One of the things I find fascinating about experimental games is their minimalism. When developers limit themselves, either by sound, visuals or the mechanics, their artistic sensibilities really shine. This is on full display with The End of Us.
The End of Us is a browser-based game where you are a meteor hurtling through space. You can control your position on the screen and nothing else, just using the arrow keys. Soon, you are joined by another meteor which begins to playfully follow you and dodge in and out of your comet trail.
The game is remarkable for what it manages to do with hunks of rock hurtling through space for 5 minutes. I not only got attached to the little guys, but found their story was actually moving. If you haven’t played it yet, go play it before moving on in the discussion thread. It’s almost certain we’ll ruin the ending through the discussion.
Talking Points: How did the inanimate hunks of rock somehow evoke empathy? What could some bigger games learn from this? Is this game basically a giant escort mission? The End of Us manages to tell an emotionally moving story in 5 minutes with no dialog, isn’t this kind of the opposite approach to Half-Life 2’s non-interactive bits in a way?