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Itching For More

a collection by Pip Turner · last updated 2016-12-07 23:00:20

A list of games that have been featured in my Itching For More series. A curation of interesting or thought provoking art games. <3

it is late and i am lost

t- e ni hтm-are of·`a c ty, is a city envisioned as a nightmare — huge, unknown, identityless and landmarkless, full of buildings ready to topple and cars ready to mow you down.

Read my full thoughts, here [x]

A colorful 3D action adventure game that invites you to reflect on your gaming habits

QUUR is a game about the permanence of ink, colour and consequence.

QUUR pushes against the instinctive violence that games inherently imply — tempting you towards violence, whilst subtly hinting at more passive solutions. Giving you options for both selfishness and empathy, QUUR lets you move forward choosing your actions — your ink leaving its permanent mark on the world — once you've killed an something and drawn its ink from the environment there is no turning back.

Read my full thoughts, here [x]

A Marginalia Prelude

The Disappearance of Eileen Kestler plays with scale, sound and senses to deliver a cohesively unsettling experience.

Eileen Kestler is a tiny experience, but plays with scale well — huge trees looming above you are counteracted by the wide open field the house is placed in, juxtaposed still by the night sky, shining down on you. The journey is cyclical — fire -> calm -> buildup -> fire. However, despite its simplicity, the execution is perfect — giving enough breathing space before launching another assault.

Read my full thoughts, here [x]

A short atmospheric experience set on a desolate island.

ROM is a gorgeous island of experimental atmospheres.

There's something undeniably tempting about the unknown. This is where ROM starts — an exercise in grabbing the player's attention, through small buttons littered across the island. Yet it quickly moves from a game of unknowns, to a game of moments and experimentation.

Read my full thoughts, here [x]

A short made for the Fermi Jam

Friary Road is about looking up into the stars and letting their scale flow through your veins.

Whilst their conversation continues to remind us of the human-like nature of Ao and Bo (the occasional joke and playful line), Ao and Bo softly explore normality and morality, two very human worries. Yet , normality is nothing — if we were normal we would be just another flower in the garden. If anything Me, You, Ao, Bo are all abnormal — strange creatures yearning for the stars in our back gardens, a life full of observation and contemplation.

Read my full thoughts, here [x]

A walk among ruins

Vestige focuses on observation and deterioration.

The leaves blowing in the wind emit a the flutter of loose tissue paper. This juxtaposition of natural vs manmade is echoed throughout the rest of vestige — ruins, slowly and naturally being destroyed as vines and foliage reign.

Read my full thoughts, here [x]

Fly around an island as a bird and collect all the fruit in this relaxing exploration game.

Fruits of a Feather is a relaxing experience that lets you fly around a beautiful island. If you have a spare couple minutes and need to chill, check this out.

Fruits of a Feather is relaxing in that wonderful way in that you don't have to think when playing it — you can just fly along, watching the landscape move and shift underneath you, as you, and your bird, drift away.

Read my full thoughts, here [x]

They may be awkward dimensions but they're my dreams...

Just play it. One of the most accomplished and emotionally affecting games I've played for Itching For More.

Awkward Dimensions Redux, by Steven Harmon, is about dreams. Steve Harmon's dreams, to be specific. Awkward Dimensions Redux feels like a nonstop flow of Harmon's thoughts, his aspirations, his stupid jokes, his shortcomings and flaws, his worries, his goals, his dreams. In order to communicate all of this, Harmon pushes and pulls on the definition of a dream, stretching it, whilst enjoying the broad strokes it allows him.

Read my full thoughts, here [x]

Explore A Garden Under A Red Sun

A small garden with a distinct art style. Peaceful and calm, potter around for a few minutes and refresh yourself.

The Garden feels purposefully lonely, somewhere meant for you to sit and contemplate. The desert like colour of the landscape seems fitting, especially given the absence of people and the presence of huge monoliths, giving an Ozymandias feel to it.

Read my full thoughts, here [x]

stray: (streɪ) to move without a destination or purpose; to become diverted, as from a subject or train of thought

Stray is a game consisting of one massive build up, made effective by its excellent soundtrack.

It is one of a slow build-up, over around ten minutes, slowly adding more and more elements (a piece that is almost minimalist, but transforms almost into a post-rock finale), building an atmosphere that, despite the minimal, Firewatch inspired landscape, makes you feel utterly and completely adrift, stuck on a raft in the middle of the ocean with no islands in sight.

