First Person Shooters tend to resemble Micheal Bay movies. In plot, in setting and in hyperactive intensity they are eerily similar to the latest Hollywood explosionfestaganza. The cutting-edge graphics lead to a screen full of constantly shifting explosions and enemies. Most first person shooters just feel big, loud and fun.
Devil's Tuning Fork is what you get when you strip all that away. The sounds, the graphics, even the player's eyesight are gone. In the game world children everywhere have fallen into an inexplicable coma and you play as one of these comatose children. As you navigate your dream-state, your only guide is the devil's tuning fork, which sends out sound waves whenever you use it. However in this dream-state you don't see the level, you hear it. So the sound waves are rendered in stark black and white lines covering the surface of the level. You manage to navigate like a bat, making a sound then watching it bounce off the walls.
There are no enemies, just puzzles using sound waves and platforms. The challenge is trying to make your way to the stuffed animals, which bring other children out of the coma.
It takes the traditional feel of a first person shooter and stands it on it's ear, making a big cavernous room seem small and suffocating. You exist in a submarine in your mind and your world is filled with radar pings and deafening silence. Well, almost silence – you can constantly hear whispers from the other comatose children, as well as parents and doctors worrying over your state. Sometimes, you can make out another voice. A voice that's less friendly.
A student project of DePaul's Game Studies program, it's experimental in ways a commercial release simply couldn't be. And it pays off.
Why You Should Check This Out: It's a new way to experience a virtual world – you see with your ears. The devil's tuning fork sends out sound waves which illuminate your otherwise completely dark and sightless dream-world. You navigate the levels, trying to save other children from the comatose state you find yourself in. A game has never captured the feeling of blind, suffocating darkness as well as this game.