Itching For More: The Autumn Glen

Every Wednesday, even after we all found out that yes, Tony Blair is a big fat liar, Itching For More runs up to you, shakes your hand, and leaves. This week, Walking Simulator: The Autumn Glen.

In The Autumn Glen, (by Black Parable), the protagonist spends the game, trying to reverse his initial action. The game consists of a walk through a glen within your mind — following a water trail of thought until your actions can be healed.

The Autumn Glen uses a low poly art style — something that has begun to become a trope within smaller games, but it uses it effectively, with enough detail and an autumnal colour palette pushing it past mediocrity, and into a mood of calm meditation.

Calm meditation also suits the story, which, whilst having a few mistimed beats (the ending especially — whilst lovely and ambigous, it felt like it lacked a proper build up), excels in leaving the player with just enough hints to work it out themselves, without ever explicitly telling them. Implicit stories are something that smallers games seem to be doing excellently at the moment, and The Autumn Glen continues this trend.

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Sylvanus

- a struggling writer as he tries to find his brother, and is led down a path of remembrance and acceptance. Sylvanes, in killing his brother, has killed part of himself, and so journeys deep into his subconscious in order to reclaim his thoughts. An interesting, but ultimately unused mechanic was the ability to see Sylvanus’ thoughts on any object he is holding. This gave perhaps an opportunity to perhaps delve further into his thoughts, giving the player more clues, but was ultimately used to identify objects, rather than analyse them.

Whilst I have been slightly critical of The Autumn Glen, it does succeed in providing a thought provoking story — the twist at the end left me wondering and refining my theory throughout this piece. I especially enjoyed the environmental design and smaller touches, such as falling polygonal leaves. The Autumn Glen, whilst slightly rough around its polygonal edges, is well worth exploring.

The Autumn Glen is a free game, available here.

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