Read my full thoughts, here [x]

споменик (SPOMENIK) - светиште сећања

Spomenik-1 is an art piece about contextual awareness, and projecting your own preconceived ideas onto something that could be meant for an entirely different purpose.

Within Spomenik, Forest manages to create something short and to the point, yet imbues it with enough depth to drive it higher than your usual walking simulator. Forest creates an interesting discussion on contextual awareness, pulling upon the Spomenik series to create a compelling Monument.

Read my full thoughts, here [x]

A twin stick platformer about a lost little girl.

Little Bug is a visually gorgeous game about coping with the death of your parents. With well thought out mechanics and story, Little Bug should definitely go on your "to watch" list (if that's what the kids use nowadays)

Little Bug is visually unique, mechanically intriguing and contains an excellent allegory for grief. I'm really looking forward to the full game and seeing how Buddy Systems expand upon the already existing puzzles and story, as well as adding more sublime artwork.

Read my full thoughts, here [x]

walking simulator staged in a fantastic micro-forest

Realistic Nature creates a densely packed, deeply relaxing micro-forest.

I want to sit and exist and be and watch and wait and climb and run and walk and live inside of this micro-forest. I don't want to face the outside world when the world inside walls is so much better.

My full thoughts on Realistic Nature: [x]

day dream simulator

Dream Dreamer is the closest to daydreaming within a videogame. Gorgeous, unique and very sleepy.

Dream Dreamer reminds me of coastal villages and towns, sea-view facing windows, calm, empty beaches, the salty taste of the sea and the warm feeling of sand on your feet.

My full thoughts on Dream Dreamer: [x]

Souvenir is a short narrative adventure game.

Souvenir is surprising in the best kind of way.

If Souvenir is about running away from death, then it is also about the inevitability of death — no matter what you've survived or been through.

My full thoughts on Souvenir: [x]

fresh air and flamingos ~

Sacramento is a gorgeous explorable sketchbook, which lets you forget your current problems, and just drift.

The ephemerality of Sacramento also exists as a reminder to us, that the best things never last long. It has a fading quietness about it as the sun (a big orange hesitant blob in the sky) begins to set and you realise your time is up. The last few moments of it, where you're dragged out of the sketches and back onto the train has a finality and formalness about it, that few games manage to achieve.

My full thoughts on Sacramento: [x]

kaleidoscopic elegiac flyscape

OASES is a brilliant example of how to find good from bad.

Flying through the different levels feels just like flying through a fever dream, bright acid colours flash and move everywhere, trees or other structures growing from the ground as your plane dives before gliding back up. The feeling of flight in this game is less akin to Microsoft Flight Simulator and more towards small children grabbing a plane and running with it, screaming "NEEEEEEOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRWWWWWWWWW" as they divebomb it screeching towards the ground.

My full thoughts on OASES: [x]

a fictional second-person surreal coming-out-of-age dramedy

Into is an intimate examination of talking and how we view one another.

Into, moves away from an exploration of self perception and instead towards how we see others. Whilst it explores its ideas more explicitly when compared to Lost Thing, it still manages to maintain a certain distance and abstraction.

My full thoughts on Into: [x]

A surreal first person narrative exploration game that tells the short tale of a man, his brother, and two strangers.

The Autumn Glen is a low poly abstract story.

Calm meditation also suits the story, which, whilst having a few mistimed beats (the ending especially - whilst lovely and ambigous, it felt like it lacked a proper build up), excels in leaving the player with just enough hints to work it out themselves, without ever explicitly telling them. Implicit stories are something that smallers games seem to be doing excellently at the moment, and The Autumn Glen continues this trend.

My full thoughts on The Autumn Glen: [x]

Say 'HELLO' to the Corporation.

Hello: Talking Simulator is a fun branching-story, Stanley Parable inspired game.

An obvious parallel to draw within Hello's environments would be Mirrors Edge. Everything is angular and white or grey, with splashes of colour littering the scene - much like Mirrors Edge's The City of Glass - another place controlled by dystopian corporations. The environment is also full of detail; magazines with brilliant front covers, collapsed doors, broken elevators, it all culminates in a way to make you believe that there is more to the world of Hello - something sinister lurking behind the scenes.

My full thoughts on Hello: Talking Simulator: [x]

transits and occultations

Syzygy is a brave sequel to Grave Apologies with what initially seems like an entirely different tone.

