By now you might have heard of You Have to Burn the Rope, the flash game which will become a new phenomenon for some time to come (though likely nowhere near the likes of Portal). I’m not sure how this sits with me, because I’m not sure people understand the game. Or perhaps I don’t understand it.
What I mean is that there is really nothing to understand about it. It is an incredibly simple, completely straightforward 30 second boss fight. Why are there video walkthroughs and FAQs and speedruns? Because every game, no matter how big or small, seems to attract this kind of attention and scrutiny. Is it stupid? Hell yes, as stupid as it is that so many other games are treated as such. Sure we could do without the creators and their friends trying to be so cute and clever, but the fact that we will likely see 50 or so similar guides from people who also wish to be cute and clever is even sadder.
And what, exactly, is the message behind the game? You tell me. I see a game that says “why the fuck do these measly weapons ever hurt these giant boss creatures? Why not just drop a chandelier on its fucking head? That will kill almost anything!” And so that is what the game does. Congratulations; you won.
But I am quite prepared for a deluge of analysis about how this is a critique of game design. Why can’t it just be a neat idea presented in as much time as it needs? Why must there be discussion on what its length means, as opposed to just taking the creator’s word that they didn’t feel like making anything longer?
Enjoy as this gets beaten and ground into the concrete, and every semblance of humor or intrigue goes away. Lord knows it wouldn’t be the first time.
Why can’t things ever be simple?