This column wasn’t the one I had planned to write this week. In fact, I hadn’t played the game until this past weekend. I wanted to get the outstanding reviews out of the way, so I focused all my energy on playing them. I played The Path last.
I try to write a review of a game in the mind of all the criticism I’ve thrown at other game reviewers over the past few years and hoe to do it better. What would be the point if I didn’t take that into consideration? Sometimes I do well at expressing the qualities of a game making it worth your time and sometimes it ends up as a mess. With The Path I wrote those first two paragraphs in whole and found myself about 500 words short of a full review. I had considered not describing the whole game, but not for long. There wasn’t enough that I could say by writing everything that happens, what good would it do to be cryptic. Then I considered what the purpose of the game was. It wasn’t about surprise. It had the structure of a joke, but wasn’t aiming for humor. The presentation wanted me to take it seriously.
So I kept the full description and added my thoughts on the game’s point and found myself still short. So I did the only thing I could do: wax philosophic about the presentation of indie games and the point of experimental fare. Now suddenly it was getting a might too long, I was getting short on time and if I reworked parts of it that I could make it my column for the week.
I figured I should ask permission, because I was playing a review copy. But the game is free and my editor was perfectly fine with me going in that direction. Then I spent the next 4 hours doing my best to ensure I wasn’t completely off my rocker with some of my declarations and descriptions at the end. I ended up cutting it down a lot. I haven’t said everything I want to say in this line of thinking. The fact that it hasn’t come up before is making me a little nervous. I did this sort of thing last year and ended up not writing for several months in stagnation. I don’t want to go down this road again if I’m so utterly, obviously misinformed.
So, please read it and tell me if I am off my rocker.