While out in San Francisco covering GDC 2010 I saw many games for many platforms, the iPhone among them.  And I'm happy to report that I didn't encounter a single "bad" iPhone game at any point during the week. The trip reinforced the fact that iPhone gaming is just huge -- and it's growing. And iPad gaming, based on what I saw from numerous developers, is going to be amazing.

But of all the solid titles I spent time with, the one I'm most excited about is Sword & Sworcery EP which we took a brief look at earlier in the week. I've given the game a great deal of thought since we saw it at GDC and wanted to go into a bit further detail and share some additional thoughts on it for our readers.

Sword & Sworcery EP recently won an achievement in art award in the IGF Mobile 2010 competition. It's a stylized, artistic adventure developed by Superbrothers + Capybara Games + Jim Guthrie that dazzles with its rich and mysterious atmosphere established by a unique pixel art graphical presentation, an ethereal soundtrack that sets the mood for every screen, and sparse instructional cues on the outset that make you, the player, feel like a truly small entity in a large, alien world.

The designers call it "i/o cinema."

Right now I can't fully setup the scene for you, as the whole of the scene is still in the minds of the game's creators, not yet entirely implemented on the iPhone. What we were shown at GDC 2010 was meant as a teaser, a taste of the world that will be fully realized in the estimated three months between now and the game's App Store release. But what we did see was, in a word, moving.

In Sword & Sworcery EP, you control a female character exploring a mysterious world. Armed with sword and shield, you begin to explore your edenesque surroundings, tapping and holding in the intended direction of travel. You walk along paths, climb up and down stairs carved into the landscape, wander into the depths of the backdrop -- even walk upon water. Brush a finger across a tree or bush and it responds to your touch.

But why are you here? What is your mission?

As you wander about this strange world you hear the chirping of insects, see various fauna dwelling in the bracken. Before long you encounter a strange being of obvious intelligence peering out at you from the wilderness. It retreats in response to your chase and gives little indication as to whether it is friend or foe. Eventually you follow it into its lair and are challenged to a fight. As you rotate your iPhone to enter the game's fight mode, you begin exchanging blows with this curious character. With some savvy you bring it to its knees, rendering it helpless, waiting for your final blow.

But...do you end this creatures life? Will you deal out death upon this helpless being whose world you have infiltrated? Or will you show mercy?

I will tell you that, in playing the game for less than five minutes, my feeling was that this strange creature was not an enemy. When it came time to deliver the killing blow, I very much felt that it would be wrong to do so. In the interest of fully demonstrating the game, however, I went ahead and ened its life. I regretted having to do so and found that, for hours after I set the game down, I felt guilty for having slaughtered what may have been a peaceful and benevolent creature. The experience absolutely saddened me.

This, from about four minutes of gameplay in a title that presently exists only as a teaser that presents but a portion of the creators' total vision. I consider my reaction to this experience to be highly telling. I honestly can't recall ever playing a game so emotive, so affecting.

Now, I don't mean to sound like an elitest gamer, or one that looks down my nose at other players, but if all you are interested in is button smashing and explosions, then Sword & Sworcery EP is probably not for you. (And, mind, I do, myself, enjoy a great many button smashers.) But if you are open to a game that can take you on an emotional journey, cause you to examine your own system of morality, and deliver an experience quite unlike anything you have known before, then Sword & Sworcery EP is probably worth your while. (And this is a game, not merely an artistic curiosity -- discussion with the designers about what's to come assured me of that.)

The comment thread trailing from our initial look at the title is lengthy and rather polarized. People seem to either love what we've shown of the game, or hate it. The love points mostly mirror my own, presented here, while the hate points bemoan things like "unsightly", pixellated graphics, "lack of visuals", obviously "boring gameplay", "rehashed crap", and a misspelled title.

The pixel-art graphics serve a two-fold purpose, in my opinion. Use of such a graphical presentation necessarily adds a certain degree of vagueness to what the player is able to know about the onscreen avatar. This vagueness forces the player to become closer to the main character because the image of just what the character looks like exactly involves a bit of imagination on the part of the player. Additionally, the graphics style is a clear nod to Eric Chahi's 1991 classic Another World (a.k.a. Out of this World) which delivers a somewhat similar play atmosphere and was a major inspiration for this title, as designer Craig Adams of Superbrothers revealed to me. And so, if there's any "rehashing" going into Sword & Sworcery EP's equation, it's of Another World, which few would call "crap." And that's not to mention the fact that, as far as pixel art goes, in Sword & Sworcery EP it's original and very well done.

Wanting to share a bit more of the title than is revealed in the two videos released this week by the developers, we recorded some gameplay on the expo floor at the Superbrothers + Capy + Jim Guthrie booth in the IGF Mobile area. Thanks to Craig for the fingers.

All of us here at TouchArcade find Sword & Sworcery EP to be an amazing piece of work and are extremely anxious to get our hands on the final version in order to discover more about the nature of this mysterious game world. And, if you think what you see here holds little interest for you, well -- you may be right -- but if ever there was a game that might just take you by surprise, I'm guessing this is it. It's a situation that really makes me hope that the developers offer a free, lite version so the haters can at least give it a shot before passing it by.

At any rate, we'll take a very close look at Sword & Sorcerer EP when it hits the App Store mid-summer and let you know what we find.

  • Noman

    It looks like a true wrok of art, if it plays as well is it looks, it will be one of the greatest iphone games.

