When you move Ethan over to the mirror to brush his teeth in Heavy Rain, you're going to repeat the same movements over and over until his teeth are thoroughly brushed. You may think this is brain-dead repetition, but how different is this from the initial build orders in Starcraft 2? Games can use repetition to instill emotional depth, from Ethan slowly walking around a sunlit house to Starcraft 2 instilling a sense of urgency and fear about your opponent.
The Experimental Games Project's theme for April was "Repeat," and there are 25 games which explore this theme. I'm going to highlight a few of the better entries below, but feel free to check out the rest as they are all free, quick downloads and interesting little snippets of gameplay.
Robert Recurring – It's apparent the developer spent all his time on the gameplay as the graphics are fairly terrible. The gameplay is inventive and varied if at times a bit too difficult. You go through a series of puzzles; however, the next time through the puzzle you meet your previous self, solving the puzzle. You have to solve a puzzle in a different way because, as TimeCop clearly specifies, if you touch your former, self your head will explode.
Oh No! Spaceman – Asteroids on a loop, by our very own Switchbreak. You play a normal game of Asteroids; however, every few seconds a ghost ship appears and retraces your movements. The twist is that your previous ship's bullets can hurt you, so judicious use of your gun is key here.
PushPuzzle – This one's a sliding puzzle masquerading as a number puzzle. There is a square in the middle of the screen with different numbered slots, and numbered tiles are strewn randomly about the level. You have to click on the numbered tiles to get them to slide into their corresponding slot. With a cute theme and solid gameplay, this is one of the more polished of the featured games.
Flowearty – In this game you're repeating pieces of the level, literally copy+pasting parts of the level over and over to move the flower to it's stem. The flower can move kind of slowly, but the copy+paste is well done, and the levels are challenging.
AutoCannibalism – This one is more repEAT than repeat. You are tasked by your tribe to go find food in a nearby cave, yet when you get there all you find are poisonous plants. But the next guy they send down finds a little something extra you left behind, namely yourself.
There's several more games playing with time and repetition on the blog, so check them out, as well as hundreds of other little game snippets to play. They do an Experimental Games Project every month, so if you're interested in experimental indie games, keep this site in your feed reader.
[size=20]EGR April Entries[/size]