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If you have even the slightest interest in video games as more than just flippant distractions or inane wastes of time, or if you're even remotely curious about the narrative and emotional potential of video games beyond puerile power fantasies, you must play Gravity Bone. It's free, it's short, and it's damn well brilliant. What more do you need to know?

Created by Brendon Chung of LA based Blendo Games, Gravity Bone is best described as a first-person romp. As soon as the game loads, you're descending an elevator into The Saturday Club. The bombastic brass of a Xavier Cugat arrangement delights the ears as you infiltrate a swanky black tie affair populated with paper-craft patrons. You pull up a business card which instructs you to head to the furnace room for a spot of wet work. The mission? Deliver a bugged drink to a man with red hair. In equal measure you notice the security gaze following your every move and the stunt planes whizzing through the mountain air. Nothing makes sense, but it’s a charmingly imaginative experience. What a strange, wildly confident, and immaculately realized game.

Despite lasting only 15 minutes, Gravity Bone nevertheless has so many curious and fascinating little touches that it becomes endlessly engaging both in terms of presentation and gameplay. Its in medias res approach to what little narrative actually exists creates the sense of playing through select scenes in a grand espionage epic. And not only is that narrative seamlessly integrated with the gameplay, but so are the actual gameplay mechanics into its aesthetic design (“Safety first! Press [e] to use doorknobs”). It even allows freedom of perspective in scripted sequences, which still enables empathy even when control has been taken away for cinematic purposes. And to cap it all off, the final sequence is one of the most breathtaking gameplay experiences ever devised, fantastically executed in all its brevity, surrealism, and surprise.

Gravity Bone is an incredible game, remarkable for its subversive approach to first-person game design, beautiful construction, and taut composition. It's highly experimental and perhaps a bit rough around the edges, but its risks pay high dividends for those who are curious to explore its wonderfully wacky world of guns and glory. Few games leave an impression quite like Gravity Bone. While it may be a short ride, it's also free and provides an experience that won't soon be forgotten.

Visit http://blendogames.com/ to download Gravity Bone and see more of Brendon Chung's work.

Additional Info

  • Subtitle: A release from work and worry with Brendon Chung's Gravity Bone
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