By creating a meta-narrative and asking players to use the interface as objects, There Is No Game creates a fourth wall-breaking adventure game.
No game: wrong dimension is an adventure game like no other. The debut title from the developers Draw Me a Pixel, the game was released in 2020, a year that saw a host of moody and beautiful adventure games. There is no game brought a bright and humorous vibe to an otherwise rather severe year. But it wasn’t just the overall tone that set this game apart from the crowd, it was the game’s meta-gameplay and delivery of other genres.
The general narrative of No game: wrong dimension is ultimately a good old-fashioned adventure game. Players must find and neutralize Mr. Glitch, who is ruining their game and posing a threat to everyone in the world should he escape. They follow him through different games, interacting with the interface and behind-the-scenes footage to find him.
The first prominent feature of There is no game it is this kind of meta-interaction. Immediately after startup, players are repeatedly told that there is no game. They are encouraged to close the show because there will certainly be nothing to play with. After challenging the narrator and finding his way into the game, Mr. Glitch takes players on a journey through different types of games and computer systems.
Players watch a Sherlock Holmes adventure game on an old CRT, stealing parts of its interface while also working to change the scenery for their level from the back of the TV. In a fake RPG, players can grow and shrink the environment to reach the end and escape, and in this level’s free remix they can literally use their player’s health bar to collect items. There is also a level that is just a series of credits, where names can be swapped to reveal different interactive objects.
Breaking the fourth wall, making the game speak directly to the player, and allowing players to interact with the game in unexpected ways, adds a level of delight to There is no game. Most gamers will be familiar with the standard genre mechanics or playstyles, but seeing things like the expected premise of the adventure game or the seriousness of a reversed RPG narrative makes this game even more fun.
It also creates some really compelling riddles. While other games provide everything the player will need to progress within the limited world of the game, There is no game makes it clear that thinking outside the box is necessary – puzzles cannot be solved with just what’s in the game. This forces players to rethink common interactions like boss battles and approach their solutions from entirely new angles. Maybe it’s not about hitting hard and not getting hit; maybe it’s a bridge collapse at the right time.
The meta-narrative and complex puzzles suggest that Draw Me a Pixel had a lot of work to do. Not only did the studio have to create one game, it had to create several smaller games that could then be linked in the search for Mr. Glitch. This could easily lead to one-dimensional backgrounds with a focus on the main story, but instead, There is no game creates fully realized inner worlds that are often counterfeits of the genres on which they are based. Draw Me a Pixel did not phone anything in this game.
With a combination of intricate, fun and fully developed internal levels and the fun of playing with the meta-environment presented to you, There is no game creates an absolutely compelling experience. It’s funny that a game that tries to remind the player that they are only interacting with the code and breaking all kinds of rules can be so immersive, that it completely draws players into the game and the story.
Because There is no game requires players to think outside the box, it also relies on a robust suggestion system. At any time, players can select the “help” button for suggestions on how to proceed. This only works if they are on a screen that has interactive objects that are part of a puzzle, and the suggestions are visually associated with each object. With multiple suggestions available after a cooldown period, players can use this guide to help them think in the roundabout way the game requires. It can also help find the answer if a puzzle just doesn’t click with them.
This hint system is often necessary not because of poorly designed puzzles, but because There is no game it is based on mechanics and techniques that are not standard in the genre. Instituting a system that helps identify which objects to focus on with the push of the “help” button and a tiered system that gives little hints before revealing the answer makes this system easy to use without generating guilt, something that makes the game more accessible to all players.
With such a unique story and fully developed mechanics and style, it’s hard to believe that There is no game it almost didn’t happen. Developer Pascal Cammisotto released a free short version of this game in 2015 that stunned the world. Emboldened, he created a Kickstarter in 2016 to fund the creation of a larger game that was based on the same basic meta-concepts, but only posed around 10 percent of your goal. Camissotto continued to work on it anyway, founding Draw Me A Pixel in 2017 and eventually releasing There is no game as the studio’s debut title.
Despite these lackluster beginnings, There is no game It has been well received since its launch. He swept at The Adventure Gamers Aggie Awards, including the award for “Best Adventure of 2020.” Other criticisms I compared it positively with loved ones like Stanley’s Parable Y Under the story, recognizing the power and appeal of the meta nature of the game.
No game: wrong dimension asks players to reconsider what an adventure game can be and whether the setting of an adventure game can be an adventure game itself. This novel concept has run almost smoothly, with deep worlds that help bring the game to life. Along with extraordinarily fun mechanics and an ideal hint system to help players overcome this groundbreaking thinking, it’s no wonder that There is no game is a 2020 featured title.
Developed and published by Draw Me a Pixel, There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension is available now for PC, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
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