Wake Up: Coma

By Kieron Gillen on July 12th, 2010 at 10:06 am.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, says a man who is inexpert in gathering birds from bushes.

Monday morning flashgame time, I think. Coma‘s been around for a little while now, but I’ve only just picked up on it from Alice Wonderland and it’s actually a quite lovely little platforming adventure which goes heavy on the graphic style and atmosphere. Alice says it makes her want to replay Machinarium and warm-up for Limbo, and I can’t disagree with that. Well, I could, but I’d be a churlish knave. It features the best player-propelling anus I’ve seen for a while. You can go play it here and – if you get stuck – you’ll find a walkthrough video below.

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21 Comments »

  1. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    I can’t believe it took RPS this long to find this wonderful little gem!
    Thoroughly enjoyed this game.

  2. Alexander Norris says:

    It looks lovely, but could they not at least have used a spellchecker and a dictionary? It’d be nice if half the sentences didn’t have completely nonsensical grammar and every third word weren’t misspelt.

    • Jacob says:

      I feel reasonably confident that the poor spelling/grammar throughout the game are intentional. Whether they serve some deeper thematic purpose or are just general-purpose artsy-fartsyness is another question.

  3. Sagan says:

    That was nice.

  4. Zogtee says:

    Is this a platform puzzler like Winterbottom and others? I don’t want to be rude, but I feel that the indie puzzler category is filled to the brim now. It looks gorgeous, though, and the music is nice.

  5. Ian says:

    I am pretty sure that misspellings are there on purpose. Especially since the author showcases his correct English grammar and spelling conventions in the comments and notes section.

    Beautiful game though, and I love indie platform puzzlers I think that is what we need.

  6. Vague-rant says:

    Anyone encounter problems/bugs at the very last stage? (where you push the buttons) The ground is invisible and the buttons won’t press for the screen with the last 2.

  7. KillahMate says:

    It’s an aesthetically pleasing little piece, but the gameplay leaves something to be desired. A fair bit of backtracking, even if you don’t include that one big backtrack that was sort of thematically important. Also in this kind of linear game signposting is important, and that wasn’t very well done. It may be because the graphics are occasionally confusing.

    Like I said, a nice mood piece, but it has flaws that would have become seriously detrimental if the game were any longer.

  8. Drexer says:

    It’s nice. But it is very vague at times to be properly enjoyed.

  9. Rond says:

    I understand that, as a platform game, it needed some gameplay trick, but the “button-hitting” section in the final part was ridiculous. I could barely see a thing in all those dark corridors, furthermore I did not recognize the black objects in a black room as buttons, so a hint there would be useful.

    But, my overall impression of the game is that, well, some people say games aren’t art, but here we see a case of a game being a piece of art, but at the same time not being a game at all.

  10. Eric says:

    “Games” like this feel to me very much like a well-animated series of Powerpoint slides, except that I have to hit every key on the keyboard, every slide, trying to find the key that will advance it this time. I very much enjoyed the aesthetic of the whole thing, and certainly the concept was interesting, but the gameplay essentially doesn’t exist, there’s just a trial-and-error period before you can advance every time.

    Yes, that’s only one or two steps from the sort of pixel-hunting that so many adventure games used to rely on (and “escape the room” Flash games still do), but at least there’s some sort of mental exercise behind those, usually – and when there’s not, they get rightly criticized for it. Running left and right until you find the character who now has something new to say (or, much worse, until you find the tiny “switch” that wasn’t there before that you need to step on) really doesn’t do it for me.

    • Lilliput King says:

      It was pretty good at giving you clues as to how to progress, and the method of progression seemed fairly straightforward in all but the one section (that is clearly willingly obtuse) with the buttons.

      I do know what you mean, though. I’ve been playing Monkey Island 2 again with the special edition or whatever they’re calling it, and the process by which you progress in almost every case seems to have no real connection with the problem you’re faced with. Why do I have to cut the rope with a knife when I have a perfectly good spade which could do the same thing? Why do I have to cover the guy in mud when I could cover him in any number of different substances? It’s just guessing what they want you to do, which gets pretty irritating in this day and age.

    • Eric says:

      There were some design inconsistencies that I found annoying – what pieces of the environment are or aren’t platforms you can jump on seemed to vary widely from screen to screen, without any clear indicators about which it would be, for example. I spent a minute or two trying to jump over the signpost, too, in the screen where you’re supposed to be going through the pipe after popping the guy. (Umm, spoilers I guess. Sorry.)

      Those are fairly minor nitpicks, true – it’s a free flash game, after all, and I was impressed by the aesthetic. It just seemed like the game design never progressed past “Now they’ll run to the left! Okay, now they’ll run to the right! Now left again.”

  11. Kael says:

    … I found the buttons to be the easiest part.. :O

  12. JohnnyMaverik says:

    Yup, this is good, a little tough at times on the puzzle side of things but the hints are generally quite good, concept is interesting if not all that unique, although the way it was executed was very enjoyable.

  13. ken says:

    This game’s style reminds me of the Knytt Stories games because of the ambient sound/music and controls. Those were good games. Anyone else play those?

  14. Robomutt says:

    I do enjoy finishing games. Nice when that doesn’t take very long. Looked lovely, and was gentle and quiet.

    That said, it wasn’t very good at being a platformer in terms of consistency of jumpy on things and slippery pixels etc.. I thought all that stuff was a science by now.

  15. chiefnewo says:

    Eh, typical artsy platformer.

    Nice graphics and sound, platforming mechanics are a bit iffy.

    Where it falls down (as they usually do) is that the story is incoherent and all over the place, with no payoff at the end. While I don’t think a story needs to explain everything to me, at least something should happen at the end beyond “everything that has happened is just filler, push some buttons to see the credits.”

  16. Ian says:

    It was lovely but I don’t think I get it.