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Jim Sim: Under The Garden

Make yourself at home! I think I have an onion in here somewhere.

Between draining shifts at RPS headquarters, Jim likes to retreat to his house in “the country’s side”. Being a city boy, I’m not sure what a country’s side is, but I’d imagine living there would be just like indie freeware game Under the Garden (courtesy of the Indie Games blog). In fact, I’d go as far as to say that playing Under The Garden is the closest the modern man can get to being inside Jim Rossignol. Under the Garden is a game of surviving in a bleak wilderness. You keep your fire lit, your belly full, and gradually travel further and further on hikes to recover bits of house to shelter under. Platformers don’t come much more atmospheric than this. Talkage and footage after the jump.

It’s buggy, yes. Fiddly, yes. Even a little tedious at times. But I really like this little game, and I’d love to see the concept developed on a larger scale, in a larger world with even more to find. The warmth and simplicity of the concept- leave house, watch the weather, find things for house, go home- is effective enough to make you wonder about all the wargames dominating the charts. Why aren’t we playing this kind of thing?

With any luck, Man Vs. Elements will be a genre of videogame in the future. Wouldn’t that be nice? For years Japan’s had videogames which simulate holidays. It’s not that much of a stretch. Anyway, afraid I don’t have any footage of the game, although I do have a YouTube upload of one of Jim’s home movies which I’ve enclosed below. Maybe it’ll convey Under the Garden‘s atmosphere in some way.

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Quintin Smith

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