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Archived posts: Games

Limbo

We don’t cover games much here on We Made This, but every now and again a really distinctive game comes along that really deserves a wider audience, and Limbo is just such a game.

The game has recently been released on Xbox Live Arcade by Copenhagen games studio Playdead,  and it’s a truly beautiful experience. The game is a 2D platform game, where the main protagonist is a small boy who awakes in a sinister and gloomy forest. You  guide the boy through the forest, and through a series of increasingly complex puzzles. The whole game is set in a stunning black and white landscape (Jim Jarmusch’s film Dead Man leaps to mind), and the boy is animated like a sort of shadow-puppet Pinocchio, hopping and skipping his way through a world inhabited by giant spiders, gangs of other lost boys, and peril at every turn.

A truly great game – here’s hoping it crosses to other platforms mighty soon.

Flipping addictive

Adobe_flip

Okay, so cast your mind back to when you were, oh, say seven or eight. Remember how on the last few days of term at school you'd basically do no work, and mainly just played board games?

Nothing's changed.

It's so very nearly Christmas, and all across the land designers and project managers are desperately searching for ways to while away those last few hours before the next Christmas party. And heck, here come Adobe, riding in like some kind of well designed fairy godmother. 

They've created a disgustingly addictive online game in the form of Air Flip. It's showcasing their new Air technology, which lets people create cloud apps, but that's largely irrelevant. The fact is, this sucker will eat up all of your remaining hours till it's stocking time.

Give it a go. You won't regret it.

(Well, not immediately.)

7thsyndikate: the whole story

Regular readers of this blog will know that we've been mixed up in a fantastically engaging online campaign by a group called 7thSyndikate

We were initially sent an email from them at the beginning of September: 
"Don't turn away from your screen; they may already be watching. We like your type. You came to our attention while demonstrating your observational skills in finding what you need inside zone six, as well as having contacts further a field. In the next couple of days someone from our organisation will be in contact. If you don't hear from us by then, destroy all evidence of our correspondence. For now, it doesn't matter who we are, suffice to say we're a state-funded organisation interested in your skills."

It had the URL www.7thsyndikate.org in the footer, which revealed the following web page:

7thsyndikate1

The page had a hidden link on the word 'bright', which opened up a new window:
7thsyndikate2

And so, the game was afoot. 

A series of cryptic emails arrived in the following days, including one which said:

"Place the following message in a public communication to your comrades – dim3 ak7ion – this communication is sensitive, but shouldn't place you in direct danger."

This led us to make this post which then led to another email saying that we'd been activated as an agent, with the code-name TrouinVI-302. There were a few more online hoops to jump through, and one offline one, where a classified ad was placed in the London Lite newspaper:

7thsyndikate

The phone number led to a strange voicemail with heavy breathing and a protracted scream, but that was a bit of a red herring, as the text 'B1-Lancer' was a password to the next area of the website. You were then asked to find images tagged with your agent name on a selection of photo sharing websites, and these images were tagged with URLs of Google maps, indicating a secret rendezvous for all the agents, in the vicinity of the Albert Memorial.

Albert_memorial

Agents were asked to turn up in shades and a hat, carrying a newspaper under their arm; and to wait for a man in a bowler hat, a tan mac and dark shoes. They were then to follow his every move.

So at this point, we were thinking, well, it's been fun, but what's going to happen now that we're switching to the real world? There was a lot of online chatter about who was behind the campaign, and after a little careful digging we worked out who was behind it all. 

So we turned up, along with a gang* of 30 or so other bloggers, all looking a tad perplexed in shades and hats. After a brief while, the mysterious man showed up.

7thsyndikate3

He led the group (at a brisk pace) on a brief walkabout through the streets of Kensington, eventually arriving at an imposing front door:

7thsyndikate4

And so, the masterminds behind the game were revealed – the V&A.

The whole thing was a rather brilliant word-of-mouth campaign, or alternate reality game, from the folks at 1000 Heads, who'd been working for the V&A to drum up a bit of noise about their new Cold War Modern show (we'll be adding to that noise ourselves very shortly). 

It's the first time the V&A has done something like this, so we expect they were feeling more than a tad nervous about how it might turn out. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing, which pulled in bloggers and got them playing on a dedicated site, on Twitter, on Facebook, on Google maps, on Flickr, and a host of other places; and it felt like it fitted in perfectly with the style of the exhibition.

Top notch.

Read all about it at the 7thSyndikate site.
 
*What is the collective noun for a group of bloggers? A fodder? A post? A smug? Or perhaps an obsession?