that you’re chasing after. The money is at the very end when the scenery changes. It’s beautiful, but the game needs more of that.
I realize that we live in something I like to refer to as “the real world”, which involves a lot of factors besides spending an entire lifetime on a project. I think this is a game that’s going to leave an impact on people, despite the problems with game design. I know it’s left an impact on me by reminding me to “try a little harder” when it comes to visuals and presentation. Excellent job, Mike!
Check it out at http://www.mikebithell.com/reunion/.