For my Design tools, I had to analyze two games, Spent and Passage. You can play these games in the links provided:
The idea behind this game is to educate the audience on the difficulties that people with low income have. This works perfectly because the designer forces the player to take the role of someone who’s having financial problems and makes the player feel that he is in a real life situation! The game tries to shock us and it made me feel very uncomfortable because it felt like I was the person that couldn’t pay the gas bill or attend my son’s play and this particular media works perfectly because you have the feeling that it’s happening to yourself, while any other type of media, it would be more difficult to understand how the population with these types of income truly lives. Educate by experiencing and that can only be achieved if you play a game! The message that the game wants to send to us is clear: With low income, no choice is the good one. You will have either emotional problems (You can’t do anything with friend or family) or financial problems (you can’t pay your bills!). The game is supposed to shock the audience and it does that perfectly because you become aware of what’s going on in real life. Implementing the information and statistics during the game, was the best way to make the player read it, because it’s in-game information. Would you have paid so much attention if it was written on a piece of paper? I wouldn’t. The dark background clearly shows a negative message, the appearance of the game strikes us immediately as serious and depressing, which is what life is for some people. The designers behind this game made an excellent job, entertain while educating.
This game sends us a clear philosophical message about life. My interpretation is that the designers of this game want to show us that there are numerous paths through life with obstacles in any path you chose. As you walk through the game, you will encounter more and more obstacles (like in your life as you get older) and you have to get past them to proceed. The game, being a picture of life, ends of course as we all will: death. The two characters die, the end will always be the same, even if you chose to go through life alone or with someone you love. You can explore all the paths, but the ultimate end is the same for everyone, no matter what were your choices during life. The designers tell us that by showing us a nice evolution of the characters, the loss of hair, getting thinner and even with a curved back. You start alone, as in real life, you aren’t born with a partner, you walk through life with that partner who will eventually die and you will be alone again, it’s the cycle of life. The game allows us to go in a lot of directions because it’s what you can do in real life, you are not limited to one straight line, you can go anywhere and any way you want, however time does not stop. Same happens here, go wherever it pleases you, but you should be aware that whatever the paths you take, time doesn’t forgive and you will eventually grow old and die. The score points probably are a sign of how well you lived your life. Though this game sends a philosophical message, it took me three or four times to understand and clearly see (in full screen only!) the evolution of the characters, only then was I able to understand what the purpose of this game was. I think it could have been made it clearer, even if it’s unique by being pixelated, it’s an eye-sore and I don’t think the music depicts clearly the walk through life. However they achieved their main goal: showing how you can walk through life and obstacles, with or without a partner, explore, gather points or achievements in your life, but in the end you will die.