  • Noman

    It looks like a true wrok of art, if it plays as well is it looks, it will be one of the greatest iphone games.

  • nizy

    Just to prove the graphical haters wrong, it won the IGF award for achievement in art! http://www.igfmobile.com/

    • Jojo

      This proves that the IGF jury are a bunch of tree smoking hippies out of touch with the real entertainment world...

      • http://nodpad.com/ MidianGTX

        No, it proves you wouldn't know art if it came up to you dressed like the Mona Lisa with a name tag reading "Hello - My name is Art" and introduced itself as Art Arty Artington.

      • spiffyone

        lol w/Median. Good stuff. But, yeah...the game is actually quite wonderful looking. And I mean that. I can't help but look at the screens and the vids and be filled with wonder; wonder at both the great art style, but also wondering how many will "get it".

      • foolishwolf

        Midian for reply of the year

    • http://www.tbenjaminlarsen.com T. Benjamin Larsen

      It's not really possible to be "wrong" as this all boils down to personal preferences.

      Personally I love the style though and am also very happy to see the support from the majority of the iPhone community. Great to see that so many people embrace a truly artistic effort. :)

  • nizy

    Just to prove the graphical haters wrong, it won the IGF award for achievement in art! http://www.igfmobile.com/

    • Jojo

      This proves that the IGF jury are a bunch of tree smoking hippies out of touch with the real entertainment world...

      • http://nodpad.com/ MidianGTX

        No, it proves you wouldn't know art if it came up to you dressed like the Mona Lisa with a name tag reading "Hello - My name is Art" and introduced itself as Art Arty Artington.

      • spiffyone

        lol w/Median. Good stuff. But, yeah...the game is actually quite wonderful looking. And I mean that. I can't help but look at the screens and the vids and be filled with wonder; wonder at both the great art style, but also wondering how many will "get it".

      • foolishwolf

        Midian for reply of the year

    • http://www.tbenjaminlarsen.com T. Benjamin Larsen

      It's not really possible to be "wrong" as this all boils down to personal preferences.

      Personally I love the style though and am also very happy to see the support from the majority of the iPhone community. Great to see that so many people embrace a truly artistic effort. :)

  • osiris37

    Three Months! Can't wait, I have to say that the artwork is incredibly beautiful, and the music is stunning from what we've seen/heard so far, just look at how the startled deer runs off into the bushes, the attention to detail is amazing, how anyone can call the graphic style 'crap' I will never know, maybe it's something that's bourne out of living through the pixel era?

    Anyway I for one can't wait and this is an instant buy for me the moment it hits the app store.

  • osiris37

    Three Months! Can't wait, I have to say that the artwork is incredibly beautiful, and the music is stunning from what we've seen/heard so far, just look at how the startled deer runs off into the bushes, the attention to detail is amazing, how anyone can call the graphic style 'crap' I will never know, maybe it's something that's bourne out of living through the pixel era?

    Anyway I for one can't wait and this is an instant buy for me the moment it hits the app store.

  • Greg

    1) Give the main character some thicker legs. The game is beautiful, but her tiny stick legs make her look ridiculous and take away from the experience.
    2) EP? Why is it an EP?
    3) I hope they are making an iPad version of this. I have a feeling this would look terrible scaled up to the iPad size as an iPhone game.

    • Eli Hodapp

      This is just the style of the artist. See this video he did with similar skinny legs- http://vimeo.com/3807518

  • Greg

    1) Give the main character some thicker legs. The game is beautiful, but her tiny stick legs make her look ridiculous and take away from the experience.
    2) EP? Why is it an EP?
    3) I hope they are making an iPad version of this. I have a feeling this would look terrible scaled up to the iPad size as an iPhone game.

    • Eli Hodapp

      This is just the style of the artist. See this video he did with similar skinny legs- http://vimeo.com/3807518

  • osiris37

    @ greg

    EP = emaciated pixels lol!
    The legs don't bother me, I was wondering what the EP stands for too

  • osiris37

    @ greg

    EP = emaciated pixels lol!
    The legs don't bother me, I was wondering what the EP stands for too

  • http://www.silentrocco.com SIlent Rocco

    I love every second of work I see.

  • http://www.silentrocco.com SIlent Rocco

    I love every second of work I see.

  • misfitskater6

    Very much looking forward to it.

  • misfitskater6

    Very much looking forward to it.

  • monster

    @Greg + osiris
    My guess is EP = Extended Play, like in the music industry. So could allude to the length of the game, which would really kinda suck, but be understandable as everything on the idevice seems bite-sized these days.
    I just hope they mean EP in relative movie or game terms, and aren't taking the length literally from the music industry, that would make it only ~30 minutes long.

    That aside, I'm still excited for this, but cautious, the description of it as 'i/o cinema', whilst intriguing, makes me fear that the game might not be very challenging.
    But I still want to know what the heck is going on with that question mark in the water ^^

  • monster

    @Greg + osiris
    My guess is EP = Extended Play, like in the music industry. So could allude to the length of the game, which would really kinda suck, but be understandable as everything on the idevice seems bite-sized these days.
    I just hope they mean EP in relative movie or game terms, and aren't taking the length literally from the music industry, that would make it only ~30 minutes long.

