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Cruel World: Q - Compressing The Heart

Big Ben originally had legs like this, until Oliver Cromwell ate them.

Despite looking a lot like Limbo, Kieron and other haters will be pleased to learn it doesn’t play like it. The deeply peculiar Q – Compressing The Heart is instead controlled by single mouse clicks, as you explore a twisted, dangerously organic world of shadows, in pursuit of your own heart. And if that sounds sweet or romantic, then you’ve quite the wrong impression.

Q is a strangely brutal game, in which your character does some terrible things. It’s very short, and it makes not a lick of sense, but the superb animations ensure experiencing its grimly surreal progression is always engrossing. And grossing.

Hello, I am not Limbo.

Your character possesses the ability to let loose his own soul, presumably a by-product of losing his heart, and possess other living creatures. By doing so, albeit only about three times, you can solve puzzles, usually at others’ expense.

It’s not an enormously brilliant game in any way, other than the art, and that’s why I’m bringing it to your attention. Let down by a ludicrously abrupt ending, the journey is just astonishing as the walls, monsters and characters twist and churn. You can play it here.

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John Walker

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One of the original co-founding robots of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I'm now a senior editor and hero of humanity. Old and special.

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