So about a week ago I was browsing on Reddit or Twitter or what have you and I stumbled across an interesting post.
Interesting for me, at least.
It was a post advertising this game, Errante (Spanish for wandering). Well, ‘game’ is maybe not the right word for it. In fact, they didn’t call it a game, they called it an experience.
Why was I so interested in this experience? Well, I don’t think it’s been said yet, but I am currently going to school to design and develop video games. And to see the technology and skill sets go into something that’s not exactly a game, but still offers a visual and emotional ride peaks my interest. I wanted to see this experience for myself.
Nonetheless, this experience didn’t come for free, but it might as well have been, at $1.28 it wasn’t about to clear out my bank account. I guess the reason they did that is because they did work hard on it, though it’s not a full game, and they have a donation option which lets you pay whatever amount you want to be able to download the game.
But I’m cheap, so I bought it for the base price and proceeded to download the 25MB that was all the games files. Right after Windows told me it was a virus. Wonderful.
When I extracted the files and started the program up, I was met with yet another popup from Windows telling me they took the liberty of saving my life and my belongings by not running my files. Beautiful.
After Windows was done trying to inconvenience my entire existence, the program booted up. And what I was met with was pretty d**n cool. After a quick flash of a logo from who I can only imagine are the guys who made the game. The site says that they are Granada, and the page they have says “the valiant duo of two”. I guess I should have preceded that with the fact that Errante is not their only thing. They have about five projects altogether available for purchase on their site on itch.io. But anyways, after that, you are put right into the game where you spawn in a windy, dark, desert where you are surrounded by some sort of ruins.
So, in the midst of dunes and a red sky, you start walking. The walking speed in this game is that unlike a slow stumble. You walk towards the ruins, and eventually go up the staircase and into a part of the ruins, wind howling around the stone slabs you walk on under the sky that could be called darker than blood. It’s all just a long walk until the game ends but the road continues. As you take your stroll across the landscape you will be presented with the words of a poem, or a saying, or a will, or the last words you think. Just kidding, it’s probably just a poem, but I won’t repeat them here because you really should play the thing for yourself, it’s very well made and there was obvious effort into making this convey just the right thing. I will say that the poem did have some grammatical errors, probably mostly due to the fact that the creators don’t speak English primarily. But it didn’t really take away from the experience it was. On Errante’s page, it says:
“Is there a destination for those who have nothing to cling on? Take a short ride into the mind and steps of a lone struggling traveler in a dusty and sterile world. Errante is a 5 days experimental mood-piece and contains no ‘gameplay'”.
It goes on to list some info, like controls, 64-bit files, and then it says that the game is best when you play with the lights off. That’s what I did, and let me tell you it was perfect.
It conveyed a sad and deserted feeling, walking through the ruins of something that was perhaps once great, walking forever, only left with yourself to understand what was here before.
It’s these kinds of things that I want to see more of, kind of like a piece of art. Something that takes visual media in a new way.
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