    That aside, I'm still excited for this, but cautious, the description of it as 'i/o cinema', whilst intriguing, makes me fear that the game might not be very challenging.
    But I still want to know what the heck is going on with that question mark in the water ^^

  • Brandon

    Immediately caught my attention. I think this is an instant buy for me.
    The graphic style is very cool.
    But more importantly the game just seems intriguing (is that how you spell it?)
    When the screen said "believe" and then the charector walked on the water I got chills down my spine!

  • Brandon

    Immediately caught my attention. I think this is an instant buy for me.
    The graphic style is very cool.
    But more importantly the game just seems intriguing (is that how you spell it?)
    When the screen said "believe" and then the charector walked on the water I got chills down my spine!

  • Cilo

    I'll be buying this, no hesitation when it comes out. This is very reminiscent of the wonder and exploration of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus from PS2.

  • Cilo

    I'll be buying this, no hesitation when it comes out. This is very reminiscent of the wonder and exploration of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus from PS2.

  • jason

    it definitely has a magical quality, when the character walked into the guy playing a guitar by the fire, i was really blown away... hopefully lots of random characters like that are around, sharing a story or a quest or rumor of treasure... can't wait to play this game

    • monster

      To everyone else excited about this game, make sure you check out the swordandsworcery.com website, especially the cinematheque section. The video in that section called "Design Reboot HD" has given me a lot more confidence that these devs know exactly what they're doing, and has just made even more excited about this title (if that's even possible).

  • jason

    it definitely has a magical quality, when the character walked into the guy playing a guitar by the fire, i was really blown away... hopefully lots of random characters like that are around, sharing a story or a quest or rumor of treasure... can't wait to play this game

    • monster

      To everyone else excited about this game, make sure you check out the swordandsworcery.com website, especially the cinematheque section. The video in that section called "Design Reboot HD" has given me a lot more confidence that these devs know exactly what they're doing, and has just made even more excited about this title (if that's even possible).

  • AttackOfThePwned

    This looks like a great adventure to fall into. It appeals to me in the same way black and white movies appeal to some, more so than color. All the high tech art effects don't make a story immersive (Avatar shows us that) as much as the details within the narrative. I look forward to getting caught up in this story when it is released.

  • AttackOfThePwned

    This looks like a great adventure to fall into. It appeals to me in the same way black and white movies appeal to some, more so than color. All the high tech art effects don't make a story immersive (Avatar shows us that) as much as the details within the narrative. I look forward to getting caught up in this story when it is released.

  • Terry Freemersonmerjamen... so

    But in all seriousness (assuming my previous comment ex-capes moderation limbo), the beauty of the iPhone's low price point (anything less than $10) is that you can basically say: "What the hell? Why not?" I look at a project like this (whether you choose to call it a game is of no concern to me) and I think I would gladly, enthusiastically spend a few dollars just to see what these people can do with the iPhone. The artwork alone makes this a must-buy for me. I'm willing to roll the dice on this and even if it doesn't end up being a world beater, I still will be more than satisfied at having taken a look.

    Here's the other thing... Some of these small groups or individuals who have talent may well put out an initial product that is sub-par. But if there is potential there, you may be instrumental in giving them the financial foundation to perfect their product in future iterations. Are you the type of person who gives a few bucks to a busker? I am. If you're not, then I don't like you.

    I don't know how many of you have played Pathways Into Darkness from Bungie (or indeed even heard of it). But you don't get to Halo unless those early games get purchased. Nobody buys Marathon, you don't get Halo. Nobody buys Myth, you don't get Halo.

    The point is, you spend a little cash to see how these very creative individuals get their feet under them and really start to blossom. If you've seen other stuff from Superbrothers before, you know there's talent there. A lot. And I'm telling you flat out having seen it so many times before, and as a keen eye for spotting this stuff early, that ten years from now, you will be looking back on this early effort as the beginning of something great.

    Book it. I made the call. These dudes (or one dude?) are going places. Pay attention. Or don't. You can always jump on the bandwagon later.

    • Wildthing

      Well said. Articulate and to the point.

    • Terry Freemersonmerjamen... so

      I'm also not suggesting that we throw money at devs just to give them a chance to "get it right" five or six versions down the line. Most of us don't buy games as an act of philanthropy. I'm talking about a group or individual that demonstrates exceptional talent in one or more particular areas. Let's say astonishing art direction, but mediocre game play. Or astounding game play, but mediocre interface, or music.

      At a couple of dollars per experiment, I don't feel like I lose out on a deal if a "game" delivers one or more elements at a high level, but "fails" in other areas. Of course, there's no excuse for someone who just throws something together, but generally a person who is meticulous about a particular area will strive to bring that to all areas of their endeavor.

      I look at the tone, interface, and artwork of just that demo and I find it hard to believe they could not deliver a Canabalt-like experience that fits comfortably into the $3-5 zone.

      Take R. Crumb, for example (and largely selected at random). Would you pay a few dollars to watch a movie he made? To hear him play in a band? I would. Just to see. Maybe his skills don't translate well or indeed at all to those mediums, but the thing about a truly gifted creative is even their failures when they overreach are worth witnessing.

      I just think this team has game and I think it will be worth paying admission to witness.

    • lazypeon

      I have a different perspective than most since I'm also a developer, but I have no problem (and in fact enjoy) throwing a few bucks to see a unique idea, and to support good devs. I can appreciate the hard work and time put into these apps.

      These guys definitely have my money.

