The Beggar

I am not a fan of sandbox games; I've been burned out on the genre ever since Grand Theft Auto 3. Sandbox games are all about volume. They teach you a few core game mechanics, usually driving and shooting, and then give you massive amounts of space to explore. It's the Sam's Club of the gaming world -- do I really need another 32-pack of standard driving missions? Personally, I could stand just a little less volume and a little more quality.

The Beggar is a tiny game that's all about the quality. It gives you a small, confined space and then lets you explore the game itself. There are several mechanics at play here, but few are explained. You are shown a cutscene as the beggar is thrown out of the castle, and then you're given control with minimal explanation. You're not given a tutorial explaining everything up front. You have to explore the game world to understand how it works.

There's a lot of intended commentary about real-world issues in these game mechanics. The readme states that “The Beggar is a game that explores how money affects our relationship with those around us.” It's a game that can be “read” -- the mechanics are meant to be a little more meaningful than just the bare mathematics of the situation. It's a game that asks you to think about it a bit.

Similar to The Majesty of Colors or I Wish I Were the Moon, this game has several endings to explore. It's a quick play, so it's entirely possible to understand all the mechanics and find all the endings inside of 20 minutes.

Why You Should Check This Out: The Beggar is a game that explores what it means to be wealthy. It lets you explore the game mechanics on your own, then invites you to read into them a little more. A game that's as fun to think about as it is to play.

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Comments

Looks interesting!

and then let's you explore the game itself

Might want to fix that before Wordsmythe eats your soul.

Sonicator wrote:

Looks interesting!

and then let's you explore the game itself

Might want to fix that before Wordsmythe eats your soul. :-)

Oh the best part is he already proofread it

PyromanFO wrote:
Sonicator wrote:

Looks interesting!

and then let's you explore the game itself

Might want to fix that before Wordsmythe eats your soul. :-)

Oh the best part is he already proofread it :)

What have I wrought?

You know that part in Lovecraft stories where he's built up the tension to the point where the next paragraph simply has to be pure panic and terror?

That's where you're at.

But yeah, I was totally putting together a playlist on iTunes instead of paying attention to this. Attendees of tomorrow's party are going to be treated to an epic battle of Scorpions versus Asia.

OK, how do you get to ending #3? And why does the fisherman keep dying?

Hobbes2099 wrote:

OK, how do you get to ending #3? And why does the fisherman keep dying?

Do you keep taking his food?

Ending #3 is

spoiler wrote:

[color=white]in the King's throne room[/color]

My favorite mechanic, and it's a bit of a subtle one, is the way that you can regenerate health by being arrested.

Does the price of bread increase with time alone, or does it increase whenever the beggar makes a purchase?

adam.greenbrier wrote:

My favorite mechanic, and it's a bit of a subtle one, is the way that you can regenerate health by being arrested.

Does the price of bread increase with time alone, or does it increase whenever the beggar makes a purchase?

I don't think it's either. I've purchased several pieces of bread at 20 without it rising, then I've gotten it up all the way to 40 before. Maybe it's how many times you get arrested?

PyromanFO wrote:
adam.greenbrier wrote:

My favorite mechanic, and it's a bit of a subtle one, is the way that you can regenerate health by being arrested.

Does the price of bread increase with time alone, or does it increase whenever the beggar makes a purchase?

I don't think it's either. I've purchased several pieces of bread at 20 without it rising, then I've gotten it up all the way to 40 before. Maybe it's how many times you get arrested?

Perhaps. I cracked 100 gold on one of my playthroughs.

Weird, there's no incentive to not just beg your way to $200 (not that I've found another way to do it) nor have I found any use for the bread and fish besides feeding myself).

I'll give it another go later today.

Hobbes2099 wrote:

Weird, there's no incentive to not just beg your way to $200 (not that I've found another way to do it) nor have I found any use for the bread and fish besides feeding myself).

I'll give it another go later today.

Depends on what you mean by "incentive", you can find one of the endings without doing any begging.

However, to get past 200 there's no way to do it without begging. There's plenty of options that open up on the other side however.

spoiler wrote:

[color=white]Has anyone figured out that you can take the King's sceptre? Entirely changes the game[/color]

PyromanFO wrote:
Hobbes2099 wrote:

Weird, there's no incentive to not just beg your way to $200 (not that I've found another way to do it) nor have I found any use for the bread and fish besides feeding myself).

I'll give it another go later today.

Depends on what you mean by "incentive", you can find one of the endings without doing any begging.

However, to get past 200 there's no way to do it without begging. There's plenty of options that open up on the other side however.

spoiler wrote:

[color=white]Has anyone figured out that you can take the King's sceptre? Entirely changes the game[/color]

Even better is when...

spoiler wrote:

[color=white]...you drop the scepter or have it stolen from you after you've gotten a bunch of people arrested.[/color]

I checked out I Wish I Were The Moon. My jaw hit the floor when I read that it was based on a short story by Italo Calvino, I'm in love with his writing. The game itself was pretty interesting, clearly a quick experiment. By the photo mechanic was neat and the minimalism was lovely. Didn't get all the endings though.

Interesting little thing. Just played through the 4 endings, still not sure how to feel or how deeply I should think about all this, could be one of those how long is a piece of string questions.

Well, I'm gonna give it a try. Maybe it will convince me to play my copy of Time Gentleman, Please! that I bought a while ago too.

I played around with this, and it's cute, but if there's a deeper meaning there it escapes me. Not all games have to have a message, but this one seemed like it could use a stronger narrative.

- Alan

PyromanFO wrote:

Depends on what you mean by "incentive", you can find one of the endings without doing any begging.

However, to get past 200 there's no way to do it without begging. There's plenty of options that open up on the other side however.

spoiler wrote:

[color=white]Has anyone figured out that you can take the King's sceptre? Entirely changes the game[/color]

You can get two of the endings without doing any other action than Up.

spoiler wrote:

[color=white]If you go all the way left you can board the boat without doing anything and get ending 2. By just standing around and dying you get ending 1.

I figured out the king part after trying to give him my balloon.

I find it kind of weird that 2 of the endings require you just getting to a certain point, one requires you to just get the crown and sit in the throne, and the last requires you to do nothing. There isn't anything related to getting friends or being arrested. I also felt you might be able to give people things, which you can't.[/color]

Overall, an interesting game for a quick play.