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February 12, 2011 8:08 AM   Subscribe

Modern mainstream video games tend to be about framerates and millions of polygons per second. But it is possible to play games that have hardly any graphics at all: audio-only games like Papa Sangre, designed for iOS devices, being the most recent example of the genre (and with binaural audio, probably the most ambitious). There are others: In The Pit for Xbox 360 (or a PC with a 360 wired controller) [previously], the (sadly incomplete) Cadet 277 for PC and Mac, and SoundVoyager, released in 2006 for the Nintendo. More at the Experimental Gameplay Project.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul (14 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Not sure I agree with this. IMHO only the console and pc scene is really into fps and polygons worship and they are in the minority if you count number of games and players. Much basic simple app|flash|social games are in the majority now - just imagine how many play games at Facebook or Angry Bird - and most of them feature simple graphics.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 8:20 AM on February 12, 2011


Papa Sangre is very, very cool, btw. A little nerve wracking, though.
posted by empath at 8:22 AM on February 12, 2011


Ops, just realized that my previous comment isn't that relevant in this discussion.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 8:30 AM on February 12, 2011


Um, yeah - I don't think I could play Papa Sangre (after a quick listen) - I am such a wimp that to handle some "scary" games/movies, I turn off the audio completely... So...
posted by jkaczor at 9:15 AM on February 12, 2011


I agree. Scary sounds in horror games affect me much more than images. For some reason backwards ghostly voices really freak me out.
posted by demiurge at 9:24 AM on February 12, 2011


Text games rule. When I was a boy, we hunted the wumpus. And we liked it.
posted by Zed at 9:55 AM on February 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just purchased Papa Sangre because of this post. I read something (BoingBoing maybe?) about it a while ago, but I don't think it had been released yet, and I thought the idea of it was freakin' cool then, too. Can't wait to play it. Anyone know how long it takes to complete? Is it worth it to replay?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 1:14 PM on February 12, 2011


I wish I could remember the name of it. Someone did a version of Doom, intended for blind users, which was really awesome.

Even though I'm not a huge fan of the genre, I would actually pay for a well done audio adventure. Thinking something far beyond just an Inform game read by a screenreader. Something done in the style of a 1930's radio program with each character's part played by a voice actor. There would be the soothing and suave announcer who would handle room and item descriptions and would list your inventory. The occasional commercial which would point out the many many uses of Bond's Baby Powder and thus serve as a hint. Music interludes for scene changes and moments of "drama and suspense!"

Could be a beautiful thing.
posted by honestcoyote at 1:19 PM on February 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Just purchased the game myself too, as it sounds pretty interesting. Like demiurge though, I'm worse with the audio in scary movies over the visual... so I'm not going to have an easy way to plug my ears if things get too spooky. Should be fun...
posted by avoision at 2:50 PM on February 12, 2011


"In The Pit" is by MetaFilter's own™ luvcraft.
posted by autopilot at 3:39 PM on February 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sound Voyager is pretty neat, too. Most of the GBA games from that Bit Generations series are worth playing.
posted by box at 4:10 PM on February 12, 2011


honestcoyote, was it Shades of Doom?
posted by egypturnash at 7:05 PM on February 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank you egypturnash! This is correct.
posted by honestcoyote at 7:40 PM on February 12, 2011


other audio-only games include Kenji Eno's Kaze no Regret, about half of Bad Milk, and Sonic Invaders, the primary inspiration for (me to make) In the Pit.
posted by luvcraft at 10:39 AM on February 14, 2011


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