Proteus

Proteus is one of the most delightful things I have played. So many games are fun, but Loco Roco, Okami and now Proteus are probably the only ones I have played that I could describe as delightful.


Proteus Official Launch Trailer

This isn’t going to be a review, because everyone’s surely heard about this game already thanks to the ‘it’s not a game!’ wankerypop it generated. I’m writing this because the game is now available for Windows and Linux and at the time of writing is only £3.50 on Steam. If you can’t eke £3.50’s worth of fun out of Proteus you are a charmless joy-void.

Lovely things I found or did in Proteus:

  • Chasing a frog over a mountain by moonlight.
  • The roses around the gravestone.
  • Two dragons dancing in the sky in spring and summer.
  • Going to the circle of statues on Autumn nights and watching the sky turn blood red.
  • A magical sparkling frog!
  • The crabs go to sleep! How adorable!
  • Owls owls owls!
  • Finding two or even three different kinds of frog at once and making them into a jaunty cowbell frog chorus.

Swift*Stitch

Tl;dr: Yes, it’s definitely worth $7. It’s 11p per level. You might as well buy it; it’s probably better than all the crap you bought in the Steam sale and have never played with.

Swift*Stitch, it turns out, is not a tailoring sim, but “a game about going fast, taking the right route and trying not to crash into stuff”. ‘Swift’ presumably alludes to the blinding speed, and ‘stitch’ to the warp- and weft-style movement, as well as the slightly stitched appearance of the boingy walls. S*S has essentially two controls: hold the left mouse button to move your little ship vertically, leave it unpressed to go horizontally, boing off coloured walls to switch direction. It’s bloody hard. It elicited many angry mooing sounds. It’s also great fun, holding my interest more than my other recent purchase of Bejeweled 3.

It’s a challenging game, but S*S is wonderful in its implementation of non-guffbeakery. The learning curve is sensible. If you get it wrong, it’s always your fault. You can play any level whenever you want, instead of having to play through a level to unlock the next one (a wonderful bit of design that shows this game is meant for playing). The game invites you once and only once to switch to a lower speed should you crash like a sugar-rushing monkey. No remapping needed for a left-handed mouse. Don’t like mouse? Use keyboard instead.

The game also has some graphical goodies, such as ‘Invert colours’ (surprisingly nice) and ‘WTF mode’, which adds confetti and motion-blur. The best of these is Cruel camera, which simulates the camera operation of that of Homer Simpson distracted by a butterfly.

S*S is available for Windows and Mac. I can confirm that the Windows version runs nicely under WINE, albeit with a bit of jaggy scrolling in any speed class above 3 (no impediment to gameplay; it’s just not as pretty). Unfortunately, you can’t try the demo in Linux, as it requires Unity web player.

Update: Hot piss! S*S is now free and available for PC, Mac and Linux!