Monday, May 28, 2012

computer games for people who don't like computer games

It's not that I'm more grown up than everyone else, or too intellectually preoccupied to enjoy playing games or sitting in front of a screen. Far from it. I'm a nerdy tinkerer and gadget collector from way back. I don't know many people who can "waste" time the way I can.

When it comes to games, I just can't seem to find many that grab me. My poor nephew comes to my house, sees the PS3, the computers (Mac & PC) and the tablet and the first thing he asks is what games do I have. The reply often dissapoints, but he still asks every time. The PS3 is for blu-ray discs and streaming movies, so I only have five games, and they're old.

Recently though, I managed to find two games I really enjoy.

The first is an iOS epic game called Swords and Sworcery designed by Superbrothers for Capybara Games. It's a visual and aural masterpiece. The game was created to look like the 8 bit console games of old, but it is extremely sophisticated and provides a rich user experience that makes you forget the game's objective in favour of exploring the landscape and seeing what different gestures do.

The original score by an artist named Jim Guthrie is available on iTunes and through the Swords and Sworcery website.

The game was originally available on iPhone/iPod Touch, then made it's way to the iPad. You can now get it on Steam for the PC and according to their website, Capybara say that it is coming to Mac in the very near future, at which time I'll be playing it with my sub woofer pumped right up.

The other game I recently found was one I initially downloaded as a trial on the PS3 last year because I liked the look of the graphics. It is called Limbo (Limbo on Wiki) and is about a boy who wakes up at the edge of hell and has to find his missing sister.

Limbo is black and white and completely populated by silhoutte characters. It plays like and old style silent movie with occasional flickering and subtle sound effects and mood music.

There are very few characters in the game. The boy is attacked by giant spiders and hostile humans. There are also numerous dead bodies (spider and human) that can be manipulated to assist you through tasks.

At the moment Limbo is not avaialble on mobile devices, but there are rumours that an iOS and Android port are in the works.

I highly recommend both of these games to the people out there who don't think that all games were the same. Hopefully you'll be as pleasantly surprised and distracted as I am.
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