Syzygy, like a lot of Connor Sherlock's games, just keeps going. Out of the city I stumbled across a wood, before walking into a cluster of red shards. The world is ending, and you have the opportunity to just stop and explore, before everything finishes. Astral Planes are colliding, our world and their world slowly merging, the two not able to coexist. Escape.

My full thoughts on Syzygy: [x]

Infinite monster museums

Run. Don't look back. Do not download this. Do not open this. You have been warned.

Run away from the paintings and into doors full of more paintings, more screens, more museums, more pulsating, never ceasing walls and floors and sky and hills and you think you can hear the monsters laughing at you as you run, laughing at you as you go deeper and deeper within the maze, laughing as you try to find a way out of this infinite madness.

My full thoughts on These Monsters: [x]

Experimental Game from fine art studies.

Brume is weird and bizarre and made my brain tie itself into knots in trying to interpret it, in the best possible way.

Brume is loud, abstract and bizarre. Pinks and whites scream at you from every direction, music swirling in and out of the mists as you grab onto what you can, moving further and further into the mist and out of the sun. Your demise (represented by the arm) guides your body deeper and deeper. Moretti has created an intriguing piece, something that hides itself within the mists, beckoning you to follow it, before shoving you down a trap door.

My full thoughts on Brume: [x]

autobiographical vignette reflecting on social anxiety

I've Been Late is a beautiful, short walking simulator about social anxiety.

But most importantly, it's about finding your own space, even in the middle of a group of people. Being able to look away from them, and look up at the stars and getting lost in your own mind, before inevitably, but happily, returning to Earth.

My full thoughts on I've Been Late: [x]

A short adventure game, made for Ludum Dare 35

Wood For The Trees is an intriguing exploration of the mind.

Wood For The Trees follows someone lost in their own fabricated thoughts, constantly looping, objects growing and fading as they come in and out of existence, control scheme forcing your brain to be on alert, it is really wonderful. It beings with you faced with one path, wood fenced off as you ponder over the situation, a beautifully textured scenery in front of your.

My full thoughts on Wood For The Trees: [x]

A place where creativity meets bureaucracy

Grimsfield is a surreal point and click adventure with a beautiful art style.

In many ways, Grimsfield is a commentary upon the modern "hipster" - obsessed with the latest trend that rejects society, desperate to seem edgey by following thousands of others with the same ideas, same meaningless poems or prententious clothes, desperate to be one of "the cool kids". Grimsfield is all about outward appearance - the mayor making sure that the press thinks he is out and about with his family when in actual fact he is living in his office, the main character trying to follow all the rules, yet bending them and cheating.

My full thoughts on Grimsfield: [x]

Make your own ambient music on a mountaintop.

Morphê is a fun soundscape creator, with some really relaxing beats.

I love the strongly accented colours, making it almost feel like it was coloured in with a crayon. The pink to blue, mixing with the reds, oranges and greens create a contemplative atmosphere. During my A Levels, I used to load up a level of Proteus, find somewhere nice to sit and leave it running on my screen whilst revising. With morphê, some of the highest praise that I can give it, is that it comes close to providing the same state of mind that proteus provides, one of thought and reflection.

My full thoughts on Morphê: [x]

An experimental story telling game, leaves plenty of bandwidth for your imagination.
Play in browser

Under The Tree is a teeny tiny story, that follows someone's journey of grief.

Yet, there's something pleasant about the entire experience. There is relief in death, a transcendence from the infinite cycle of walking to the peace of Under The Tree, finally reunited with your loved one. Under The Tree is a brilliant allegory for emotional anguish and the journey through it and past it, no longer stuck under a growing tree.

My full thoughts on Under The Tree: [x]

Made during Global Game Jam 2016

Barb is a quick exploration of identity and snap judgements.

Barb is about being true to yourself and not hiding, but having a go at being you. This sounds like I'm just being one of those typical motivational quotes you see plastered around facebook, but sometimes it needs saying. I like that Barb knows exactly what it wants to say and how to say it.

My full thoughts on Barb: [x]

2D walking simulator

I Like Walking Very Much is a unsettling experience. With a heavily Limbo-inspired art style, it provides a rather bizarre time.

This final cycle, you transcend nature. Peace and unity all but gone from you, you are a hate-filled machine, come to strike and wage war on humans for treating you so wrong, desperate for the recognition that you "deserve". You use their tactics against you, shouting and screaming.

My full thoughts on I Like Walking Very Much: [x]

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