Have You Played… Activate the Three Artefacts And Then Leave?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Activate the Three Artefacts and then Leave [official site] is a name and an imperative. Fly into the giant angular sphere, navigate the twists and turns of seemingly disordered corridors and hidden passages, then get out before the white noise and buzzing bore through your head.

It’s a fine free game from Stephen ‘increpare’ Lavelle, an unsettling explore ’em inside a giant angular structure riddled with corridors, pocked with hollows, and and concealing paths in unseen corners. A depth blur will hint at what’s far away, revealing passages in the angles, but that’s not too much help. With six full degrees of movement, you’ll quickly be turned around, with no sense of up or down, left or right, outwards or deeper. Realising you’re nearing an artifact then discovering it’s one you’ve found before is crushing but hey, chin up: you’ve got a job to do.

It’s an impressive place but often confusing and unsettling. I think you might enjoy a visit.

I have still never found every artifact, always giving up after two. Writing this now, I do wonder if there even are three. You wouldn’t, Stephen, would you?

[Disclosure: I know Stephen Lavelle a bit. I once accidentally killed a giant basil he grew then gave to a mutual chum, for whom I was meant to be plantsitting. Sorry.]


  1. ansionnach says:

    Took a look at it. Much prefer the VR hacking bit from System Shock. It has parameters this doesn’t like a motivation to succeed as well as success based on skill rather than haphazard floating.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      I have a similar problem with SimCity – yeah, that’s a nice-looking city, but Max Payne has a nice city AND dual pistols AND bullet time.

      • ansionnach says:

        Isn’t Sim City that game where you set up a death trap and wait gleefully for the fireworks? A bit like The Sims or the classic disaster game, Indianapolis 500: The Simulation. Spent so long in that one blocking the road with cars and watching the replays of the pile-ups!

  2. ZXDunny says:

    Just managed to finish it – it’s really logical and very simple when you figure it out. Up to that point though, it’s a claustrophobic nightmare which really freaked me out the first two or three times I attempted it.

  3. Ben King says:

    Just downloaded and played this. I feel like the emotional high of actually completing it was better than the actual headache inducing experience of floaty-sliding around in claustrophobic circles. Still glad to have had this one pointed out to me by Alice. Now that I’m done I’d love to look at a map to see just how much ridiculous backtracking I did. I think I got more out of this one than Bedrooms and Trip which are the only others I’ve played.

  4. poliovaccine says:

    Will not play. Concept terrifies me.