  • Terry Freemersonmerjamen... son

    But in all seriousness (assuming my previous comment ex-capes moderation limbo), the beauty of the iPhone's low price point (anything less than $10) is that you can basically say: "What the hell? Why not?" I look at a project like this (whether you choose to call it a game is of no concern to me) and I think I would gladly, enthusiastically spend a few dollars just to see what these people can do with the iPhone. The artwork alone makes this a must-buy for me. I'm willing to roll the dice on this and even if it doesn't end up being a world beater, I still will be more than satisfied at having taken a look.

    Here's the other thing... Some of these small groups or individuals who have talent may well put out an initial product that is sub-par. But if there is potential there, you may be instrumental in giving them the financial foundation to perfect their product in future iterations. Are you the type of person who gives a few bucks to a busker? I am. If you're not, then I don't like you.

    I don't know how many of you have played Pathways Into Darkness from Bungie (or indeed even heard of it). But you don't get to Halo unless those early games get purchased. Nobody buys Marathon, you don't get Halo. Nobody buys Myth, you don't get Halo.

    The point is, you spend a little cash to see how these very creative individuals get their feet under them and really start to blossom. If you've seen other stuff from Superbrothers before, you know there's talent there. A lot. And I'm telling you flat out having seen it so many times before, and as a keen eye for spotting this stuff early, that ten years from now, you will be looking back on this early effort as the beginning of something great.

    Book it. I made the call. These dudes (or one dude?) are going places. Pay attention. Or don't. You can always jump on the bandwagon later.

    • Wildthing

      Well said. Articulate and to the point.

    • Terry Freemersonmerjamen... son

      I'm also not suggesting that we throw money at devs just to give them a chance to "get it right" five or six versions down the line. Most of us don't buy games as an act of philanthropy. I'm talking about a group or individual that demonstrates exceptional talent in one or more particular areas. Let's say astonishing art direction, but mediocre game play. Or astounding game play, but mediocre interface, or music.

      At a couple of dollars per experiment, I don't feel like I lose out on a deal if a "game" delivers one or more elements at a high level, but "fails" in other areas. Of course, there's no excuse for someone who just throws something together, but generally a person who is meticulous about a particular area will strive to bring that to all areas of their endeavor.

      I look at the tone, interface, and artwork of just that demo and I find it hard to believe they could not deliver a Canabalt-like experience that fits comfortably into the $3-5 zone.

      Take R. Crumb, for example (and largely selected at random). Would you pay a few dollars to watch a movie he made? To hear him play in a band? I would. Just to see. Maybe his skills don't translate well or indeed at all to those mediums, but the thing about a truly gifted creative is even their failures when they overreach are worth witnessing.

      I just think this team has game and I think it will be worth paying admission to witness.

    • lazypeon

      I have a different perspective than most since I'm also a developer, but I have no problem (and in fact enjoy) throwing a few bucks to see a unique idea, and to support good devs. I can appreciate the hard work and time put into these apps.

      These guys definitely have my money.

  • Terry Freemersonmerjamen... so

    BTW, a Superbros "game" on the iPad?

    Insane.

    Probably more excitement than I can handle.

  • Terry Freemersonmerjamen... son

    BTW, a Superbros "game" on the iPad?

    Insane.

    Probably more excitement than I can handle.

  • Wildthing

    Great article, and I'm really glad to see toucharcade revisit the game as its by far the most impressive work in progress I am aware of.

    With regards to the skinny legs - come on. We're talking art here, we're talking stylisation and vision, if the legs worry you then you've missed the point somewhat. And too grace the subject of the legs I should be chastised too as its so utterly banal. Funny though.

    I'd also like to draw attention to the excellent music. It's importance in evoking a sense of atmosphere cannot be underestimated.

  • Wildthing

    Great article, and I'm really glad to see toucharcade revisit the game as its by far the most impressive work in progress I am aware of.

    With regards to the skinny legs - come on. We're talking art here, we're talking stylisation and vision, if the legs worry you then you've missed the point somewhat. And too grace the subject of the legs I should be chastised too as its so utterly banal. Funny though.

    I'd also like to draw attention to the excellent music. It's importance in evoking a sense of atmosphere cannot be underestimated.

  • Terry Freemersonmerjamen... so

    To the creators of this, please DO NOT listen to any of the suggestions offered by your potential buyers. Just isolate yourself and create the experience you want to create. It will succeed without fail.

    • http://www.twitter.com/skurk32 nikk

      yeah, particularly the suggestion above me :p

  • Terry Freemersonmerjamen... son

    To the creators of this, please DO NOT listen to any of the suggestions offered by your potential buyers. Just isolate yourself and create the experience you want to create. It will succeed without fail.

    • http://www.twitter.com/skurk32 nikk

      yeah, particularly the suggestion above me :p

  • Will090

    That gameplay footage blew me away, can't wait for this one

  • Will090

    That gameplay footage blew me away, can't wait for this one

  • krisko6

    This game looks interesting, and it has some cool music. I might buy it.

  • krisko6

    This game looks interesting, and it has some cool music. I might buy it.

  • Rachel

    Wow, just wow. I will definitely be buying this game immediately after release, it's captivating.

  • Rachel

    Wow, just wow. I will definitely be buying this game immediately after release, it's captivating.

  • jase

    There is a lot to like in this concept, but I'm not crazy about all the zooming in and out. This is an example of a game design that might really benefit from the larger display size of the iPad.

