Undertale is weird and disorienting.
However, it’s easy to be mislead by its aesthetics if one knows nothing about what this game really is about. On the surface, it looks like an old school RPG game with a traditional combat system. Since I hadn’t read a lot about it before playing, it took me some time to realize that the occasional deviations from the genre weren’t just out of a gratuitous weirdness, but that they were actually helping in making a point at a deep level.
Undertale is not just a game where you fight. It’s a game about fighting (and not fighting). Which I had never seen before.
In this article I would like to reflect on some of the quirks that surprised me the most, and on some of the components that help reinforcing the theme.
On these Attention War days, where everything’s eye-candied and stunning visuals try to stand out in the noise, Thomas was Alone comes as a rarity.
This is definitely not one of those games that sells itself on the screenshots:
And don’t misunderstand me. I find the art direction of this game to be quite sophisticated in its simplicity, but its visuals, including both environments and characters, rely the appeal of the experience on abstraction.
What is the game about?
It’s actually… about whatever you want it to be!
I was instantly inspired and delighted when I saw Hidden Folks for the first time.
It took place like a “boy/girl falls in love with boy/girl” scene, where you just see him/her at the other side of the room at a party (or Gamescom indie booth in this case), and you instantly realize you’re just meant for each other.
You do what’s possible to get the contact details to stay in touch (or these amazing promo cards), and then you start hoping you’ll cross paths again soon.
That’s the power of love, my friends. At least,the power of game designer/game love.