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Imagine a game... any game. Perhaps, though, I'll guide you to imagine a platforming game. Now, imagine that there no textures, just various shades of white, black and gray. Now imagine you're handed over the control to play a nondescript character, but you aren't told how to play or what to do, all of it is left up to the player to discover and explore on their own. Welcome to Motamot's The Note.
If pretentious ideas were a currency, 22Cans would have funded The Note a long time ago, and Peter Molyneux would have been trying to sell gamers on the concept as a “life-changing experience”. Thankfully, 22Cans has a budget set in real money and Molyneux can only, periodically, sell us on things that will “change our lives”.
On the upside of things, we have tons of other up and coming indie developers who found a way to turn pretentious ideas into playable concepts and The Note kind of fits within that sphere.
Thankfully, this title is a lot more focused in its endeavors than, say Bientôt l’été , which only seemed to spawn a forum board of Steam users expressing frustration, confusion and many ranking threads that start at crappy art-house game and scales all the way up to “2 deep 4 you”.
In The Note you're at least a character you can recognize as an individual who can move on a path towards a destination. What that destination is falls to the discretion of the player. What players do falls, once again, to the discretion of the player. How players get to where they feel they need to go, of course, falls to the discretion of the player. The only thing that is certain is the poetry that unfolds as decisions are made.
Making an interactive poetry game centered around a side-scrolling exploration game is a ballsy move. While some may label this as art-house junk, I'm at least inclined to find the concept intriguing enough to warrant further exploration. With that said, Motamot is hoping to get their game greenlit for Steam via the Greenlight process and they're planning on having the game available for free.
The experience will only be about eight minutes long and centers around Rabindranath Tagore's 'Peace, My Heart'. It is, in every sense of the visual and textual descriptors, an interactive poem made in the art form of a video game.
How well this experiment works is anyone's guess, but I'm glad someone decided to do something a little more accessible than Bientôt l’été, while still keeping on the same style. It's not quite as poignant looking as The Novelist but maybe it isn't trying to be?
You can toss a vote the way of The Note if you think this game deserves to be on Steam by visiting the official Greenlight page.