  • jase

    There is a lot to like in this concept, but I'm not crazy about all the zooming in and out. This is an example of a game design that might really benefit from the larger display size of the iPad.

  • http://www.ummband.com poutini

    this looks spectacular. a must buy, for sure.

  • http://www.ummband.com poutini

    this looks spectacular. a must buy, for sure.

  • Bugle Boy

    The visuals in this game give me a stiff bishop. This cannot be released soon enough.

  • Bugle Boy

    The visuals in this game give me a stiff bishop. This cannot be released soon enough.

  • 'Jeep

    Excellent article Blake, I think everyone can make up their own mind whether this might be for them or not, but what you just wrote says a lot about the future, or a possible future for gaming.

  • 'Jeep

    Excellent article Blake, I think everyone can make up their own mind whether this might be for them or not, but what you just wrote says a lot about the future, or a possible future for gaming.

  • MrMuesli

    I like the visuals. Visuals I am drawn away from on the iDevice tend to be the over used cartoon style. It looks very atmospheric and immersive. The only thing stopping me from joining in the excitement fully is in not being sure if there is a goal involved beyond the 'morality' one already outlined. Looking forward to finding out more.

  • MrMuesli

    I like the visuals. Visuals I am drawn away from on the iDevice tend to be the over used cartoon style. It looks very atmospheric and immersive. The only thing stopping me from joining in the excitement fully is in not being sure if there is a goal involved beyond the 'morality' one already outlined. Looking forward to finding out more.

  • Acidbottle

    i like the idea of this, visually tho im not bowled over for all the plaudits its received.

    love some of the wilderness and attention to background detail but the main character animates really badly, i hope they make it a little more fluid.

    really does remind me of games such as another world, flashback and the escapee, all of which look better than this imho =

  • Acidbottle

    i like the idea of this, visually tho im not bowled over for all the plaudits its received.

    love some of the wilderness and attention to background detail but the main character animates really badly, i hope they make it a little more fluid.

    really does remind me of games such as another world, flashback and the escapee, all of which look better than this imho =\

  • Sweet Jesus

    I always LOL when I see these games where they try to make even simple enemies really artsy fartsy. XD Will skip this "game" so fast...

  • Sweet Jesus

    I always LOL when I see these games where they try to make even simple enemies really artsy fartsy. XD Will skip this "game" so fast...

  • Steven

    Can't wait...most beautiful game ever!

  • Steven

    Can't wait...most beautiful game ever!

  • http://www.robokid.tv Robokid

    wow, absolutely amazing art style. ever since i got to know about superbrothers, i've been wondering, when they would do their first videogame :)

  • http://www.robokid.tv Robokid

    wow, absolutely amazing art style. ever since i got to know about superbrothers, i've been wondering, when they would do their first videogame :)

  • JB

    Although the palette is Chahi´s, the game also reminds me of Loom in type of story, exploration and atmosphere (without being disney-like).

  • JB

    Although the palette is Chahi´s, the game also reminds me of Loom in type of story, exploration and atmosphere (without being disney-like).

  • MetaGonzo

    Well that just looks fantastic, puts me in mind of SmallWorlds. Not in mechanics but in it's game-as-art approach.

    Shall definately be picking this up as soon as they've finished working their magic.

  • MetaGonzo

    Well that just looks fantastic, puts me in mind of SmallWorlds. Not in mechanics but in it's game-as-art approach.

    Shall definately be picking this up as soon as they've finished working their magic.

  • Gert

    This looks exactly like what I imagined an adventure game would be like when someone told me about them for the first time - in 1982.

    At that moment, I was 12 and I had no idea that adventure gaming was really about solving puzzles, like it is in Zork, Myst, Monkey Island etc etc.

    I thought it would be like what i'm seeing here: just being in a different (pixelated) world and doing... things...

    I'm not sure if I'm going to like it like I currently love adventure gaming on my iPhone (it's *made* for that!), but I'm certainly going to try it.

  • Gert

    This looks exactly like what I imagined an adventure game would be like when someone told me about them for the first time - in 1982.

    At that moment, I was 12 and I had no idea that adventure gaming was really about solving puzzles, like it is in Zork, Myst, Monkey Island etc etc.

    I thought it would be like what i'm seeing here: just being in a different (pixelated) world and doing... things...

    I'm not sure if I'm going to like it like I currently love adventure gaming on my iPhone (it's *made* for that!), but I'm certainly going to try it.

  • http://www.gadlaw.com gadlaw

    "Now, I don't mean to sound like an elitest gamer" - too late. That's where I stopped paying attention to what you had to say, when someone prefaces their own vision of their own 'elitism' by saying they aren't an elitist - they've crossed over into pretentious ramblings. I watched the video, can't say I'm impressed when all you're doing is following some skinny legged bear thingee who occasionally roars. If you want to characterize that as some sort of mystical unknowable hippy crap be my guest. It's different and whether you can put up with something different which makes no sense well you know, that's all about you.

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

      Well, I was trying to explain that I enjoy games with no sense of ethereal wonder, as well. I keep a room full of retro computers around to enjoy the super basic shooters and adventures that I enjoyed as a kid. And I love it. I don't think anyone that has followed me here for any length of time would consider me a pretentious gamer.

      In all this I am hoping that gamers who care mostly or only for shooters and explosions might give this one a chance, so special it is.

      Perhaps it's impossible to push for that without sounding elitist. Dunno.

