Sunday, September 4, 2011

The End of Us is Rather Good

I don't have much to say about The End of Us, except that it's a brilliant execution of narrative design without anything resembling a story or characters. You play as a purple comet cruising through space, when suddenly an orange comet bops into you, initiating a playful dance of back-and-forth interactions as you hunt for stars and avoid asteroids before one of you inevitably hits the earth. The following is from the creators, Chelsea Howe and Michael Molinari, describing the philosophy of the game:
"The End of Us" was designed to evoke friendship, attachment, and affinity without overt narrative. The orange comet's behaviors are intended to endear. It might not arise directly from the actions but emerges from the familiarity of friendship, good and bad, and the hollow that arises after one-to-one attention vanishes, permanently, for whatever reason. 
As you grow and age and eventually start to fade alongside your friend, you come upon an asteroid belt that chips away at both of you. Your final (only?) choice in the game is who will take the fall, and who will have to suffer a solo existence after.
The effect really resonates, which is remarkable considering that these are two lifeless comets. Not a word is exchanged and yet there's a genuine feeling of companionship between the two of us. It's a free flash game that takes about 3 minutes to play. All I can say is go play it. You won't regret it.

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