Frame Of Mind

PC, free

This is a spectacular creation – a puzzle game set in physics-defying, sometimes non-Euclidean, reality-adverse set of locations. All in blue and white, to enormously strong effect, it both looks beautiful and plays beautifully. Which makes the fact that it’s a second year student project really quite the thing.

It doesn’t matter how often I see it in games, I just love those moments where walking around four left turns doesn’t bring you back to where you started, but above, or below, instead. Frame Of Mind starts off with ideas like that, and then expands on the notion in really interesting ways.

There’s a section where looking at the ceiling means falling toward it until it becomes your new floor. There’s another where free-standing archways in the middle of rooms lead to alternate versions of the same space. But it’s not just the cool gimmicks, they’re used really smartly too. I’ve never seen a game have a puzzle solved by manipulating the two realities either side of the magic door, and it’s done so well here. Especially as that moment also combines the excellent previous device of blocks and walls that only exist/act on the physical world when they’re looked at.

The art choice really boosts so much of this. Not only the cunning use of a single blue colour, allowing foregrounds and backgrounds to blend in novel ways, but also the brilliant hand-drawn pencil line look of the assets. And more than that, the way the assets are used is so fascinating, scenes decorated by objects out of place, in ways that tell little surreal tales of their own. I especially liked the two televisions sat on a sofa, watching a pot plant. Also there are toilets in toilets, and all games should include toilets in toilets.

Running at about an hour long, that this is free feels such a brutal shame, but invariably the correct thing to do with a student project where there’s no actual company registered behind it. Still, if they’ve any sense they’ll form one themselves and embellish this into something even longer and more involved. Because this is a huge demonstration of talent, and extremely worth your time.

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1 Comment

  1. Very nice, and free! I hope talented people who develop stuff and give it away for free like this, get some kind of payback in life generally.

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