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Itching For More

a collection by Pip Turner · last updated 2017-01-19 00:43:09

A list of games that have been featured in my Itching For More series.

A curation of interesting and thought provoking alt/art games. <3

made for FLATGAME annual 2016
Other
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and i made sure to hold your head sideways is about recollecting the memories of a drunken night out, set to a background of ethereal music and stars.

A popup book was the first thing that came to mind due to the movement of this piece — you move from scene to scene by aligning images, following along a tiny personal story, memories moulding as the images move, each scene a pulsing, swirling puzzle of thoughts, lines in your head until they slowly click together. It creates a cohesive and clever piece, the comforting music and soft pulsing of everything giving everything a whiff of nostalgia.

Read my full thoughts, here [x]

walking simulator
Other

Birthplace Of Ossian is a misty plain, full of mountains and heights, peaks and lumps.

One of the many things Conor Sherlock does best, is space. In Birthplace of Ossian, there is vast amounts of space. A painterly landscape of browns, yellows, greys and oranges spreads out before you, mountains glaring down at you as you wander. You are at the Birthplace of Ossian, narrator of epics.

Read my full thoughts, here [x]

Can death be sleep, when life is but a dream?
Other

RŌA.

losing myself in a crowd of wraiths of people of movement of dancing of words and ideas and colours and sounds and the all so unsettling never ceasing spread of vision across my monitor

Read my full thoughts, here [x]

explore a casino from memory made by aliens. 100% pun free
Simulation

Alien Caseno is cute, funny and really fun to explore!

I really appreciate the level of research put into human life that the alien creators of this museum have put into it — adding helpful facts along each wall to accompany each room, giving careful explanation in order for the aliens to understand the true meaning of the space. Through these facts, the caseno becomes not just a fun place for the aliens, but also an educational one.

Read my full thoughts, here [x]

A short escapist game about shepherding.
Adventure

Solitude is a game of selflessness and sheep.

[...] that is what a Shepherd does — they guide. They guide people, help others, without want for reward. As the protagonist of Solitude slowly becomes a Shepherd physically, they do so too metaphorically, the ones they help becoming sheep, following you as you progress further and further away from your office job, further out into the fields and land of the countryside, grey turning into green, concrete into dirt and leaves.

Read my full thoughts, here [x]

it is late and i am lost
Other

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
Adventure

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
Adventure

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.
Adventure

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 Paradox Jam
Other

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
Adventure

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.
Adventure

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...
Adventure

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
Other

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
Platformer

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
Other

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.
Platformer

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
Other

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
Other

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.
Adventure

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 ~
Other

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
Other

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
Other

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.
Adventure

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.
Simulation

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
Other

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
Adventure

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.
Other

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
Other

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
Adventure

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]

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