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Have You Played... Samorost?

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

Amanita Design are no doubt now far more famous for the gorgeous adventures Botanicula and Machinarium. But it all began with Samorost in 2003, designed to be played in a browser. And they hit it out of the park on their first attempt, a beautiful, oddly touching, experimental adventure game blending organic and technological, photography and hand-drawn design, and just the complete loveliness of an alien world that reacted as you swept the mouse cursor over it.

And you can play it right now, just click here. Straight away, look at that extraordinary image. A floating forest-floor-like planet of wood and moss, and the amazing looping music track. From then on it’s about exploring the screen with the mouse, finding things that offer an interactive hand, and experimenting to see what might do what.

This earliest game certainly shows a naivety that’s missing from their full-length adventures now, and it’s far less well signposted. But the art and sound is so wonderful, the effort so obvious. With Samorost 3 coming at the end of this month, there’s no better time to become familiar with the series, especially since this one’s free.

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John Walker

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