By John Walker on May 10th, 2011 at 7:41 pm.
We’ve seen a few short games, but this is amongst the shortest commercial PnC adventure I think I’ve seen. If it weren’t for one peculiarly obscure puzzle, I think it would have been over in a few minutes flat. But wow, what a completely adorable few minutes it is.
Lume’s distinct style is by far the most outstanding thing here. While the equally impressive looking The Dream Machine may have gazumped it for the handmade design, but Lume gathers its own deserved thunder via the utterly wonderful way it’s filmed.
The set for the game is completely handmade, crafted out of paper and cardboard. It’s then been wired up like a school project, with little dolls house bulbs. And then it’s been filmed. So far, so The Dream Machine. But the crucial difference here is how it’s filmed. Moving from one area to another initiates a camera movement. Which is literally a camera movement. The guy holding the camera moves it over to the next area. And the effect is breathtaking. To get it, you need to see it. So have a look at this:
It’s hard to explain why, but I found this quite moving. There’s something tangible, visceral about it. Interestingly, it’s an effect that wears off after a few back-and-forths around the game – something that could be resolved, I think, by filming a few different transitions, and randomly selecting one of them. Once you’re used to the bob and jolt of the film, it becomes expected, and routine.
The game itself is cute, if extremely basic. You play a granddaughter, visiting her grandfather’s house while he’s out, helping him to fix his electricity by solving a few puzzles. The puzzles are overtly obscure, designed by the cheeky grandfather to be deliberately awkward. Most are relatively simple to solve. One, however, is utterly mystifying, and I cheated my way past it with a walkthrough, and I’ve still no idea how I could have arrived at the answers.
While it’s very cheap at £5, it’s also extraordinarily brief. It’s part one of an ongoing project by State Of Play, although there’s no announcement yet when we’ll see more, and whether it will be added in for free or cost more. We’re in touch with the team, however, and should have some answers, along with some behind-the-scenes footage, tomorrow.