PEGBRJE: The Three-Body Problem and TICKET
I’m losing my touch.
Time to right a wrong — I failed to realize that this and the title below were games and not software. Now I’m paying for my lack of attentiveness. This is The Three-Body Problem by RoAnne Sylver, an interactive narrative about an individual named Venus sprinting through a forest. At first, it appears to be in fear, yet there’s a sense of preparation; right up until a stranger appears and turns the entire night sideways.
As with many interactive fictions, players will be able to click the bolded text to continue the story, with multiple bolded texts implying the different directions. This deviation centres around Venus’ willingness to talk with the stranger, to explain their current position and the confusion that has been created.
As the story unfolds, it becomes apparent that the stranger’s confusion and haste has drawn the ire of that which Venus was running from, and begins to delve in to the true nature of both Venus and their guardian. It touches on kinks of the dominant/submissive variety, while featuring queer witches under the full moon. Players that go down a certain route will even experience polyamory, which I rarely see in fiction.
If you have wanted more witch fiction that contains multiple styles of relationships, then this might be what you have been looking for.
magicdweedoo has returned to grace the bundle once more with their nonsensical visual experiences, this time with TICKET. While their previous title, New Ice York, followed a detective and contained a down-to-earth plot, this game is about a timid left foot trying to make their mark on a world covered in terrifying monsters and shapes.
As this foot, players will be traversing the worlds through isolated realms, similar to the platformers of old where the objective is to reach the end of the map. TICKET’s goal is to reach an F — probably because F is for Foot — while avoiding the scary turtles and triangles that exist. Failure to do so, either by falling or injuries, will result in losing a life and returning to the overworld to start again. Losing all three lives means the foot has died (somehow), but death cannot stop the Foot. It can traverse the realm of the dead to reach the ‘Dead F’ and be brought back to life to start again. As players progress through the levels, new mechanics will be added as power ups to help traverse the level, such as the spring boot or the reverse gravity. These items cannot be used repeatedly, so hopefully nothing was left behind that the foot requires.
As the visuals might indicate, TICKET continues the surrealist yet simple style that magicdweedoo specializes in. Colours are bright to the point of blinding, with crudely drawn lines reminding me of the glorious MS Paint. Shapes are placed in their own juxtaposition, for they seem random and chaotic yet make sense within the context of the platforming of the level. Examples include the enjoyable ballooms or the strange rotating coin. There are times when it can become overwhelming, especially when the background’s wild nature draws away from the simplicity of the platforms, but that feels like the point. If this becomes too much, either because a level is too difficult or distracting, one level in a playthrough can be crushed by a giant foot and skipped completely. If that does not help, the Foot can relax on a beach after dying to take the edge off.
As one might expect, TICKET is an utter trip. It doesn’t want to make sense, not in the conventional way, relying instead on its visual stimulations to convey its meaning. What meaning? Brilliant question. If you find out, let me know. In the mean time, dive in to this title if you like absurdly self-aware games that are full of seemingly random mini-games, nonsensical ideas, and a soundtrack that keeps on giving.
Sorry again for messing up the order of things. We’ll be moving on to the next page of the bundle tomorrow unless something happens.
The Three-Body Problem
These dark, deep woods are home to wild creatures and wild magic, and they're only dangerous if you disrespect either…