Cool Ambient Exploration

From my watching way too many Let’s Plays on Youtube–I particularly recommend Deceased Crab’s channel–I’m occasionally introduced to cool games I would never have heard of otherwise. Mr. Crab indirectly introduced me to a couple games by one Nifflas. Within a Deep Forest, Knytt, and Knytt Stories are relaxing little games with ambient music where the focus is less on killing everything that moves and more on exploring your world. Yeah, there are objectives in each game, but the point is really to explore the games’ universe and discover its secrets. In all three of the games, there’s relatively little that can kill you, save points are frequent, and in Knytt in particular, exploration and non-linearity are the name of the game (Within a Deep Forest and Knytt Stories play a bit more traditionally–there’s still not much that can harm you, but the structure is a bit more focused on grabbing power-ups to increase your capabilities and access new areas. Knytt gives you all that from the start). Check them out if you get a chance, even if you don’t normally play a lot of video games. Amusingly, the games were made using Multimedia Fusion 2, which was also the development tool for the decidedly not ambient and friendly I Wanna Be The Guy, which can be best summed up by this video starting at about 3 minutes and going to 3:30 or so. Yes, Dracula chucks his glass at you in the middle of his speech and kills you if you’re not paying attention. Pretty much all of IWBTG is composed of sadistically difficult trial-and-error stuff like this.

So, bottom line, play Nifflas’s games.


    • James on October 6, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    I actually played through IWBTG… it’s not so much fun as it is a gaming obligation. I haven’t tried the other games in your list– those are all user-made games?

    • emptyeye on October 6, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Wow, nice job on getting through IWBTG. I got to the first screen and pretty much said “Screw this, I’m not going through a whole game of this” after an apple fell upward and killed me. I tried again and got as far as the giant Mike Tyson (Man, for all our fascination with him, Tyson stopping me cold is a rather common theme….), at which point I just stopped pretty much for good.

    And yeah, the other games are all made by the same person (Nifflas), who was not (I should stress that) the IWBTG creator.

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