'Every day the same dream' Impressions

January 16, 2010 § 2 Comments

Every day the same dream is a curious indie Flash game from Molleindustria. It was made in six days for the Experimental Gameplay project and is self-described as a “little art game about alienation and refusal of labour.”

In terms of communicating its message, the game is a resounding success. Every critical aspect of it reinforces the theme of being held in a terrifying, banal, futile existence. The characters and environment are all drawn in a kind of 2D Art Deco style, and, save for a few unique objects, the game world is devoid of colour – bleak and monochrome.  There is very little movement and energy from scene to scene, and the animation is regimented, disciplined, almost machine-like.

As the nondescript husband of the nondescript wife going to his nondescript job and every day waking up to perform the same routine, the player can only move linearly through levels, walking either left or right. There is no ‘run’ toggle, and the only interaction with which you have with the world is through a single button, the space key. The game is cyclical, in that it repeats itself as the player repeats, what seems like, the same day over again each time – or is it that every day is the same as the last? (Strange is it sounds, the phrase “Flashback meets Groundhog Day” comes to mind.)

Special mention must go to Jesse Stiles for his work on the soundtrack. His rhythmic, hypnotic mix of electronic beats, drums and acoustic guitar is fantastic and arguably the best part of the game.

It’s a short, succinct experience, granted, and I admit to getting slightly bored before even “finishing” it, but it’s well worth playing simply for the experience. Though I am reluctant to say that it has much replay value, it is a very clever, creative bit of game design, and it is yet another example showing us that it’s possible for games to be both art and, well, games at the same time.

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