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.

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.