today_smallYesterday was yet another one of my birthdays…     And Today I die… Released that very day. Was the best birthday surprise I could have hoped for. Refreshing, oneiric and inspirational.  And Today I decided to try to bring more people’s attention to this excellent game and some other titles associated with it.

Today I Die by Daniel Benmergu

I Fell in Love with The Majesty of Colors by Gregory Weir

And I Wish I Were The Moon – an earlier effort by Daniel Benmergu

The association of the two designer’s works is not purely my idea. Both creators admitted to take inspiration from one another.

Many would probably argue these aren’t adventure games and yet they awake in me similar feelings as adventure games do. They give you freedom of acting in totally imaginative way and experiencing the never fully predictable consequences of your actions. TID and Majesty of Colors are some of the few games from recent times that actually allow me to continue my belief that games have a still pretty much untouched potential of creating new, exciting forms of languages. Languages mixing visual symbols with literal messages for the player to communicate with. Mixing physical elements of the world with symbolic meaning that you can attach to them or leave out depending on your choice. Languages allowing complex manipulation of all these aspects through a very intuitive and basic interface.

Of course the key of making a game is to not make just a little world to subtly manipulate in a charming way  (IWIWTM was in large part like that in my opinion), but rather find a way to turn this into a challenge with some point to it. TID and Majesty of Colors both put you directly into feelings and experiences of an individual that has an interesting quest of self-discovery and a world of sensations to confront. You will bond with the main characters in a matter of minutes and live the challenges they have to face directly influencing the outcome. This is the true heart of gaming.

Also, you’ve got to love the modest technical means used to achieve all this. Developers, think about it! Why tune your physics engine to death – build your games out of ideas instead!

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Note: In other most worthy news, today debuts Three Cards to Midnight – a new adventure game/casual game combo from the creators of Tex Murphy. This is a big event for the adventure gaming scene and paves the first steps on the way to a new Tex Murphy game. The gameplay of 3CM not totally unlike TID combines dreams, symbols, and associations with the typical hidden object mechanics. At least from what I’ve read so far about it.

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