      • spiffyone

        Blake, pay no mind. I kept reading after that. And that's what's most important ;) Although, truth be told, I did roll my eyes at the "iPad gaming is going to be amazing" statement. I mean, I'm sure the developers are doing amazing stuff now, and will for the foreseeable future, but I'm still not sold on how well that thing will do for the game buying marketplace, particularly at those price points, and that lack of enthusiasm for what the market might be is what gives me pause. After all, if there winds up being too small a market there for the games, how many devs will keep going at it?

      • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

        Spiffyone: I saw something - video of a game running on an iPad - that I can't talk about just yet. It was insane, how fine that was. You'll hear about it soon, though.

        There's a lot of pain in this job regarding what we have our hands on but can't share with readers. Seriously.

      • spiffyone

        Again, Blake, I'm sure the devs targeting the iPad have stellar things in the works. As a gamer I'm excited about the possibilities. But I cannot overlook the business side of the equation: it just doesn't seem like a product that will grab most game consumers as was the case with iPhone/touch (again, a lot of it had to do with the touch and the lower price point). We've seen what a over $299-399 price point has done to standalone game consoles and their chances on the market. I get that iPad is a "do all" sort of device, as is iPhone/touch, but the target appeal is more limited and at a higher price. I stand by my statement that it will appeal to older, less game enthusiastic, consumers, and due to that, devs will target it less and less over time.

        Devs are talented bunch, particularly with this platform, and I have no doubt they'd make anything "sing". But the market factors...the market factors have to be taken into account....

    • http://nodpad.com/ MidianGTX

      Ironically yours is the most elitist of all the comments on this article. I'm glad you find yourself too mature and important to read the rest of the article, you deserve to miss out.

      • http://www.gadlaw.com gadlaw

        And you know the thing is that I do have my own opinion on what I like and don't like and vote with my dollars. It's really as simple as that. I read the articles here to get some idea about the vast number of games that come out since I can't possibly go through them all myself nor would I want to. I have a general idea of what I might like, I don't decide to like or dislike something because I perceive it to be a 'high brow' game or something for the 'elitist'. Please, elitist? These are tiny games on my iTouch, most people with 'elitist' tendencies would look up their noses at the very fact that I'm sitting down playing a game in the first place. This is just another subset of dork who think that some game they happen to be playing makes them smarter than other folks. The second you say, 'I don't want to sound like an elitist but I like this game' you've already made the determination that only people of your fine caliber (delusional thinking of course) would appreciate this game. Nonsense, utter nonsense. You like the game, say you like the game, it's not your usual game or something you might be expecting and the quirkiness is what you like about it. Hey but thanks for the personal insult, gotta love internet tough guys.

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        Man, you have issues.

      • Gert

        "And you know the thing is that I do have my own opinion on what I like and don't like and vote with my dollars. It's really as simple as that"

        This immediately reminded me of Jake in "In Treatment" - and that was only the beginning! LOL

  • http://www.gadlaw.com gadlaw

    "Now, I don't mean to sound like an elitest gamer" - too late. That's where I stopped paying attention to what you had to say, when someone prefaces their own vision of their own 'elitism' by saying they aren't an elitist - they've crossed over into pretentious ramblings. I watched the video, can't say I'm impressed when all you're doing is following some skinny legged bear thingee who occasionally roars. If you want to characterize that as some sort of mystical unknowable hippy crap be my guest. It's different and whether you can put up with something different which makes no sense well you know, that's all about you.

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

      Well, I was trying to explain that I enjoy games with no sense of ethereal wonder, as well. I keep a room full of retro computers around to enjoy the super basic shooters and adventures that I enjoyed as a kid. And I love it. I don't think anyone that has followed me here for any length of time would consider me a pretentious gamer.

      In all this I am hoping that gamers who care mostly or only for shooters and explosions might give this one a chance, so special it is.

      Perhaps it's impossible to push for that without sounding elitist. Dunno.

      • spiffyone

        Blake, pay no mind. I kept reading after that. And that's what's most important ;) Although, truth be told, I did roll my eyes at the "iPad gaming is going to be amazing" statement. I mean, I'm sure the developers are doing amazing stuff now, and will for the foreseeable future, but I'm still not sold on how well that thing will do for the game buying marketplace, particularly at those price points, and that lack of enthusiasm for what the market might be is what gives me pause. After all, if there winds up being too small a market there for the games, how many devs will keep going at it?

      • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

        Spiffyone: I saw something - video of a game running on an iPad - that I can't talk about just yet. It was insane, how fine that was. You'll hear about it soon, though.

        There's a lot of pain in this job regarding what we have our hands on but can't share with readers. Seriously.

      • spiffyone

        Again, Blake, I'm sure the devs targeting the iPad have stellar things in the works. As a gamer I'm excited about the possibilities. But I cannot overlook the business side of the equation: it just doesn't seem like a product that will grab most game consumers as was the case with iPhone/touch (again, a lot of it had to do with the touch and the lower price point). We've seen what a over $299-399 price point has done to standalone game consoles and their chances on the market. I get that iPad is a "do all" sort of device, as is iPhone/touch, but the target appeal is more limited and at a higher price. I stand by my statement that it will appeal to older, less game enthusiastic, consumers, and due to that, devs will target it less and less over time.

        Devs are talented bunch, particularly with this platform, and I have no doubt they'd make anything "sing". But the market factors...the market factors have to be taken into account....

