Hello! Remember Thirty Flights of Loving? Remember Borges and that trolley dash? Remember Bernoulli and his principle? Brendon Chung's examination of the power of cinematic editing is one of my games of forever, I reckon, and Oli approved too.
Over on his Youtube channel, Blendo Games' Brendon Chung has posted an early prototype of his brilliant spy thriller, 30 Flights of Loving.
At night, the staircase is riddled with cats. They're everywhere: mewling, pacing, slumped in those peculiar elbowy puddles that only cats can form. One of them - my favourite one - walks back and forth along the banister with an imperious tilt to the head. This guy's special, I think. Sure, he's a pale ginger like all the others, but now and then he flashes a luminous, rather lurid, orange.
This is going to be a short review for a short game. Not because there's nothing to say about Brendon Chung's micro spy drama - a sequel to 2009's equally succinct Gravity Bone - but because every second of its breathless 10 to 15 minutes is to be savoured, and not spoiled. This is a game that packs more narrative punch into its first startling jump-cut than most can muster across an entire campaign.
Chung's Blendo Games has produced some well-regarded indie fare such as Flotilla and Atom Zombie Smasher, but it was the freeware Gravity Bone that really caused a stir. It starred his childhood creation, Citizen Abel, and squeezed a couple of suspenseful criminal escapades, some excellent gags and a rug-pulling ending into a quarter hour, using the artful first-person storytelling techniques of a Valve blockbuster. Only the blocky looks of this one-man Quake 2 engine mod could be called crude or self-conscious - and uncharitably at that.
Thirty Flights of Loving isn't free, costing £4 or so from Steam ordirect from Blendo; the price includes an illuminating developer commentary and a convenient copy of Gravity Bone. What's more, while the game itself dials down the already limited interactive elements of its predecessor (no first-person platforming or inventory here) it amps up the production values, the attention to detail, and the dizzying rush through locations, scenes, twists and surreal ideas.
Blendo Games' Gravity Bone, a peculiar first-person noir construct of art deco and blockhead characters, may be one of the finest free games on these here internets, and now its sequel Thirty Flights of Loving has been released.
Thirty Flights of Loving was initially announced as a reward for those who pledged more than $30 to the Idle Thumbs podcast Kickstarter earlier this year, and those fine folks received early access to the game last month.
For the rest of us, it's out today on both Steam and Blendo Games' site. Unlike Gravity Bone, the latest from Zombie Atom Smasher creator Brendon Chung isn't free, but costs £3.59 on Steam and £4.13 if you'd prefer to go straight through the developers.