Cursor*10: Cooperate by oneself?!

This is a flash game you can beat in a matter of minutes, but it’s a lot of fun!

Go play it before I talk more about it, so I don’t have to worry about spoiling it. =)

The Mechanic

The main mechanic of this game is simple. Whenever you go through the level, you are accompanied by replays from your previous tries. What’s surprising, though, is that the replays aren’t just visible, but they have effects your current play! This means that to get the most out of your ten lives, you have to play each life in a way which helps your future lives.

This mechanic makes every life matter. Dying doesn’t mean you have to start over, because each life replays and helps your future runs.

Introducing the Mechanic

Remarkably, Cursor*10 manages to teach you how to make use of this mechanic without explicitly telling you anything. As soon as you start your second life, you see your first attempt moving around, and it seems to just be a replay. Soon, though, it becomes clear that the replay is manipulating the same environment as you. Once you see this, it’s not too hard to come to the conclusion that you can cooperate with it to solve (admitedly simple) puzzles. To me, this is at least as interesting as the mechanic itself. Teaching people things without them realizing it isn’t an easy thing to do. When a game can pull it off, it’s really impressive. Two other games I’ve played which are great at teaching complicated techniques implicitly are Portal and Braid (which are both awesome).

Posted on 2008-10-15 at 00:00, and tagged , , . trackback