PC, Mac, Linux
After yesterday’s trip down The Corridor, I’ve another high-concept first-person peculiarity for you, with 2017’s Eponymous: In Which A Work Is Known By Its Reading. A ridiculous title that makes sense when you’ve finished it. And by “makes sense” I mean, it doesn’t.
Eponymous is a first-person short adventure, set in a world that looks like it was built in Minecraft, but a bad Minecraft. Something is very wrong in there, which is contradicted by the happy-go-lucky tone of the distracted guide, a voice that occasionally accompanies you as you explore the corridors and rooms. And then reaffirmed by the other voice.
This is, on some level, a little puzzle box. It’s a network of rooms and halls that you can explore in more detail the more movement options you unlock. You begin being given WASD, and then a sprint, later a jump, and so on. As you reach each of these, you’ll see paths impassable until they’re collected, and then head back to explore what was inaccessible before. And along the way you’ll hear the friendly chatter of your guide, both when he intends you to, and when he keeps accidentally leaving his mic live. Oh, and then sometimes you’ll hear the other voice.
It would be going far too far to describe this game as “scary”. There are no jump scares, no moments of horror, nothing like that. It’s just “wrong”. Slightly off. It’s unsettling. And it’s also peculiar. Lasting under an hour, it’s well put together, an efficient use of space as your roamable territory expands, with some neat woozy effects and fantastic music that help with that creepy atmosphere.
This is from Minor Key Games, who blew everyone away with 2013’s Eldritch Reanimated, and have since put out a series of very odd little projects, none of which have really caught on. In amongst them is Eponymous, which also received seemingly no attention at all, which is a shame – it deserves some, hence my highlighting this now. And for a couple of pounds, it’s an hour’s oddness well spent.
- Minor Key Games
- Official Site
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For what it’s worth, the second screenshot of the room with the red curtains is a direct reference to Twin Peaks. It’s almost an 1:1 recreation apart from the colder tone of the lights (and being very blocky). Not sure if that gets us closer to understanding it though…
That final screenshot screams Twin Peaks – and while I love a lot about Twin Peaks, I tend to dislike obvious references without any element of transformation. They’re too close for me to people who can have entire conversations just quoting their favourite movie or TV show.
I have stumbled on a game that scratch the same itch like this one. It’s called Transcender and I can’t put it in words. You don’t exactly understand what is happening, but you feel like there is a tonne of possibilities and there is always something next, until it suddenly ends. It’s something magical.