Saturday, December 3, 2011

Indie Platforming Two'fer: Depict1 and Loved

In a holiday season that emphasizes good behavior for just rewards, it's especially fun to play two indie platformers where breaking the rules and disobeying authority is sometimes the only way to get ahead.

Depict1 (top left) has a slightly "Portal" feel about it, with you essentially going through test chamber puzzles guided by a disembodied voice. The voice gives you instructions on how to play, but the question arises very early on whether or not you can trust his/her/its advice, when it gives you clearly incorrect information that does nothing or just straight-up kills you. Between reverse psychology and outright lies, the game goes into a metaphysical realm that almost defies the conventions of ordinary video games.

Loved (bottom right) gives you the freedom to obey or disobey the voice's commands. Following orders causes the game's visuals to become clear and detailed, while disobeying turns the visuals into crude blocks and distortion. The voice rejects you from the very beginning, declaring you the opposite gender of whatever you picked, and when asked if you want a tutorial, you'll either be denied one (if you said "yes") or be told "you will fail" (if you said "no"). The nature of the voice (and indeed, the game) changes depending on your choices.

The thematic exploration of both games is very similar, in each case offering a unique twist on the way you play the game. Depict1 can be played on Newgrounds or on Kongregate; Loved can be played on Newgrounds or on Kongregate.

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