Suggested Browsing: 6/22/2013

Over the course of the past few months, and really since its first edition, Suggested Browsing has been a project destined to change. With sporadic entry, and iterations of the process behind the column changing with each new piece, I’ve been searching for a way to present this content in the most meaningful way. Simplicity, and the precedent set by many, would dictate a quick spotlighted list of several neat browser games with a short description attached. In truth, that is exactly what this column started as.

There are thousands of browser games out there; and with each passing day there are more. The newest Lodum Dare alone brought thousands of playable, interesting games into being and onto the internet. This column needs to be more than just a spotlight of a few games, with a little quib attached. These games deserve opinion and, for that matter, so do you. Bear with me, as together we figure out how exactly this should work. And now, without anymore of my stalling: here are the games.

…But That was [Yesterday] (Michael Molinari) - Our beloved medium found the first steps into its grandest transition a few years ago, with the projections of personal and artistic vision finding a more comfortable home within games. Now, I’ve found the most compelling gaming experiences to be within that personal space; sharing in the catharsis and exhilaration of others in a way only video games can grant. Molinari’s [Yesterday] is another pull into the personal game space.

The game’s first curtain pulls to a frigid scene, in which our faceless pastel-inspired avatar rests in the snow. [Yesterday]’s affinity for simplicity in mechanics allows for an easy association between each movement and its importance. Faced with a wall of memories - a hectic reel of muddled and punched highlights from a life we yet understand - players have but one option: stand, and go forward. As players step headlong into the unwavering wall, undeterred by our persistent stride, we have to learn that sometimes you just have to distance yourself from your past to see it better. So, turn around.

How cold those first few steps are, that first realization for overcoming your past, does a great job of setting up the thematic symbolism of each section of the game. In this way, much of the game’s message feels in hand with AA and NA meeting steps; something with much personal resonance for me. It resembles these steps right down the reprise. Those first steps, that instant gratification, can all be reset with our first misstep. [Yesterday] communicates the only option we ever have in the face of such times: get up, and keep going.

The journey to be experienced here will resonate in some way with each of us who take it, and I can not recommend it enough. Check it out, here.

Moon Waltz (Major Bueno) - If you recall, I was a huge fan of Ceasar’s Day Off, another of Major Bueno’s creations. The yay or nay style of humor presented in the one button game struck home, and does the same in Moon Waltz. The wrap here is simple, as with Day Off. A teen - who happens to be a werewolf - meanders through town, through a series of different circumstances, you simply control whether or not the moon is showing.

As in Day Off, the game is short. This plays wonderfully into the game’s favor, giving players the opportunity to stroll across town a few times, seeing the different outcomes to each situation; and eventually finding your wolf’s way home to the moon. Major Bueno’s creations are absurd, in a way I’m fully in support of. Give it a try.

That wraps things up for this week’s edition of Suggested Browsing. Hopefully the changes will be greeted positively; regardless, give me some feedback! Love and great games to all.