    • http://nodpad.com/ MidianGTX

      Ironically yours is the most elitist of all the comments on this article. I'm glad you find yourself too mature and important to read the rest of the article, you deserve to miss out.

      • http://www.gadlaw.com gadlaw

        And you know the thing is that I do have my own opinion on what I like and don't like and vote with my dollars. It's really as simple as that. I read the articles here to get some idea about the vast number of games that come out since I can't possibly go through them all myself nor would I want to. I have a general idea of what I might like, I don't decide to like or dislike something because I perceive it to be a 'high brow' game or something for the 'elitist'. Please, elitist? These are tiny games on my iTouch, most people with 'elitist' tendencies would look up their noses at the very fact that I'm sitting down playing a game in the first place. This is just another subset of dork who think that some game they happen to be playing makes them smarter than other folks. The second you say, 'I don't want to sound like an elitist but I like this game' you've already made the determination that only people of your fine caliber (delusional thinking of course) would appreciate this game. Nonsense, utter nonsense. You like the game, say you like the game, it's not your usual game or something you might be expecting and the quirkiness is what you like about it. Hey but thanks for the personal insult, gotta love internet tough guys.

      • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

        Man, you have issues.

      • Gert

        "And you know the thing is that I do have my own opinion on what I like and don't like and vote with my dollars. It's really as simple as that"

        This immediately reminded me of Jake in "In Treatment" - and that was only the beginning! LOL

  • Justin

    This extended vid of the demo just leaves me wanting this game so much more. The Deep part was incredibly beautiful and clever. I completely agree with everyone who has said that they felt something akin to remorse/regret/ sadness when that final killing stroke fell on such a presumably innocent, frightened creature. Its astounding in this day and age when most of the games out there have us shooting other living beings by the dozen without a second thought that this could in 1 fight(!) make us feel so emotionally distraught. Amazing job by the devs. Can't wait to buy this as soon as possible!!

  • Justin

    This extended vid of the demo just leaves me wanting this game so much more. The Deep part was incredibly beautiful and clever. I completely agree with everyone who has said that they felt something akin to remorse/regret/ sadness when that final killing stroke fell on such a presumably innocent, frightened creature. Its astounding in this day and age when most of the games out there have us shooting other living beings by the dozen without a second thought that this could in 1 fight(!) make us feel so emotionally distraught. Amazing job by the devs. Can't wait to buy this as soon as possible!!

  • http://digg.com WhoCares

    Please just say you like it so Blake doesn't write another followup post tomorrow emploring - "No really guys, it's so cool. Let me explain some more with extra pics and videos and references to other artsy people who say they like it". You really are so attached to this game? Sure it looks different but it seems very linear and unless they spend way more time on it, I see this as one of those games where the first level is amazing because it took them a year to do but the rest of the game is finished in 6 months and it's just OK.

    It seems like you have a vested interest in it. Most games get a post and people are allowed to decide for themselves. This one got a quite lengthy initial post and then a followup because some people had a negative reaction. Is this Fox News?

    • spiffyone

      That entire comment is negated by the fact that Eli wrote the first post, not Blake. Why did Blake write up his impressions? Maybe because he dug the game too and thought it deserving of a write up. Not everything in this world is a vast conspiracy, y'know.

      • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

        Eli did the initial, meet post and it's a fine post. And he loves the game as well -- it was Eli that called me over from another meeting to show it to me. I spent a huge amount of time thinking about it and talking about it the following days and wanted to share some additional thoughts. And yea, it's certainly a title worthy of a few posts, as we all here at TA agree.

  • http://digg.com WhoCares

    Please just say you like it so Blake doesn't write another followup post tomorrow emploring - "No really guys, it's so cool. Let me explain some more with extra pics and videos and references to other artsy people who say they like it". You really are so attached to this game? Sure it looks different but it seems very linear and unless they spend way more time on it, I see this as one of those games where the first level is amazing because it took them a year to do but the rest of the game is finished in 6 months and it's just OK.

    It seems like you have a vested interest in it. Most games get a post and people are allowed to decide for themselves. This one got a quite lengthy initial post and then a followup because some people had a negative reaction. Is this Fox News?

    • spiffyone

      That entire comment is negated by the fact that Eli wrote the first post, not Blake. Why did Blake write up his impressions? Maybe because he dug the game too and thought it deserving of a write up. Not everything in this world is a vast conspiracy, y'know.

      • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

        Eli did the initial, meet post and it's a fine post. And he loves the game as well -- it was Eli that called me over from another meeting to show it to me. I spent a huge amount of time thinking about it and talking about it the following days and wanted to share some additional thoughts. And yea, it's certainly a title worthy of a few posts, as we all here at TA agree.

  • Gates

    I'm not really sold on your reaction to killing a video game animal. You had a much bigger moral dilemma in BioShock with little girls. And "fullly demonstrating the game" was your reasoning behind killing the creature? You could have NOT killed it and still fully demonstrated the game by seeing what would have happened if you did it.

    Stop being a bold faced liar and admit you just wanted to kill it. It's not hard.

    • TheFamousEccles

      I believe him entirely. Did you watch the videos? Even on IGN--yes, the site that says hardcore in 90% of it's published articles and reviews--the previewer said he regretted killing the monster.

      By the way, keep the coverage up on this game. I'm looking forward to this more than I have for anything on the App Store.

