Monday, 12 October 2015

Games that make you think about life (and games)

This is a bit of a collection of collections... happened to see these lists  a few years ago and played through quite a number of the games and they've all had quite an impact on my life.

Almost all of them are indie titles, all lovingly crafted to speak about messages that resonate with me even now years after playing them.

thanks grandma...

Hope you enjoy some of these games... I've mentioned my favorites from each list next to each. Each game might only take an hour or so and some of them are maybe 15 minute experiences tops.

  1. 20 Games that make you think about life
    • Elude: A game about depression, this let's you experience what it might be like to be bipolar and to really feel the hopelessness that can come about when you're on a downswing. Don't worry, the game won't depress you... it'll just show you the sort of shape of the feeling.
    • Covetous: A game about coveting, as told by a lone cancer cell... Deeply intriguing game, one that gives me chills even now thinking about it and it's been several years since I've played it.
    • Air Pressure: A game that has you interact with your kinda clingy girlfriend... one possible interpretation is that she's a personification of a substance abuse problem, but there's lots of ways to read all the various stories and outcomes.
    • Aether: Lovely, relaxing little game, made by the creator of Super Meat Boy, it has you explore planets and try and help the creatures on each one deal with something that's bothering them.
    • UTE: Definitely NSFW, this is a game where you play as a nympho woman trying to have sex as much as possible before she's caught and made to marry the guy she was last caught with. Make of that what you will. (RockPaperShotgun did an entire column on this game and it's themes : S.EXE : Ute by Lea Schönfelder)
  2. 10 Games that make you think about life
    • Loved: Absolutely beautiful, beautiful game exploring the nature of authority and obedience. It plays like a standard platformer but as you play there's a voice directing you to take certain paths, play a certain way and sometimes even jump to your death on some spikes. And as you play you also need to figure out how much your own self-worth really means to you.
    • The Company Of Myself: Another platformer, but you play as a solitary man who's reminiscing about his lost love as he tries to move through the world. Very trippy, deep game and very interesting twist ending of sorts. Psychology enthusiasts will really like this one.
    • I Can Hold Me Breath Forever: A touching story about friendship and loss. I still have to finish this one but the little I played was really interesting.
  3. 10 More Games that make you think about life:
    • American Dream: Another kinda NSFW game, this has you work as an investment banker during the week so you can pimp out your house and have crazy drug fueled orgies over the weekend. The parties stop if your house doesn't have the latest stuff though so your investments had better keep giving you the monies. 
    • Spent: Think you can survive for a month living at the poverty line? Get a job, keep healthy and try and keep your kids happy for only 30 days and see how things go... 
    • One Chance: Oh my god, this game!! No resets, no takebacksies, you literally get only one chance to play to try and save the world when your cure for cancer ends up going awry and killing all living cells. Haven't agonized over any decision in a game as much as in this one...
  4. 5 Games that make you think about life
    • Haven't played very many from this list, but Gray was a really interesting take on the way in which ideas spread, and the nature of being an outsider. You start as the only person who's not rioting when everyone else is going nuts and you're trying to talk to people and convert them all the your way of thinking.
    • I want to play Passage and The Game sometime but I've been a little scared thus far. :p
  5. 15 games that make you think differently about Games:
    • This is a collection of games commissioned by various government or NGO agencies to try and raise awareness or understanding of various issues.
    • Elude and Spent are on this list so I'm guessing the rest will probably be pretty stellar... I plan to play and check 'em out soon.
So yea, this list is comparatively quite old and there've been a lot of really good games that've come out since then that explore various interesting themes and perspectives. Maybe I'll make a future post to collect those. 

Also, it's not that I've played all the games on these lists... these are just my favourites out of the ones I've played. Lemme know if there are any other gems buried in there. :)

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