There's always something that bothers me about computer games. Most of them are about shooting/killing. That might be fun for a while, but it gets old soon. Some of them have puzzles, but even those are boring, since all they require is thinking. Well, now I've come across a game that doesn't give you that, but gives you so much more.
The Path, a "short horror game", by Tale of Tales. It's the strangest thing I've come across.
I'm not going to spoil the experience and story for you, you should try it yourself. It has kind of high system requirements:
Windows XP or Vista, 2 Ghz CPU, 1 GB RAM, 256 MB VRAM, recent Radeon or Geforce videocard of x6xx type (no integrated graphics)
Zoinks! That's actually my current hardware, except I have a GeForce 8400 GS.
But I think you can tweak the graphics down so it will work on a lower-end machine too. However, be aware that disabling post-processing really takes some expressive force out of it, and the mood might get across harder.
It's only ten bucks, so go ahead and get it.
It's a strange game, it's based on the Little Red Riding Hood story, but it's a lot darker. I don't recommend it if you're suicidal or simply don't know how to heal yourself (self-therapy). For me, it was an experience of living certain emotions, a mix of "what's it like to be a girl?" and "lost in the forest". The forest is not void of content, yet it is kind of void of obviousness (the kind of obviousness you get in regular games, if you're into comparing). The music really sets an odd mood. I think some people might call it depressing, but this wasn't the case for me. For me it was rather an 'unclear' mood. Something worth going down into. They're my feelings, and the game just brought them to the surface. Am I alone in the forest? What about these wolf people? The game is so strange and non-obvious, that it makes you ask yourself questions. It doesn't even tell you what to do. You have to use your empirical exploration skills to find out what it's about, what all the symbols mean, why those things appear on the screen, and so on. And even when you figured it out, there's still mistery to it. I'm afraid to spoil the experience for everyone, so I won't write about my findings in the game.
I recently had a dream which included trees, and trees are a motif in the game. After playing it, i had a dream about the game (I was in the forest, and I could switch between two internal states (feelings?) somehow. It's fuzzy). I think this game is different in that it actually relies on feelings rather than thinking. There's little logic, and mood galore :D
The graphics are very nice. From 2D screen decals to the foliage on the trees and plants which is actually hand-done (not just taken from photos), from the girls' animated models to the logo art and the other patterns you get to see in the game.
It has a few bugs though, sometimes you can get stuck in the map, especially when there are some automated animations that leave you in a spot on the map. Also, sometimes you can walk through the trees. That's mostly ok, since they only occur like 2% of the time.
I spent all night playing it, stayed up till 6.
I kinda feel like a shitbag, only writing 10% of what I experienced with the game, plus I don't usually write in english, but the downside with games is that you can usually find spoilers/walkthroughs on the internet. So I'll just stop here :)