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The Day: not a flash game but a flash artwork

September 28, 2010

While procrastinating over an upcoming exam I found this little beauty of flash brilliance. It’s a repose into the dichotomy of existence and doing what we’re told. I found myself intrigued by both the card game (as I love card based challenge games) and the deeper narrative of what was going on outside the camp.

Personally I loved the ambiguity of the whole endeavour and how much is left unanswered. This is what art is all about, interpretations and discourse. This is an exploration into exploration, the game itself serves as a medium of delivery for an idea. Play the game and see if the idea it leaves you with is tangible or real.

Perhaps this is also where the game could possibly be improved, not by providing broader contextual answers (because by doing that you inherently destroy the mystery and subsequently the allure) but rather by going into more detail about the card game, perhaps having clues to the overall structure there-within. For example having questions raised about how this card game developed within the camp area in the first place? Maybe the answer could be laid out in the cards, but left to the player to puzzle it together.

I really loved the music, especially the banjo and the static in the bunker was really creepy. This seems like an alpha version of something that has much more potential. The narrative structure of the story is a little short and you can fully explore this game within 10 minutes. So, not only do you get a profound experience, but it’s also a metaphorical “quickie”.

Perhaps the aspect that appealed to me the most was how the developer put in a section describing the thought process and the underlying ideas behind the game. This is a change from simply presenting a game, instead it works almost like an art exhibition because I left with a deeper understanding of what was going through the creators mind when making the game.

I felt a bit saddened that this game will probably not rate highly because it doesn’t follow along traditional paths set by flash gaming. It functions more like an exploration of ideals instead of gaming and the average score rating so far is set at 4. This reflects badly on the audience rather than the game because though it’s not the best looking game, creatively speaking it’s one of the best on the site.

Funnily enough, sitting in my drafts is another game by this author awaiting publication. It’s also a thinking game and after a quick review of his other efforts, I’ve become quite a fan because Gregory Weir likes to create games to make you think and ponder about deeper narratives. Definitely something that should be encouraged!
Try it out for yourself by playing The Day.

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