Thursday, July 01, 2010

Review: The Company of Myself

This is a review for the flash game 'The Company of Myself,' which you can play here.

This game manages to stand near the summit of the "Games are Art" debate, even above Braid in my opinion. Many games tell stories, but rarely does the gameplay actually ADD to the story. Everything about TCoM's gameplay compliments its story.

The music is somber, and fitting for such a melancholy tale. I nearly cried at the end due to the combined effects of the narrative, music, and 'reveals.'

Speaking of the ending; the length of the game is PERFECT for a single-player story-based flash game. Everything is just interesting enough that you keep playing, and the difficulty is pretty forgiving and relaxing, yet it's challenging enough to keep just about any gamer happy. Long story short, if you quit this game before beating it then you are a bad person.

The game is very touching, and the only flaw anyone could even bring up may be concerning the graphics/animation...but I'd argue that they needed to be relatively simple in order to allow as many machines to run it as possible. I admit that it would be hard to argue that TCoM's style is 'purposely' retro. It's even hard to argue that it's 'authentic' retro. However, the graphics are still better than many flash games out there, and still manage to be stylistic and consistent. If I had to think of one reason the graphics are effective to the overall experience, then I'd argue that due to the simplistic nature of the graphics and animation, it's much easier to focus on the story, and overall meaning of objects in the game. It may also add to the overall 'wow' factor at the end; in spite of having such simplistic graphics, TCoM still manages to have such a real emotional impact.

Truly, 'The Company of Myself' is a game that will always stay with me. As far as I'm concerned, a game designer could only hope to create a game as emotionally rich, yet non-abstract as TCoM.

10/10 A+

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