Replicants Replicated: The King Of The Wood

By Adam Smith on February 22nd, 2013 at 6:00 pm.

The King of the Wood is a free, short-form riff on Bladerunner and Deus Ex, with an android-hunting protagonist plucked from the former and the infiltration-infused frisson of freedom of the latter in its single mission. Unless you become confused and keep shooting at a window, as I did, you’ll probably finish it in fifteen minutes or so and may well agree that you spent your time well. It’s a first-person detective adventure with some thinking, some shooting and a fair bit of mostly optional reading. You can play in your browser (provided you have Unity Web Player) or download. Very brief thoughts below.

As with many of my favourite free games of recent times, this feels like a sample chapter of something larger, in direct contrast to Thirty Flights of Loving, a game to which this could be the less aesthetically extravagant cousin. I’d like to tie together the pictures, book extracts and film clip – I suspect there’s a larger story than I’ve recognised – but I found the final action majestically forlorn.

Via Indiegames.com.

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33 Comments »

  1. googoogjoob says:

    “I’d like to tie together the pictures, book extracts and film clip – I suspect there’s a larger story than I’ve recognised – but I found the final action majestically forlorn.”

    actually they’re just random stuff allen liked and stuck in the game

  2. Greggh says:

    I didn’t kill him, because I saw all the bottles on the floor and, when I tried to kill myself from the second floor, I remembered of my bionic leg and its inability to make me jump, which in turn made me sad, so I gave in to the police.

  3. Bhazor says:

    Certainly liked it better than Flights of Lovin and it has a couple of really striking moments and an art style that fell only slightly short of pretty. But still some irritating fundamental mistakes. Namely those robots are really annoying to hit given how slow the cursor moves.

    The majority of the pictures/books also seemed completely random and didn’t really add anything to me.

    That said it has a lot of potential and I would really love to see it expanded on and polished up. It really had an atmosphere I can’t remember seeing anywhere else.

    • Askeladd says:

      It kinda reminded me of the feeling I got when I was reading the original Blade Runner book.

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      Harlander says:

      The books are all about private dicks, and robots. They reflect the central theme I guess.

    • Ricc says:

      I certainly got a vibe similar to Thirty Flights of Loving from this game, but it didn’t do it nearly as good, in my opinion. The robots, the contrived way the books were presented and instant-drunk bottles (for some reason I hate that in games…) all took away from the mood, in my opinion.

      Going into a mansion, not knowing what to expect, was pretty cool, though. Overall a good effort.

  4. Tomac says:

    I killed some robots, flipped a switch, killed some more robots and then shot the guy.

    I feel like i missed the point…

    • The_Hunter says:

      Guess so…

      This seems like a great little game for the willing.

  5. JuJuCam says:

    Something about that last scene hit me in the gut, and I found myself doing what I so rarely do in games – playing the action I felt was appropriate rather than what the game had told me to do or what would provide systemic resolution.

    If only games of a grander scale could make me consider my actions in such a way, I would be a much happier gamer.

    • Geen says:

      Exactly. I can not agree enough. This game actually made me realize what I was doing. None of that ‘adopt the puppy’, ‘ignore the puppy’ or ‘set the puppy on fire’ morality.

  6. Haxavier says:

    I was going to kill him, but then I realized what he was playing…like hell I’m going to kill a guy who can belt out Chopin’s Polonaise Op. 40 as good as could. I drank a few bottles of wine and left.

    Come to think of it, I really miss playing that song. I really need to dig out my books and give it a shot again. Thanks, game!

  7. ghor says:

    It’s been a while since I played Deus Ex, but that’s totally the DuClare mansion, right?

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      Why yes it is, but the secret rooms in a different place.

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      Sinomatic says:

      Even though I’d already hit upon a major DX reference, I was still thrown when I got inside…really strange feeling when you know you’ve been somewhere before, but aren’t sure why for a second or two.

      It’s so strange how well we can ‘know’ these places and spaces that don’t even exist.

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      Aerothorn says:

      So THAT’S what that feeling was. Wow.

    • CMaster says:

      Yeah, I thought that too.

      It’s the glass room with the lowered floor that gave it away for me.

  8. Danbanan says:

    0451 the pw from Deus Ex

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      Sinomatic says:

      I did that too!

      Made me chuckle, that did.

    • faelnor says:

      Originally a Origin / Looking Glass Studios reference in System Shock 1 and 2. Also in Bioshock and all Deus Ex games.

      • allen says:

        And Dishonored the first safe you encounter, it’s combination is 451.

  9. The_Hunter says:

    That was great! Tedious atmosphere, cool theme.

    I’d love to see/purchase a fully fleshed out game of it.

  10. elfbarf says:

    2deep4me

  11. brulleks says:

    *SPOILER ALERT!*

    Ok, am I reading too much into that note on the piano room counter, or did the ‘android’ hire me himself, because he didn’t have the nerve to commit suicide after his lover left him?

  12. Jekhar says:

    Why has everything have to mean something these days? I thought it was a neat collection of tributes and nods (Snatchers reference on the nameplate in your office btw), nothing more. If this goes on we soon have the videogame equivalent of shit in a box and the art crowd will praise it.

    • Riley Lungmus says:

      Really? That’s mighty accusatory.

      I think I relate to the art crowd. Are you saying games are going to be worse off for having a small niche of the community who’s willing to pay a bit of attention?

      Or are you just saying we’re all such idiots that we’d take to praising some inelegant pile of crap, in your humble opinion?

    • allen says:

      There’s nothing wrong in looking for a deeper meaning. Most of the things in the game are as you say, a neat collection of tributes and nods. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have their purpose.

  13. trumad says:

    After the killing, why was my first thought “I wonder if I can play that piano”? Am I sick? It seems not, because that’s the trigger for the end of the game. Loved it.

  14. Lucky Main Street says:

    What was the key in the piano room for?