By John Walker on October 16th, 2013 at 2:00 pm.
As someone who never fell in love with Thomas, Emerald is the first time in a long while that I’ve felt such an emotional connection with a geometric shape. This brief, but replayable game combines a very simple maze-like puzzler with some remarkably effective, affecting moments that tone how you’ll want to approach the game itself. And it’s not yet finished. A successful Kickstarter means the game will be expanding, for which there are only 11 hours left to go.
It’s hard to say more, really, without making playing pointless. The core of the game itself involves negotiating a route through a spaceship that has run into some quite significant trouble. This means moving your thruster-propelled almost-square through enclosed areas, dodging both what might be the flow of some power source, and guard drones that relentlessly pursue you. You’re aiming to reach a series of computer terminals in order to reactivate the ship’s main functions. However, what may well be memories will start to change how you want to approach things. Or, at least, they did for me.
In its current form, the game itself is a little uninvolved. It needs to get more complex, start to involve some puzzles or challenges that require more than just running away. And these things are planned – stretch goals already ticked see more rooms, many, many more endings (technically, unlimited has just been reached, but since the current ones have a text description, I’m not convinced that’ll quite be the case). But even in its current form, and despite the brevity, I was still far more affected by it all than I can justify. I can’t wait to see how much more involved this can become over the next three or four months of extra development.
So yes, there are only hours left for the Kickstarter. $5 CAD picks up a copy on release, hopefully February next year, while $15 secures you an alpha build closer to Christmas. Why do I have a playable version already? Because I’m prettier than you.
It’s worth watching the video below, primarily to enjoy some superb Canadian “aboots”.