In these summer months, the lead up to the explosion of games in October, there’s not a lot of new games to play, especially on the Xbox One or PlayStation 4. If you’ve got a PC, the Steam sale helps, but it doesn’t solve the problem. No, when you need new games these days, you have to really look.
So, let me help you.
If you’ve got a PC (graphical power doesn’t matter here) and a spare 10 minutes, you could play a beautiful little game called Distance. Download it here. It was made by three people–graphic designer Natalie Hanke (her first game!), Gunpoint developer Tom Francis, and Luftrausers composer Jukio Kallio–for the Space Cowboy Game Jam.
It’s a game about memories, what happens when we recall them, and how they affect our view on the world. Hanke’s massive, neon desert landscapes are stunning and are given a pulse with Kallio’s textural soundtrack. The grains of sand form a constellation on the earth the main character’s stand on. And almost all of the scenes hug a massive sun glaring down at them. I’d like to print these images out and put them on a wall.
Play it again, and it gets harder to tell if your choices are fragments of a truth or completely false.
It’s indie but it’s not artificially complex or pretentious. It’s poetic, but not obtuse. It’s also free, like the rest of the games submitted to the game jam.
Distance, along with some other games from the event, is being shown at the Marfa Film Festival in Marfa, Texas until July 6.
It’s easy to miss that many games that get released every month. They often fall under the waves of all the big, blockbuster games. Sometimes it’s fun to stumble upon something that hasn’t yelled at you for six months before it’s out. Something that is waiting to be found. Because the hidden gems don’t have marketing campaigns.