Prophetic: Glitchhikers Chap Starts Game “EP” With Oracle

Do you really want to know?

These dreamy summer nights continue. Today I’m casting procedural prophecies and rolling my eyes back to watch surreal visions in ΘRAΩLE (and that’s the last time I’ll stylise that), spinning forecasts from words like “Knots”, “Earth”, and “Promises” then interpreting dreams of temples, trees, and dagger-pierced hearts. It’s too hot but I can’t stop staring at this gorgeous polygonal fire.

Oracle is the first game of East Van EP, a planned collection by ‘ceMelusine’, one of the folks behind lovely dreamy night game Glitchhikers. £1 gets you Oracle and three games yet to come.

Oracle starts before a campfire encircled with weapons, some kind of ritual space. As someone beseeches the Oracle for help, you select a word from a small selection–things like Promises, Whispers, Bones, Tunnel, Emerald Crown, Fog, Ashes, Drowned, Reach, or Knots–then another, then another, and these are spun out into sentences and string together in a prophecy. Lanterns, Flight, and Drain, for example, gave this:

Don't I know it!

Then your eyes roll back into a vision, several seconds-long flashes of scenes laden with symbols–skies, eyes, trees, temples, monoliths, megaliths, crosses, corridors. A snap of that one vision:

Woke up naked beneath the megalith AGAIN.

And that’s about it. Words become sentences, sentences become dreams, then you’re back at the bonfire and prophesying again, rocked gently by music. Like the declarations of Mountain, I find the symbols and prophecies pleasing to contemplate; they’re little focuses for reflection.

“Basically, I think videogames should be more like music, so I’ve decided to pretend like they are!” ceMelusine says of the EP. That’s nice. Small collections of small nice things.

Oracle is a small and weird and pleasant thing and it’ll cost you £1 ($2 Canadian) to look. I could show you a few minutes of the game, let you see how it works and what you do. Or I could show you a minute of its fire. You probably know by now if you’d pay a pound to see more anyway.

8 Comments

  1. Tatourmi says:

    The sound effects of the fire have to be some of the best I have ever heard.

  2. KDR_11k says:

    Thrawle?

  3. yhancik says:

    When I first read the title, I thought that the enterprise software behemoth Oracle was getting into indie gaming :p

    • Bugamn says:

      Thought the same here. Then I saw how it was “stylised” and thought, “Why do people need to use those letters that look similar but don’t sound similar?”

  4. rexx.sabotage says:

    ahhhhhh damnit, why did I watch the video.

  5. SuddenSight says:

    Interesting game. I definitely like the visions, but some of the word choices start to feel a little repetitive after ~10 minutes of playing. Definitely in the same vein as Glitchhikers, though I must admit I like Glitchhikers more for two reasons:

    1) I can relate to the setting better (as an American who has driven cross country at least once a year my whole life, I have sooo many memories of those long, late night car rides).

    2) More characterization of those you interact with. I think Oracle would be more interesting for me if I got some more information on those asking for predictions – what was their price? Who are they? What do they want? While there is something to be said for the power of imagination, that really only holds up for the first five or so, then they all kind of blur together and none of them seem special anymore.

    I’m glad I paid the 1 pound, though, and I look forward to the next three games. To me, the biggest success of both Oracle and Glitchhikers is that they fill a void in my gaming library that I didn’t even know existed. If the next three are at all similar, I’m certain I’ll love’m.