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Art Attack: Mondrian - Abstraction In Beauty

Two years ago Lantana Games came out with a little American History centric indie called Children of Liberty. You might remember us mentioning it as a semi-educational stealth game – if you have this on your RPS Bingo Card you may cross it out now! Children of Liberty appears to have set the stage for their next project.

Continuing on the historical theme is Mondrian – Abstraction in Beauty [official site], which is decribed as a 360-degree block-breaking puzzle game that looks at how game art evolved in the 20th century. More specifically, how video game art has evolved.

Well, sort of. If you’re wondering what specifically this has to do with Piet Mondrian, who the game is named after, your guess is as good as mine. There appears to be some overlap in Lantana’s art history focus: Mondrian was one of the main contributors to the De Stijl art movement, best known for his work as the artist behind that painting of white, black and red grids which have since been adopted for the decor of 90 percent of the world’s dentist offices. Both he and De Stijl seem to be at the heart of the game, and if you’re a big art history buff you can explain to me in the comments just how De Stijl relates to game art.

“While not fully abiding by De Stijl limitations on form and color, the game nonetheless takes an abstract look at the history of video game art, through unlockable features like paddles, balls, powerups, and screen effects,” reads a statement from Lantana. The team has experimented with ways representing early methods of rendering, keeping in line with the technological limitations of game devices between the 1970s and 1990s.

“Lantana Games sees the history of video games in terms of the dynamic interaction of technological development and individual genius, of social and economic challenge, personal response, and overcoming the challenges of technical limitation,” Lantana’s blurb continues. You also get access to a sort of digital art museum, along with what Lantana are calling ‘Benefactor Content’ levels, only accessible by owning the games on which they are based: Monaco – What’s Yours is Mine, and AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome, among others.

Mondrian – Abstraction in Beauty is due in August. The game is developed with the help of game and tabletop artists with no grants or funding. A real passion piece. Watch it in action below.

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Emily Gera

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