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Solo's cel-shaded puzzler seeks love on Fig

Solo

Good golly, Solo [developer website] looks GORGEOUS. It’s a 3D exploration and puzzle game about love but the biggest thing for me is that it has a similar toon-shaded/cel-shaded art style to The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. I remember I was hoping that Wind Waker would somehow kick off a spate of those kinds of games and I would have plenty to gawp at but it didn’t really happen.

Anyway, Solo currently has a funding campaign over on Fig where I found out a bit more. I think the big thing for me is that I both needed and regret seeing the Fig page so I’d say approach with caution.

I needed it because I wasn’t aware of the game before and I’m so glad it’s now on my radar as something to be interested in if it progresses to a full game. I regret it because the game is billed as an introspective meditation on love but because the pitch on Fig is trying to explain things to a potential funding audience and offer clarity about what the game will entail the ideas it has about love and the mechanisms the team want to use to express those are spelled out in the text and videos and it makes them seem overly simplistic even though I have no idea how they actually manifest when you’re playing the game.

It’s like accidentally walking in on Solo in the bathroom and now feeling awkward about possibly encountering it later in the evening in a non-bathroom context. Like, I want to forget what I know about the team’s views on how they are trying to translate the idea of love into a game, otherwise all I’ll see is the playspace they have delineated in the pitch rather than my own experience of it.

I’d also say that reading the pitch through, there seems to be a focus on a particular kind of love. That’s fine, but also something which I’d generally prefer not to know if the game gets to release simply because I don’t want a pitch document to get in the way of seeing any ambiguities the actual game might contain.

So yes, it’s a weird one. I want to tell you about a really pretty and interesting game, and that pretty and interesting game is having a crowdfunding stint which offers a lot of information, but that information has kind of weirdly shrunk the game in some ways for me.

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Philippa Warr

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