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 The Path

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BrassButtons
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PostSubject: The Path   Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:01 am

I'm going to preface this by saying that this review is a bit premature (make that extremely premature), as I've only completed a small portion of the game. However I feel like I need to write my thoughts down in order to solidify them, and if I'm going to do that then I might as well share it with you all. Very Happy

The Path's developers (the indie group Tale of Tales) call it a horror game. Normally that would be enough to ensure that I never play it, however the things I'd been hearing about this game were so unique that I simply had to try it. Plus, I was assured that unlike normal horror games, this is a game where you're never in any danger and things don't randomly jump out at you--so really, how could it even be scary? (Honestly, I'm not sure 'horror' is the right description for this game, but I don't know what other category you could put it in)

This game is...strange. You pick one of six girls (each a version of Little Red Riding Hood) and are told to go to Grandmother's house. You're told to stay on the path, but the game expects you to ignore the rules and run into the woods. Once there you encounter objects and locations which trigger memories, a Girl in White who can lead you back to the Path, and a metaphorical "wolf". Everything you encounter is symbolic in some way, and there is a lot of room for interpretation. After you find the wolf a scene plays out, it fades to black, and then the girl is lying on the path in the rain, just outside of Grandmother's house.

Now, I want to stop for a moment and discuss game play mechanics. The controls are very simple--directional arrows to move, shift to run. The difference is that in order to interact with the things you find you must stop controlling the girl. You walk up to an object and then simply stop playing, letting the girl do what she will (if the object you want to interact with is meant for a different girl, her picture will be superimposed on the screen in a ghost-like fashion).

The controls change when you enter the house. The game switches from third to first person, but you can sometimes see the shadow of the girl. You no longer use the up arrow to move forward and left/right arrows to steer--any button you press moves you forward along a preset path. I've heard others say that this part feels as though you are forcefully pushing the girl onward, and I agree. There is almost a sense of trepidation here. This house is not normal. It is an amalgamation of bizarre, unsettling imagery and strange sounds. Things that shouldn't move, do. Things which don't belong in a house are there anyway. The whole experience has an eerie, dream-like (or nightmare-like) quality to it.

I'm not really sure how to finish this. I know I should say something like "this game is great, you should all buy it" or "this stinks, don't waste your money" but I honestly don't know how I feel about it. Large parts of the game are very dull. The girl walks annoyingly slowly. The game doesn't always communicate itself clearly (you are given no incentive to go off the path, but staying on the path leads to failure). It's...I don't even know. I wrote this to try and get a handle on my thoughts, hoping that by the end I'd be able to form a concrete opinion. I can't. Maybe after I've played a bit more I'll be able to form a more solid opinion, but somehow I doubt it. It's just too bizarre. So I'm not going to tell people to buy this, and I'm not going to suggest everyone avoid it. I'm just going to say that it's weird as hell, and leave it at that.
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PostSubject: Re: The Path   Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:34 am

Well, it certainly sounds different. That is for sure. Thanks for sharing your thoughts thus far!

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rainshadow
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PostSubject: Re: The Path   Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:05 pm

What system is this game for?

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We should create a loop. That way when he gets back he can feel jealous that he's been out of it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Path   Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:36 pm

They have it for windows and mac. The website is here, if you want more information/ wish to purchase the game.
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PostSubject: Re: The Path   Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:12 pm

Thanks! Smile

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We should create a loop. That way when he gets back he can feel jealous that he's been out of it.
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