A game shouldn’t have to be complicated to be interesting. Really, if you think about games that existed before video games, uncomplicated was the order of the day. Sudoku, Go and crossword puzzles are as simple as they get. Non-competitive games can be extremely simple and still compelling, instead of an ever increasing ramp of tension and drama, they can become a bit of a zen exercise. A calm moment of contemplation.

OUKA is a very minimalist experience, offering the simplest rules possible in a video game. You have a mouse cursor and one button. You are tasked with clicking on the flower blossom symbol to continue. That’s the only rule you get for the entire game. As the levels progress, instead of adding more symbols or other twists, the game simply plays with you. The blossom moves as you move, or doesn’t, or avoids certain areas, or has gravity, or any number of other tricks.

This simple exercise in discovering the game’s rules is a game in it’s simplest form. The game is literally a black box, and you poke and prod at it trying to work through its inner mechanics. There are very few words as a result. Even the hint system is mostly wordless. Instead of a long sentence or paragraph explaining things, or even a tutorial video, when you click the “Hint” button the game simply lays part of the level’s inner workings bare. It’s a testament to the simplicity of the game that this works so well.

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Programming note: We need more time to properly handle To The Moon, but will talk about that game next.


This was the first fringe busters I've played in a long while, and it was just what the doctor ordered. Quite enjoyable as a puzzler.

I'll have to give this game a shot.

As to doing a Fringe Busters of To the Moon, I've thought about it, and it may be difficult. It's a very personal game which is best played alone with headphones on. More like curling up on the couch by yourself to read a good book. I'm still not sure how this whole Fringe Busters thing works. If you do end up doing a live play of it, I'll try and tune in to watch out of curiosity.

Edit: Playing Ouka now and it makes for a really good combination with Sigur Rós.

Edit 2: Finished all of the puzzles without using the help (so I don't know how the help system works exactly). There were some excellent eureka moments, however, there were a few where I'm pretty sure I broke the game by clicking quickly. It's totally worth playing. I recommend not using the help system because I think it would break a couple "eureka" moments.

I expected this to be a lot more relaxing.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

a really good combination with Sigur Rós.

Oh, I can see that. But then I think Sigur Rós does well with a lot of games.

#10 and #15 I used the hints with, and I can say the hints are just that: using them doesn't solve the puzzle for you. They did help me get them, though.

I think it's an interesting idea that some games can be great because they are simple. I almost assume level progression means increasing complexity, or that DLC and expansions will always mean more elements are inserted into a game. -But for something like this, or for a game like Go, I think additions would just get in the way...

Only used a hint on 15... 6 was tough for me, but mostly because I was only using my trackpad. Expected that to get a little more difficult towards the end, actually. Fun little puzzler, though.

Such a beautiful artwork - and then there were the ads around it. Really, those flashy ads around any well designed flash game tend to kill it for me.

Marchantia wrote:

Such a beautiful artwork - and then there were the ads around it. Really, those flashy ads around any well designed flash game tend to kill it for me.

God bless AdBlocker Plus (though perhaps not for the dev).

I lied this game, but I like puzzle games. The problem I found was that it was SO minimal at times and the Hint button was so close that I couldn't help myself but press it. I wasn't expecting the Help button to be a win button though, which is what it was.

Fun and clever designs all around. Not much more to say, really.

Hey, y'all got a FPP on Metafilter. Batten down the servers!