An Adventure Spun From the Shards of a World: Revisiting ‘Loom’

Loom

There’s nothing quite like finishing a great game and then when you go to look for criticism of it, absolutely nothing comes up. In those cases there’s really nothing else you can do, but fill the void and write your own.

I played Loom several months ago and I finished it in a single evening. The only writing I could find on Loom was four reviews from the early 90s that were mentioned. I couldn’t even find the text. It’s rather disheartening, because I think Loom might deserve more praise than many of Lucas Arts other revered adventure games.

It’s one of those classics like Another World is sublime still all these decades later. It is also a product of its time. Loom is a brand of fantasy that isn’t seen much anymore. It’s a light, hero’s journey type quest, but the art direction and world have a much darker edge to it. It is also a very empty world, leaving the lore behind and focusing the story on the main character rather than having him be a conduit for actions to happen.

It’s a fantasy where magic feels magical. It has an air of mystery and specialness to it. It isn’t a medieval science. As a consequence it creates a world that feels much richer and much bigger than all the codex laden RPGs of present. It’s a game where things happen because of artistic necessity rather than fictional continuity.

Or at least that’s what I try to babble my way through in this week’s post at PopMatters.

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