Phenomenon 32

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Phenomenon 32 is an incredibly immersive experience, designed to be savored slowly and carefully. It is after all a hard and demanding game, that simply cannot be completed in one sitting.~Konstantinos Dimpoulos

Phenomenon 32

I’ve been meaning to write about Phenomenon 32 for quite some time now, but hurdle after hurdle, combined with the fact that this is an impressively vast game, shamed this very Lair to a belated coverage of the game. Still, better late than ever, eh? After all, the thing is still around, freeware as ever.

phenomenon 32

So, uhm, let’s start with some basic facts first. Phenomenon 32 was developed by Jonas Kyratzes, the immensely (multi) talented, inventive and controversial developer of The Strange and Somewhat Sinister Tale of the House at Desert Bridge and The Museum of Broken Memories, and can briefly be described as a black and white, 2D, exploration, platform game, albeit one with quirky RPG and strategy elements. The game can be downloaded here.

phenomenon 32 - PC - Indie Game - Screenshot-2

Phenomenon 32, being Kyratzes’ most ambitious project so far, is much more than the sum of its parts. Besides the beautiful black and white visuals, its atmospheric soundscape and a deeply depressing and simultaneously surreal game world, Phenomenon 32 is an incredibly immersive experience, designed to be savored slowly and carefully. It is after all a hard and demanding game, that simply cannot be completed in one sitting. It also is a game filled with surprises and little touches of excellence, that go far beyond what you might expect from a free game.

phenomenon 32 - PC - Indie Game - Screenshot-3

As for the plot, well, it’s one of the best I’ve ever encountered in a video game ever and a key part of Phenomenon 32. Set in an alternate version of the 70s the game is engrossing, deeply political, truly unique and thought-provoking, and is supported by some quality writing and impressive voice-work. You really have to play it. Really.

Bundle In A Box: Adventure Bundle

Bundle in a box

Bundle in a box is a great concept that allows gamers to download a bundle of great independent games.  Obsolete Gamer’s own writer and contributor Konstantinos (a.k.a. gnome from Gnomes Lair & IndieGames.com, breaks down the bundle.

1893 A World’s Fair Mystery text-adventure

Bundle In A Box – Adventure Bundle has finally gone live and you can now grab 7 truly excellent adventure games for the price of your choice! Well, almost, as you’ll have to beat a low and constantly dropping minimum price and two of our more intriguing offerings are only available to those who pay above the average, but you get the idea.

Ben There, Dan That!

Besides, by buying our bundle you’ll be supporting both an important charity and the Indie Dev Grant.

On to the games then…

Gemini Rue

We will exclusively debut the whimsical The Sea Will Claim Everything by Jonas Kyratzes and offer six more games: Gemini Rue, Metal Dead, The Shivah, Ben There, Dan That!, Time Gentlemen, Please! and –for the first time ever – the downloadable version of 1893: A World’s Fair Mystery text-adventure (previously only available as a physical product). Yes, we are indeed hoping to further fuel the current Adventure Game Renaissance!

Metal Dead

All games will be available as DRM-free downloads and most of them will also be available via Steam and/or Desura.

The Sea Will Claim Everything

Extras such as the Gemini Rue soundtrack and the exclusive Metal Dead Making Of booklet will also be included.

The Shivah

Besides the seven adventure games and said extras, the bundle will support a charity that’s close to our hearts (The Hellenic Centre for Mental Health and Treatment of Child and Family) and launch the Indie Dev Grant, which we hope will actually help smaller indie devs.

Time Gentlemen, Please!

Bundle In A Box will be using the pay-what-you-want payment model with the twist of a constantly dropping minimum price; Metal Dead and The Shivah will only be available to anyone paying over the average price.

You Shall Support An Indie Gaming Artist

jonas art
Between us, oh wise and generous reader, the truth is that Jonas Kyratzes is a truly rare breed of indie game developer and all around artistic type; the kind of breed that simply refuses to sell out or dumb down. And he’s prolific too, having already given us -and by given I do really mean given in the most selfless of freeware ways- seven excellent, incredibly written, beautiful, meaningfully innovative, deeply satisfying and actually unique games, while simultaneously providing us with more than a few (digital) pages of prose and theory, the Wikileaks Stories project and some most intriguing short films. Oh, and he’s even preparing, with the help of his wife Verena and composer Helen Trevillion, a beautiful and promising point-and-click adventure game: The Book of Living Magic. Here a making-of  video to inform you further on said project:

Thing is though, that Jonas, following a series of problems, really needs our help to keep being creative, as, quite obviously, money is still necessary for people to survive and properly indie art isn’t as edible as the mainstream sort. Then again it’s not as common either, but the few that support it have to be themselves supported. So, if you’ve enjoyed You Shall Know The Truth, Phenomenon 32, The Infinite Ocean or any other of Jonas’ creations you should really consider answering his call for help and donating some of your earth money to the cause of quality gaming and proper interactive art. Just click your way over to www.jonas-kyratzes.net and then click on that donate button. Just don’t forget to try some excellent games while you’re there.

Wikileaks Stories: Interactive Fiction

knight orc
I am fully aware of the fact that you, yes, you oh treacherous reader, believe that I have forgotten all about that, excellent if I may so myself, Wikileaks Stories project. Well, I haven”t. I”ve been working on that text adventure (interactive fiction) game pretty much non-stop, though not necessarily as intensively I should have. The main problem has so far been that I”m neither an experienced designer of digital ludic pleasures, nor a particularly competent programmer. The relative lack of time is thus only a minor drawback.
Thing is, I may have more or less gotten to understand how Inform 7 works and have even managed to build some rudimentary example games, but I have so far miserably failed to come up with a basic design for the adventure. Actually, I”ve come up with four of the things, each one fixing on the previous ones problems and radically changing the game”s structure. Apparently making a playable story about a real event isn”t the easiest thing, though I do believe I”ve found a way to subtly integrate the necessary plot bits, while making for a hopefully enjoyable adventure. Provided things work out fine, this still unnamed project should be ready within a month or too. Expect further updates here.
On the wider Wikileaks Stories front, things are going rather well. Molleindustria has already released the pretty excellent Leaky World, Jonas KyratzesYou Shall Know the Truth is almost ready and quite a few still-unannounced contributions are steadily progressing. Oh, and being totally unrealistic, I think I”ll have a second, rather more humorous and already -roughly- designed, Wikileaks Story ready within the year too.
Frankly, reader, you should give us a hand too. Spread the word or, better yet, try coming up with something yourself. There really is no rush. Wikileaks keeps fighting for democracy, while revealing new and important stories that have to be made widely known. To help you out and further motivate you, we have already compiled lists of both and Wikileaks resources.