At one point in my life, I had to pay quite a lot of attention to iOS apps. It was a very dark time for my wallet, as my employer wasn’t interested in reimbursing me, but I was dedicated to my craft.
No, I’m sorry, I must not lie. I did have to pay quite a lot of attention to iOS apps so I could make recommendations and maintain our work blog, but mostly I bought games because I wanted to play them. Given the general population age here on the Cape, I rarely got to recommend anything beyond solitaire. I know that sounds rude, but I like solitaire. It’s a soothing, meditative game that’s good for occupying your hands while you think about something else. Also: I once helped a very sweet lady and her husband download Queens in the Corner so they could while away long winter evenings playing cut-throat matches against each other, and that’s what I call job satisfaction. Simple card games aren’t bad games.
Let’s be real here. Besides card games, I don’t love games on mobile devices. I spent almost a year playing Limbo on and off, bitching bitterly the entire time about touch controls and pixel perfect jumps. And that was a good game! That’s what makes the ones that transcend their platform all the more amazing. Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery was as close to a perfect game as I’ve played.
It’s mostly a point and click adventure game with rhythm based fights woven in. And that is just such a pale explanation for the entire experience. It’s an atmospheric, beautiful game — created with a limited palette, a 16bit look. Your character, the Scythian, is on a quest to activate the Trigon and defeat the Gogolithic mass. In the mountains where you travel, there are other creatures: Girl (a shepherdess) & her sheep, Logfella (a woodsman) & his dog. You climb through misty hills, spy on Girl, Logfella and Dog’s thoughts, travel through dreamscapes, coax tiny spirits out from within trees or under water, and control the Trigon’s pieces. It’s a stunningly beautiful game.
It’s also funny. It’s the kind of funny that I like best, and for which I don’t have an actual description beyond “It made me laugh, out loud.” This little game, pixelated and taking only a few hours to finish, is full of humor and life and sadness and beauty and philosophical questions and dreams. I don’t know how they did it, but I’m so glad I got the chance to play it. Indie games can save us all.