  • Gates

    I'm not really sold on your reaction to killing a video game animal. You had a much bigger moral dilemma in BioShock with little girls. And "fullly demonstrating the game" was your reasoning behind killing the creature? You could have NOT killed it and still fully demonstrated the game by seeing what would have happened if you did it.

    Stop being a bold faced liar and admit you just wanted to kill it. It's not hard.

    • TheFamousEccles

      I believe him entirely. Did you watch the videos? Even on IGN--yes, the site that says hardcore in 90% of it's published articles and reviews--the previewer said he regretted killing the monster.

      By the way, keep the coverage up on this game. I'm looking forward to this more than I have for anything on the App Store.

  • osiris37

    Wow this really is giving me the shivvers, I don't think I've anticipated the release of a game more keenly since, well, actually ever! I find myself watching the vid over and over. It kind of reminds me of 'The adventures of Robin Hood' on the Amiga, that isometric gem had a lot of soul and an awful control system (which I whole heartedly forgave) and broke the mould with its open ended and non linear gameplay, Damn, I gotta get that on an amiga emulator.

    Don't forget that Blake interviewed the Devs too, so he has a deeper insight into what is planned for this game, I feel a little sorry that some readers don't feel the emotional pull of this one but as always it's what 'floats your boat' and negative reactions are just as valid as positive ones, I can't understand why a lot of gamers like Grand Theft Auto, to me its all a bit Meh!

    Sure some people care, some don't, that's what makes life interesting, everyones different, I think that the amount of interest in this one justifies the two threads, look how many people have responded, if this was an 'average' game in most peoples eyes then this thread would have been dead after the first few posts.

    I would also point out that I have revisited this post quite a few times, and i'm sure that i'm not the only one, That's gotta be a pointer on how special this game could be...

    Don't let us down superbrothers... no pressure, honest! :D

  • osiris37

    Wow this really is giving me the shivvers, I don't think I've anticipated the release of a game more keenly since, well, actually ever! I find myself watching the vid over and over. It kind of reminds me of 'The adventures of Robin Hood' on the Amiga, that isometric gem had a lot of soul and an awful control system (which I whole heartedly forgave) and broke the mould with its open ended and non linear gameplay, Damn, I gotta get that on an amiga emulator.

    Don't forget that Blake interviewed the Devs too, so he has a deeper insight into what is planned for this game, I feel a little sorry that some readers don't feel the emotional pull of this one but as always it's what 'floats your boat' and negative reactions are just as valid as positive ones, I can't understand why a lot of gamers like Grand Theft Auto, to me its all a bit Meh!

    Sure some people care, some don't, that's what makes life interesting, everyones different, I think that the amount of interest in this one justifies the two threads, look how many people have responded, if this was an 'average' game in most peoples eyes then this thread would have been dead after the first few posts.

    I would also point out that I have revisited this post quite a few times, and i'm sure that i'm not the only one, That's gotta be a pointer on how special this game could be...

    Don't let us down superbrothers... no pressure, honest! :D

  • Robster

    Dude, this demo is just a hoax and it will be revealed on April, 1st.

  • Robster

    Dude, this demo is just a hoax and it will be revealed on April, 1st.

  • x999x

    thats the most hype i've ever seen posted here on a front page story.

    I mean how do you really feel about it, subjectively of course?

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

      If you can't tell how I really feel about the game from that post, then god help you.

    • mike

      ... uh.. is that sarcasm?

  • x999x

    thats the most hype i've ever seen posted here on a front page story.

    I mean how do you really feel about it, subjectively of course?

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

      If you can't tell how I really feel about the game from that post, then god help you.

    • mike

      ... uh.. is that sarcasm?

  • Phil_Lapineau

    I'm hoping someone will wise up and port (original) Prince of Persia and Out of this World, as well. Since we're on the subject of VGA graphical games, I'd hope Sierra (via Activision) will port Space Quest, King's Quest, and Police Quest.

    • mike

      Right, in this case, the low-bitrate graphical style is intentional.

      Police/KQ is pure retro/nostalgic but lacks the intentionally emotional play here.

      That's the real story of this game, not the 1990 graphics.

  • Phil_Lapineau

    I'm hoping someone will wise up and port (original) Prince of Persia and Out of this World, as well. Since we're on the subject of VGA graphical games, I'd hope Sierra (via Activision) will port Space Quest, King's Quest, and Police Quest.

    • mike

      Right, in this case, the low-bitrate graphical style is intentional.

      Police/KQ is pure retro/nostalgic but lacks the intentionally emotional play here.

      That's the real story of this game, not the 1990 graphics.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pom-Jansen/100000262339970 PomJansen

    I think this game can use all the attention is gets. This ain't no Gameloft...

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Pom-Jansen/100000262339970 PomJansen

    I think this game can use all the attention is gets. This ain't no Gameloft...

  • tsarep

    Any chance you will be seeking beta testers

  • tsarep

    Any chance you will be seeking beta testers

  • fhbetgfrnjh

    Whats so damn good about its art? it looks like canabalt. that game never got credit for its "art"

  • fhbetgfrnjh

    Whats so damn good about its art? it looks like canabalt. that game never got credit for its "art"

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrzej-Raczynski/668591493 Andrzej Raczynski

    nice, hope they're supporting the ipad, not giving up room on my ipad for iphone games.

  • Kyl

    Yeah, you definitely can't be an elitist if you don't know how to spell it.