There are certain kinds of games that warm my heart, even when their atmosphere is chilling my bones. The Snowfield is one of them. Everything about it makes me feel cold, vulnerable, and depressed as I wander through the stifling aftermath of a recent battlefield, clutching my wounds and fearful of freezing to death as I try to help the grieving and wounded soldiers around me. And yet there's something ever-so-slightly optimistic about it that, in the end, lifts me up from the grim bleakness that I feel from playing it.
Made by students of the Singapore-MIT Gambit Game Lab, The Snowfield is really more of an experiment in video game design than it is an actual "game." It's an interactive experience with a primary goal/objective that you can fail to complete (and thus die), much like any other game, but its general presentation and mechanics might be a turn-off for some. But if you're the kind of person who values and appreciates atmosphere, then this is one you don't want to miss. It's free and can be played here, in your browser with the Unity Web Player plug-in. More of my thoughts after the jump.