Posts by Tag / GAME: The Journey Of Me (2)

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Who's the Boss: Player Choice, NPC Consent, and the Designer's Unseen Hand

Last week, we discussed the spectrum of allowance - a way to describe how allowed a given action is within a game, ranging from impossible to required. A key point is that the game’s designer places each action on the spectrum. Aside from bugs (which violate the designer’s intent) and hacks (which partially override the original design with another), in a game you can only do what the designer lets you. This is true even when you have freedom of choice - that freedom was granted by the designer.

Some games understand this well and play with it effectively - see for example The Stanley Parable, especially the confusion ending (warning: spoilers). But not all games that examine player choice understand the designer’s role.

The Journey Of Me is a free browser game. It’s a 2D platformer and it takes about fifteen minutes to play. I am now going to spoil the hell out of it, but honestly I don’t think you should be too worried about spoilers in this case.

The Journey of Me title screen
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Capsule Review: The Journey Of Me

A fifteen-minute or so 2D platformer that makes heavy use of option restriction and then extensively berates the player for playing the game in the only way available. Like some other games, it deliberately invokes common game tropes and then subverts the player’s expectations of them. In this case, the gimmick is that the player character doesn’t want you to play the game.

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