Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
I was a mite irked when Konstantinos wrote about Offline [official site] in 2014, because I wanted to. Offline is a short free game about spooky happenings as you drive Underground/subway/Metro train, and it’s a fair example of a games trend I’ve really enjoyed over the past few years: games which ask for two, five, ten minutes of my time to show me something small and nice and cool.
Offline puts players in the driver’s cabin of a subway train, filled with enticing buttons to press, levers to pull, and knobs to twiddle. Turn the lights on. Turn the lights off. Speed up. Slow down. Try to phone control. Twiddle levers to alter the sound. Honk the train’s horn. Fill one of your cabin monitors with pictures of eyes. Make ghostly hands rise from the tracks. Summon ghostly dancers. Fiddle, twiddle, and go faster, faster, don’t pull the emergency brake, just keep going.
It’s really quite pleasant.
I’ve noticed, over my two years at RPS, that some folks assume I think every game should be like this – that we should rid the world of Crusader Kings II and Arma and StarCraft and everything else which will swallow as many hours as you feed it, then replace them with five-minute walking simulators. Which is, of course, nonsense. I’m delighted that I can enjoy over a hundred hours of adventuring in The Witcher 3 and up to ten minutes of driving a spooky ghost train.
[Disclosure: Pol and I realised, a year later, that we dined together in a big group in 2014 – but we didn’t really talk or know who the other was. I don’t ‘do’ networking. And I was very hungry.]