Play Journal 2013-04-10: Inferno Underground
by Thom Kiraly
Anyways… Last post was rambly and weird. Sorry about that. This is going to be a short one because I want it done before I go to Norway. Oh, have I mentioned I’M GOING TO FUCKIN’ NORWAY TO WRITE AND TALK LARPS AND STUFF, YAO! I’m leaving tomorrow and won’t be back home for 11 days. I’ll try to write journal entries about everything we play.
Without further ado, stuff I’ve played recently:
Little Inferno – I decided to believe the hype and purchase this one. I’ve been playing it on my iPhone and so far I enjoy it. Well, enjoy isn’t the word, really. The core activity is somewhat engaging and the fire is nice, but I doubt that’s the point the game is trying to make. The whole thing is much more of a comment on games as they exist on mobile devices today; in-app purchases, meaningless virtual stuff, making players wait between rounds, item combos etc. There is something beneath the surface of gleeful destruction and parody, though. The messages you get in-game seems to suggest it, at least. That’s what keeps me playing right now.
Knytt Underground – I feel stupid not having played a proper game by Nicklas Nygren before, but all I’ve actually touched is Spaceship With A Mace and I guess I somehow got it into my head that this developer mostly does small games around tight, often humorous and quirky ideas. Knytt Underground, thus, is a very pleasant surprise. It’s a well-crafted, sizable and skillfully made game. I enjoy the way the game is confident enough to simply let you explore and play on your own. It does not push, it does not make demands, but it still manages to be challenging, engaging and interesting. The few indicators that sometimes demand your intention are there because you’ve just accepted a quest or something similar. The challenges are never overwhelming, and due to the loose way exploration is structured you can always turn around and choose to approach a challenge at a later time. This relaxed atmosphere goes through many aspects in the game, I think. The characters, dialogues and situations are sometimes funny, but they never try to be hilarious and in your face about it.
There is one feature in the game that lets you take shortcuts. At least, that’s what I think it does. I’ve yet to use it. The thing is, I’m enjoying just running around in the game world, exploring, meeting quirky characters and solving puzzles too much to take shortcuts. For now, I’m happy just running around in there. It’ll probably take longer, but I don’t mind. I’m not in a rush.