Spike: hidden fun in Spacebar

It’s a recurring habit to try to make things more ellaborated and complex in the pursuit for quality. We tend to add features to enhance gameplay trying to create a memorable experience, but sometimes, the opposite way works far better to achieve that. It’s well known that when your constraints are tight, you seek for bolder and more creative solutions, struggling to get more from less.
In the case of this game: “Spike: a love story“, you’ll just need to push the Spacebar. Not even in a frenzy mode, and even though, the result obtained is quite impressive: the game turns out to be challenging, entertaining, memorable and above all extremely funny. Don’t wait, stop reading. Play it now!!! (shall you?)

How can you squeeze all that from just a key pressing? The answer comes by blending wisely some winning features. First of all there’s the undelaying humour, there’s a different sketch each 10 seconds or less. Each comic sketch plays with the unexpected, a classic comic formula. You may be waiting for something, and then… you just got busted!!!
From the many different behaviours shown in the game, emanates illusion of life, the sensation you are playing with a living toy. You don’t know what to expect from it and that’s certainly engaging.
Finally, black sense of humour, the morbid fascination of being the bad guy in the movie. Feeling that you are being wicked also keeps you sticked to the Spacebar.

So rather than playability, here we have a great game because of it’s “script”, specially its sense of humour. They say in war and love everything’s allowed, but also in game development! It’s stimulating finding games that create their own formula. It may not be a game for playing for several days, but we’ve learnt a great lesson of humility, and inventiveness from it. Thanks Matzerath for this little great gem!

Game review. Every day the same dream

Finishing our current project Apocalypse Dunk is taking a bit longer than we expected. We are still working hard polishing it and improving its gameplay.

In Ravalmatic, at the office, we love to analyze and review the games that for some reason we find interesting. I would like to talk about Apocalypse Dunk but since is not ready I’ll have to wait.

This week we discovered a brilliant little game that impressed us much.

Alarm buzzes!! Wake up, get dressed, kiss your wife, fight traffic, and go to work. Day in, day out, it’s always the same and nothing you can ever do will change that. Or will it?

Made in 2009 by Paolo Pedercini of Molleindustria, Every day the same dream is a game with a simple gameplay. The player just needs the left and right arrow keys for movement, and the space bar to interact with people and items when their name pops up at the bottom of the screen.

There is not a tutorial or any guiding on how to play. On other game that would account as a weakness and provoque players to quit. However, this lack of instructions is exactly what makes this game so appealing. The player himself needs to find out how to break the vicious circle.

The protagonist has no face, no personality, and yet there’s something about his situation that makes him instantly identifiable, someone to feel sympathy for. I almost felt a sense of desperation the longer I played as I tried to find something, anything, that would change his life for the better… or even at all.

Maybe if you play this original game and have the capacity to think out of the box you will discover its denouement. That can make your day unique too…