Monday, December 3, 2012

What? A Video Game I Actually Like?!

My husband spends roughly three hours a day playing video games.  And these are the days that he works, mind you.  When he has the day off, I can sometimes come home at five o'clock to find him unshowered and bleary-eyed, his thumbs twitching from an intense game of Black Ops.  But I have never really seen the appeal in video games, mostly because the ones he plays are of either the football or the shoot-everything-in-sight variety.  Not for me, thanks - I come from the "Thank you Mario, but our Princess is in another castle!" school of gaming.  BUT EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED!  Jared came home the other day to find me similarly unwashed and stringy-haired...and it's all because of this game.  No, no.  This piece of art.

The Unfinished Swan.

Some might say that it's a video game for children.  Those people would be wrong.  (Actually, they wouldn't.  I'm sad to say that I'm pretty sure this game is for kids.)  A sweet little game in which you are a boy named Monroe searching for his mother (by way of a magical painted swan), you are dropped into a totally blank white space and must throw paint in order to get an idea of your surroundings.  Soooo crazy unique and unlike anything I have seen before in a video game.

(image from here)
Once you've reached the second chapter, more colors are introduced, and the main goal is to throw water at vines.  The third chapter involves manipulating light in order to keep you safe in darkness, and the fourth and final chapter involves building platforms. 
The concept of the game is extremely simple, it's true.  All you really do is walk around, pushing obviously bright red levers, squirting water and paint, and paying attention to the "swan tracks."  There's not really much objective to it, other than following the swan and gathering balloons along the way.  But the entire journey is like walking through an amazing, interactive modern art museum!  And the game itself is like a little fairy tale or storybook.  It doesn't have to be challenging.
Another thing is that the game is very short.  I beat it in a day...which means you people out there can probably beat it in about two hours.  It's only four chapters long.  And I'm not sure about the replay value, since once you know the "secrets," you aren't likely to forget them.  But the colors and the total uniqueness of this game made it worth the $15.  I abbbbbsolutely loved it!  It was like reading a really good book that comes with a strangely relaxing soundtrack.

(picture from here)

The worst part of all this is that as soon as I finished The Unfinished Swan, I kind of went crazy and desperately started asking Jared for more video game suggestions.  Is gaming an addiction?!  I had no cigarettes!  Or porn!  I needed more PS3 and I needed it now.  Unfortunately, I have yet to find a game that is even half as good as this one.  (But...though extremely disturbing, Limbo is pretty fun.)  Maybe I need a 12-step program.

Happy gaming!


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