Night. Old wooden house in the middle of thick, black forest. Lone wake of tenants weird sound – have to bypass all the rooms one by one, checking doors and windows, wincing at the creak of the floorboards, rustling, whispering strange and look waiting for the dawn, which alone can banish away all night terrors. Or maybe this is all just a dream? How, then, to wake up for real?
Russian studio Ice-Pick Lodge has long proved itself the creator of unique projects to successful attempts to provide computer games as a special genre of art – and not just as a form of entertainment or sport. For this reason, do a review of such games is quite difficult: each of them contains several layers of meaning, and obviously set to the set of possible interpretations, so that anyone can make something out of his acquaintance with “More. Utopia, “” Tension “and even festive and cheerful “Eureka” . New game “ice ax” – is no exception. Perhaps a cursory glance will not find in the “Tuk-tuk-tuk” practically nothing but unpretentious and even boring arcade on and off light in a suite of rooms – while deeper knowledge will perceive the game as an invitation to travel, to the study of consciousness and conscience of the hero games, and even the player himself, similar to the effect of the films Tarkovsky, and other masters of auteur.
For developers who have always stressed their desire to see a player “not the consumer, and co-author,” it is logical to come up with a new project on Kickstarter . Fundraising proved to be quite successful, only instead of the promised last December, “Tuk-tuk-tuk” saw the light only at the beginning of this month. Of course, during this time, the game has changed and grown even more, but still lag concelebrated with the release of her is not very good stead: and in appearance, and the elements of gameplay it now may seem like a Do not Starve . Although, of course, games are developed independently of each other – high-tech projects from AAA publishers giants are increasingly giving way to products of small studios and indie developers who can surprise and please us more original games, though not as extensive and colorful.
However, just a stylish two-dimensional graphics, “Tuk-tuk-tuk” is written in its dignity – to the complex multi-layered story, invented by Nicholas Dybowski and his colleagues no longer have to wade through a bunch of 3D-models scary and not very user-friendly interface of previous work studio . Control of the game is minimized as learning rules of the game. Moreover, there are no general guidelines and explanations. From the beginning, the player is left alone with a mysterious house and is forced to get used entirely on their own, constantly, just until the end of the game, trying to figure out who this is actually his protagonist, what all these rooms, and that in general it is necessary to do . Approach is very interesting – although users who are accustomed to refer to the games it is the “consumer”, it will scare away once and for all.
Of course, the most basic action game tells the same: moving through the dark rooms and on / off light. Rooms are located in a house at random and at first completely empty – but if they ignite the light and wait for some time, the tenant begins to “recognize” appearing out of nowhere furnishings. He thus often shares with us his thoughts and memories (in gibberish, like characters The Sims, but with subtitles) and is lit rooms in the diary, sometimes allowing a deeper insight into just what is happening. The main element of the gameplay is the time, and the main task of the player – to hold out until dawn, until seven in the morning. Sooner or later, in dark rooms come off the “gaps” through which begin to penetrate into the house uninvited guests. Face them highly undesirable: the player will lose time and will be dropped at the beginning of the night, at seven o’clock in the evening. If a meeting is impossible to avoid – is hiding behind furniture that appear in lit rooms, and the light when it is better to turn off, or “ghost” you can not see. Best assistant residents at this stage will be a grandfather clock that sometimes appear in lit rooms and allow a few moments to accelerate the precious time.
The whole gameplay is divided into two equal parts: the “levels”, the content of which is to circumvent the night and the rooms in which tenant is trying to keep out of sight of his frightening ghosts, alternate levels where the player gently suggest to switch roles with their uninvited guests and walk through the night forest – in search of something lost and completely forgotten hero. This part is more monotonous – to hide here is more interesting than looking. But here, too, “Tuk-tuk-tuk” offers a choice – to continue the search, or go back home. The decision affects the fate of the offensive Player of the day – and the present, the final dawn happen relatively soon: all the gameplay takes about 16-20 levels of either type or 3-4 hours of playing time.
Another thing is that this familiarity with the tenants, forest and mysterious rooms should not be limited to – the first ascent certainly lead you to a premature screen Game over, which means the madness of the hero, nedotyanuvshego until dawn. You can not save the game – there is only autosave level – so that an adverse ending you have to start all over again. But in the second and third attempt, when the management and the game of hide and seek with the guests is already a matter of habit – then already beginning to pay attention to detail, and on the other side of the more interesting of all, what is happening on the screen. As a result, the story of the hero and the little world he tries to understand – thanks to the fitment manifested in the rooms, whispering and appearance of uninvited guests, numerous cryptic notes, and in particular, what little lucky enough to discover during raids outside the forest – finally begins to find its meaning.
We can assume that to reach a full understanding of this is not all. Despite the unusual approach to the gameplay, nice graphics and quite skillful injection intimidating atmosphere secrets, not every modern player who is used to the perception of games as entertainment, not survive a particularly diverse game of hide and seek with the creatures of nightmares and night patrols creaky old house with a candle in hand. “Tuk-tuk-tuk” does require some effort, stress, being an occasion for reflection and even.
But Ice-Pick Lodge deserves all the recognition is for his courage, loyalty to the cause for the creation of original and not enough on what similar projects, even if they are not quite games – but something even more than the game. A lot of the latter and their loyal fans who give birth to diverse hints of “morality,” “Tension” and “Tuk-tuk-tuk”, the whole philosophical discussion … So, even if in the end it turns out that the last game, for all its originality – not just for you, is yet to get acquainted with this little masterpiece. Especially because it is available for most modern platforms, including Linux, – and in December and is expected to yield versions for iOS and Android.
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