Life Is Short
December 11, 2007 6:57 PM   Subscribe

Passage -- a small game about a big subject.
posted by empath (24 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Falconetti at 7:11 PM on December 11, 2007

posted by dr.flakenstein at 7:13 PM on December 11, 2007

I died. :( Does that mean I won?

Seriously, that was sweet and sad.
posted by inconsequentialist at 7:23 PM on December 11, 2007

I played this awhile ago, and I thought it was much less interesting to play than it was to read about. These make better statements about life. But, I appreciate the idea of the game as art, and it is a worthy entry in the genre.
posted by blahblahblah at 7:24 PM on December 11, 2007

I scores 976 on my second game through.

Scoring? Yes. There are boxes to find that explode open to a star, scoring you extra points. There are any spaces you cannot move into because you have fallen in love and have your girlfriend / wife attached to you, making you too wide to enter a gap.

You score fewer points alone per forward step, however.

This is SUCH an arthouse game. Good times.
posted by andreaazure at 7:26 PM on December 11, 2007

I love how subtle some of the "aging" was, especially toward the end, considering it's just pixel art. I had a wife through most of the game and it hadn't even occurred to me to look at the score.
posted by JaredSeth at 7:28 PM on December 11, 2007

This isn't one of those things where if I die in the game, I die in real life, is it?
posted by anazgnos at 8:02 PM on December 11, 2007

This isn't one of those things where if I die in the game, I die in real life, is it?

Duh, everyone knows that it's you die in real life if you are asleep and have a dream where you die.
posted by pineapple at 8:14 PM on December 11, 2007

Why'd someone have to go and get all literal? Most video games are such a profound metaphor for life already.

Don't you remember when Pac-Man met Ms. Pac-Man? And his enemies are ghosts.

And don't even get me started on Team Fortress 2.
posted by XMLicious at 8:16 PM on December 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

Phew. Heavy stuff.
posted by threetoed at 8:21 PM on December 11, 2007

Pac-Man is chased by ghosts AKA revenants AKA "that which comes back" AKA memories. Then the screen goes crazy on level 256 as if he reached an existential apotheosis at the moment of his death like Meursault on the gallows.
posted by Falconetti at 8:43 PM on December 11, 2007 [5 favorites]

Wife? How DARE he assume I am heterosexual! For that matter, why assume the player is male? Sexist, for no reason at all.
posted by Goofyy at 9:21 PM on December 11, 2007

He doesn't assume you are heterosexual, or male. He asks you to role-play as a heterosexual male.
posted by robcorr at 9:42 PM on December 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

Reminds me of this.

...I'm sad now.

I think I'm going to go learn a new instrument or something.
posted by poweredbybeard at 10:03 PM on December 11, 2007

Women... always getting in the of our brightly coloured flashing boxes, amirite fellas?
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 4:50 AM on December 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

'in the way' damnit.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 4:51 AM on December 12, 2007

From links on the download page, be sure to read about the game's author, Jason Rohrer. His tip jar seems a worthwhile stop on the daily surf.
posted by sagwalla at 5:06 AM on December 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

Wait, you can go somewhere other than to the right the whole time? I spent the entire game holding the right key, waiting for it to go somewhere until it was over. I wasn't paying attention to the score because I felt it was an arbitrary comment on the use of video games to show the frustratingly linear nature of life and love!

It's not for lack of trying, mind you! every now and again I would turn to see if she would face me, but I found I was only turning away. I would stop to see what happened, but all we did was get older. The entirety of our relationship was me following her to nowhere, frustrated by the emptiness and bored by the whole thing and I blamed her, but even if I was following her, I was the one holding the key, I was the one really in control, SHE was following ME!

All I could see was her, chasing her, never catching her when the whole time I was projecting my insecurities and failings onto her. I should have been the strong one. All she wanted was to make me happy but she wasn't strong enough to ask what I wanted. She just went where I wanted and some combination of the fear of the world around me, obliviousness to our relationship and viewing a relationship as goal oriented instead of exploring the world with my love prevented me from seeing that.

All I did with our time together was march her to an early grave. I don't know if that's metaphorical or literal, but Oh my God I am so sorry.

I was all ready to write this game off, but I think I might have to go on break now. Jesus.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 5:26 AM on December 12, 2007 [15 favorites]

From a point on I went up (took the high road, as it is) and met no obstacles. I didn't get no shinies but I could focus on the music. Uther, just press the down arrow.

Also: Passage alpha version.
posted by ersatz at 6:54 AM on December 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

It really is a beautiful little project. I would have missed all the metaphor without the criticism; I'm literal-minded like that. But I also liked the music, and the simple gameplay choice of the clear north path vs. the difficult but rewarding south path. And I really love the visual compression of the future (and later, the past); very clever device.
posted by Nelson at 7:56 AM on December 12, 2007

That was the most moving game I've ever played. Thanks empath-
posted by localhuman at 9:42 AM on December 12, 2007

Score with "wife" (2 points per step, but can't fit into narrow places to get treasure):

Score without "wife" (1 point per step, but can get treasures):


Still, very clever and moving. I'm probably deconstructing it more than necessary.
posted by Durhey at 12:16 PM on December 12, 2007

The first comment + picture in second link is priceless.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:04 PM on December 12, 2007

When my wife just dropped dead, I actually said "No!" out loud in grief.
posted by a snickering nuthatch at 4:37 PM on December 12, 2007

« Older The Unsung Joe: Where bit--part actors go when...   |   "turn to page 69 of any book and read it. If you... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments