SHORT STOREY

THIRTY flights OF LO VING is a fiz­zling magic spell you can fin­ish on a fag break

PC GAMER (UK) - - Review -

As a baby, you drop your spoon from your high chair, test­ing the re­ac­tion of the big id­iots around you. You note their ac­tions and in­tri­cate honks, and make a memo to copy those honks once you’re fin­ished with your spoon ex­per­i­ment. By the time you’re 35, the sci­ence is com­plete, and you can re­li­ably pre­dict the re­ac­tion of your peers if you drop a spoon and start scream­ing. You now un­der­stand the world bet­ter, but at what cost?

Now imag­ine I’m talk­ing like one of those vic­ars on Ra­dio 4’s Thought For The Day, when I say “and when you think about it, that’s a bit like the first time you play videogames, isn’t it?” A new world, with as­ton­ish­ing new rules. You set fire to that pil­lar, and that door un­locks? You just learned door magic! Now the door is con­nected by a vis­i­ble ca­ble to a fuse box. You just learned door sci­ence! Now this room has eight doors, seven lit red and one lit green. You just learned that the de­vel­oper is dis­guis­ing the lin­ear­ity of the game, but try­ing to re­spect your time by not ask­ing you to ap­proach ev­ery door! And just like that, doors have lost their magic. Doors, spoons – is noth­ing ac­tu­ally magic?

What I’m say­ing is, a fairy dies when some­one de­scribes a fire­ball as “an area-of-ef­fect ranged at­tack with a chance to in­flict dam­age over time”. And ev­ery now and then, I play a game that makes me squint, and think “wait a minute, what am I ac­tu­ally do­ing? Is this some­thing

else?” Thirty Flights of

Lov­ing lit that flame briefly. It’s a red rag to the te­dious breed who snipe about “walk­ing sim­u­la­tors”. De­scrib­ing it feels like a spoiler, which is why I’m blath­er­ing about magic.

It’s short. Stray­ing from the path, on the rare oc­ca­sions you can, doesn’t of­fer any re­wards, or even nod at you for be­ing a clever boy. It’s just not that sort of game, Mil­dred. This strange, jit­tery crea­ture is telling a story, through a se­ries of shat­tered scenes. Is it a touch­ing story? Only if you can imag­ine back­story from fa­mil­iar scenes you’ve seen be­fore.

It comes bun­dled with its pre­de­ces­sor. Grav­ity Bone is sim­i­lar in style, and a nar­ra­tive pre­quel. But it has a plat­form­ing bit. In­stead of tele­por­ta­tion on death, you have to reload from a save menu. Grav­ity

Bone even lets you use the mid­dle wheel to cy­cle through equipped ob­jects. It’s like those videogame de­faults are so in­grained, that the de­vel­oper, Bren­dan Chung, for­got to leave them out the first time.

If your met­ric for game qual­ity is hours per pound, the min­utes-long

TFoL will leave you with ra­tio-fu­elled out­rage. If you judge games on laugh­ter, graph­ics, re­playa­bil­ity, and a gid­dy­ing cli­max, this won’t scratch those itches ei­ther. I’m not sell­ing this well at all, am I? Umm, it’s like try­ing to re­vive that dead fairy I men­tioned, only to have a doc­tor say “she’s gone, Jon, you’re de­fib­ril­lat­ing a corpse”. Just cos it didn’t work, didn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Tell you what, buy Chung’s next game, Quadri­lat­eral Cow­boy.

“She’s gone, Jon, you’re de­fib­ril­lat­ing a corpse”

This im­age hints de­cep­tively at “ac­tion”. Sorry.

In love, or drunk? Ei­ther way, look at road please.

Feel pro­foundly non­plussed for £5!

You can push this goose!

Peo­ple float away with­out con­se­quence!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.