Thursday, February 11, 2010

acmi : independent games festival and hand dryers

Today I visited the Australian Centre for the Moving Image to see (and play) the "best of" the Independent Games Festival 2009. There were a few games simple enough even for me. My favourite was Machinarium (illustrated), a click-and-drag Flash interactive game by Amanita Design. This had me puzzling over discarded pieces of junk, climbing power-poles, crossing draw-bridges dressed in disguise... all to enable a cute little telescopic rubbish-bin android to explore a lusciously illustrated industrial planet. I was hooked! Sadly I had to relinquish control of the game after I became stuck on a puzzle and a queue of onlookers gathered. I will download a copy for home^h^h^h work use.
Osmos (Hemisphere Games) was visually striking although not as rich as Machinarium. The game play was reminiscent of asteroids... pilot a ship (well, in this case a biological cell with a little "rocket" thruster) around an asteroid field (well, in this case a soup of larger and smaller cells) and attempt to collide only with smaller cells. When any two cells collide, the larger one sucks the smaller one dry for nutrients. Your aim is to grow (really big) by consuming cells smaller than yourself, without being sucked dry by larger cells. Simple, fun, lovely to look at (for awhile) but not particularly deep.
Being an old man, I couldn't quite master the controls of a couple of the other games, as enticing as they looked. Blueberry Garden by Erik Svedang was lovely to look at and fun to play... as far as I got (not far!)... but I see it is available for download from his website.
Upon leaving the screen gallery I visited the toilet. After washing my hands, I dried them... using a wall-mounted blow-dryer with a built in screen!!!! The screen unfortunately played an advertisement for a soap company and blared horrible distorted music at me over the sound of the fan. An amusing, appropriate (and slightly annoying) thing to find at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, Machinarium's definitely my favourite. And worth the $10 or so it costs.

    And those toilets are hilarious. Such loud distorted audio.