Sunday, 31 January 2016

一>◇ (XBox 360)

So, I don't know how to pronounce this game's title, and I had to copy and paste the characters from the XBox website. Thanks, Hitmark Brothers. Anyway, it's a weird little puzzle/strategy/art game thing in which you play as a giant green hand that holds dominion over a small island inhabited by green bean-like creatures.

The game's presentation is almost aggressively committed to standing out and being strange: obviously there's the bizarre title, and then once you start the game, you see that a lot of the graphics are digitised photos. The presentation is the main part of the game's appeal, though I'm sure that that was intentional. It definitely feels more like an "interactive creative work" than an actual game, even though it has various gamey elements, like a score and a game over screen.

Anyway, you play as this giant green hand, and you have various actions in your repertoire. You can move left and right across the landscape as well as up or down (though vertically, there are only two possible positions). You can also grab objects, push the bean-people into the ground, flick objects, and pick up and drop bean-people and water. The object of the game is to plant trees, flick their leaves so that more bean-people fall out, and then grab the leaves and then vigorously rub the tree until it becomes a wooden spaceship. You then grab a few of the bean-people and drop them into the spaceship, which will take off a short time later. The game ends when you have no more bean-people left on the island, and you won't last more than a few launches, as the island very gradually shirnks over time (unless there's a way to reverse this process that I haven't figured out).

一>◇ is an amusing enough distraction for a short time, but you'll definitely be able to see everything it has to offer in the standard XBLIG 8 minute free preview. So unless you want to show the developers your appreciation, there's no need to pay the 69p for the full version.

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