“Auntie Alice! Auntie Alice!” the younglings cry, tugging at my skirts of badger pelts and kingfisher feathers. “Tell us again about before The Crash! Tell us again about being an Internaut.”
Ah, little ones… pure white landscapes stretched out before me, angular shapes floating in datafog, datapaths branching and merging, and I sprint down these, jumping, rolling, choosing the quickest path to deliver my precious packets while dodging and smashing The Man’s obstacles.
Well, describing free run-o-platformer 404Sight [official site] excites the younglings more than the sorry truth could. I don’t have the heart to spoil their dreams.
404Sight launched on Steam last week, free for all and sundry to download and run around in.
If you’re thinking Mirror’s Edge, nah, it’s more like an arcade platformer, Sonic with a first-person view. As you sprint around, certain zones will speed you up or slow you down, you launch off bouncepads, and can smash through nasty slowing nodes that drop into your path. It’s short and occasionally frustrating but pretty fun, with a nice enough cyberscape to visit and some pumping tunes. It starts out pretty linear but some levels do get nice branching routes, or at least made me feel I was making useful decisions.
It defaults to third-person but does let you play in first-person and obviously you totally should.
Developers Retro Yeti Games say it in support of net neutrality, with those zones and nodes that speed you up or slow you down as you dash through cyberspace. You know what I always say – yell – long past the point anyone found it funny: hack the planet!