There will be spoiler

Ive been a hardcore gamer since I cant remember when and always believed that more often than most people think, games are not just games.

Im here to talk about that.


The Eighth Art

We’re in a world now that geeks are cool and games are artistic. What the hell happened? I haven’t the faintest idea. And while I appreciate geekness being something appreciated nowadays, I think there are both a good and a bad side to all of this. But complaining about idiotic people requires a time I do not have, so I’ll just concentrate on the positive side of things, shall we?

Artistic. That’s not my adjective, but how they’re labeled these days, by others and by their own creators. Frankly, I couldn’t care less about their title, as anything that calls itself art. I’m a film major and couldn’t be any more tired about the discussion whether something is or ain’t art. It’s not important. Not for me, anyhow, as I don’t consider art being better or worse than something that is not.

That said, despite their labels (indie is very common too, and I won’t even start on that one) they’re noteworthy games, most of which were responsible for my desire to write this blog. The reason, as you all can imagine, is not the insanely good-looking graphics or the gameplay of a lifetime, neither is the difficulty level or the stimulating puzzles you’ll face. No, nothing like that. And as much as I do appreciate all these things, what really matters here is not the game itself, but how it affects you.

I bet for some this could sound very boring, but if you’re one of those people who expect something more than a mere mouse skills challenge from a game, then you might be in for an absorbing experience that can actually make you reflect about grater things than, say, slashing zombies – and please don’t take this the wrong way, I do love slashing zombies. I’m not talking about pretentious subjects, just what we all go through everyday, what we feel and live and know for ourselves in the most subjective way there is. Being able to produce an emotional identification is what triggers my interest in these experimental creations, and what I believe to be one of the most amazing things a game could ever achieve.

In a very simple way, it can make you think about the relationships you’ve had and true love, as well as those heartbroken moments when the world seems very gloomy. It can make you think about long lost friends that you would like to meet again, about waiting, or about helping someone you deeply care for, or self-sacrifice when it comes to protecting someone you love. It can make you look upon yourself or mull over human nature. It can even make you think about faith and spirituality.

But whatever deep meaning, feelings and ideas these thought-provoking games could evoke in any of us, the most important thing here is to demystificate them.

You should play, not because it’s cool and everybody else is doing it, not because now gaming is being part of a modern work of art or because it makes you an indie gamer. You should play it because they’re pretty damn good. And that’s that.



I’m a sucker for point and click games. There’s something about finding out what to do, combining items and solving puzzles that can make me go for hours without even blinking, it’s just my idea of game heaven.

By Amanita Design, this is not only one of the cutest, yet cleverest games of its sort, it’s also unbelievably beautiful. Just looking at the graphics is a delight, getting to interact with almost everything is even more rewarding. It is, no doubt, one of the greatest indie games out there.

Machinarium starts with a little robot being dumped in a junkyard. That broken helpless thing is you. After getting yourself together, you head back to where the trash-robot came from with you inside and your adventure kicks off.

At first you’re not sure what’s happening, but as you go through with your tasks, the little robot remembers things and finally we begin to understand what’s going on. Simply enough, there are some bullies in town that kidnaped your girlfriend and are terrorizing lots of other robots, arresting people and basically doing whatever they please. Escape prison, help the ones you meet, stop the evil plan and rescue your lady in distress.

I know this might seem a fairly ordinary plot, but I assure you that it belongs to a game that’s everything but ordinary. Without any words used, you’re off to an adventure full of clever puzzles of all kinds that requires the player to think outside the box to help the little robot outwit his enemies.

At first, the level of difficulty is not that great as you’re just finding out how everything works, and what kind of things you’re expected to do, as well as being amazed with the art and looking over some important details. It’s ok, it will get more challenging. And the good news is that, as difficult as it can get, you won’t have to go for a pixel hunt. The true complexity lies on finding out how to get what you want using the resources you have, and if you ever need it, there’s a clue for each level and even a walkthrough book (beautifully illustrated, I must add) if you ever get really, really stuck – that one, I admit, tempted me at some points, but since the game’s quite short, I thought that being a little stuck was just a way of delaying the end of it.

Throughout the game, the puzzles are a combination of the plot and characters with brainteaser that have to be solved to achieve your objective – like, lets say, working a machine or opening something. This for me was a killer combination, not often found quite like that in point and click games.

But just being smart and pretty doesn’t cut it (bazinga!). It’s a good thing that on top of it all, this game is also sweet and poignant. Not to mention that it has an amazing soundtrack.

Surely a must play.



One of my favorite games of 2010 at first sight might appear as a conventional platformer but actually has a witty twist.

You play a dwarf trying to uncover an ancient secret, and to do so, have to get a series of upgrades exploring a world full of weird plants and sarcastic critters. Starting up as a helpless little guy who can’t even jump to nearby stairs, as you go further in the game you’re even able to kill anyone being unpleasant - or just looking suspicious, for that matter.

This all seems very nice, and maybe rather harmless for someone (like me) with previous game experience in mind. You just do what you gotta do. Or at least what you think the dwarf has to do to reach that treasure chest visible from the beginning of the game. Though, throughout your adventure the question that rises is “do you really know why you’re doing it?” And you probably don’t, but do it anyway.

With multiple endings that count on your predictiveness, this smart online game is not only entertaining, it also makes you ponder about life. It is not unusual to think we know what we’re doing and just smash our sorry faces on a wall instead of getting what we wanted. It’s also not unusual to do things without thinking it through or asking ourselves why we’re really doing them. Moreover, sometimes we just see ourselves getting into random stuff that just has no greater purpose.

Now I just need to figure this out. Maybe the answers are in some other games.