p0nd, Free Indie Adventure Game
Too few games these days plunge the player into an existential crisis. Part breathing exercise, part black hole of the soul, p0nd made Indiegames.com's Top 10 Freeware Experimental games of the year list at number 3, which is pretty high really, so you should probably play it.
p0nd is not a game that will demand fast reflexes, a can do attitude or a bubbly personality. Indeed all these traits may very well work against you when you try to play a game in which there is but one key you need to play the game, the space bar.
If you've just read the fact that the game only requires the space bar to play (which you really should have read, unless you have a strange penchant for starting articles at the third paragraph,) and taken in the charming graphics from the game pasted above, you might be mistaken for thinking that this is a game suitable for children.
There's certainly nothing in the game that is particulary terrible for children, but there are probably more productive gaming experiences that you can give a child. Charming games with cartoon characters that bounce about the place, dress up games, that sort of thing. Not a game that is focused almost entirely on making a rambler breathe in all of nature.
The challenge in reviewing p0nd is that in fully reviewing the game, one would rather spoil it. Suffice to say, if you like innovative games and are looking for an interesting way to fill in ten or so minutes (perhaps whilst an egg boils, or whilst you're waiting for the neighbor who wants to borrow a socket wrench to give up and leave the vicinity of your front door,) then you rather owe it to yourself to at least play this game once, then send it to a friend. It doesn't even have to be a friend that you like overly much.
In reviewing the bare bones of the game, one can safely be complimentary. The graphics are not overly sophisticated, but their simplicity is perhaps overrated. There is a charm to watching squirrels scamper about a pixelated world that you just can't enjoy in many other places these days. The sound track is appropriate to the mood of the game, which is slow, steady and sedate. Think of it as a venerable old lady – albeit a venerable old lady who is hiding a secret that may very well destroy everything you know and love.
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