Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Blueberry Garden

Erik Svedang. Game designer and instructor at the University of Skövde in Sweden.

His newest game, Blueberry Garden, was released earlier today on Steam, and at the very affordable price of $4.99 I said "Why not?"

After stretching the 1-2 hour game into a solid four hours, enjoying each moment as much as the last, I'm left wondering: "Why isn't there more?" This isn't a criticism of Erik's work, though, but a question aimed at the game industry at large. Why is it that a few small indie developers can breathe life into an otherwise dead industry, when the large developers can't? Certainly it's not for a lack of creativity; and while profit margins dictate the newest games on the shelves, the majority of them feel empty by comparison.

Take World of Goo, for instance, developer 2D Boy's tour de force. Wildly successful, yet so very simple. And here we have Blueberry Garden: for the first time since Jason Rohrer's Passage, I was genuinely moved by a video game (not, perhaps, in exactly the same manner, but the effects were the same). As a bird-like creature set loose in a strange, unfamiliar world, you must explore - and build - within the Blueberry Garden to find the source of your troubles and escape into the sky. With a fully realized ecosystem, simple platforming gameplay, and a powerful piano arrangement by Daduk, the Blueberry Garden truly is a wonder to behold, as compelling as it is beautiful.

The demo is on Steam, and is absolutely a must for anyone who would argue the validity of games as art. And please, consider purchasing the full version; the gaming world needs more developers like Erik.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow man love the art style! It looks like fun and I love simple games like that. World of Goo was awesome and now I feel like i should go play it the rest of the way through. Your right with all the next GEN stuff out now the gaming world really does need more simple games like world of Goo and BBG. Ill have to check this lil diamond in the rough out.

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Nick Woll grew up in the Florida Keys, and is furthering himself in the fields of writing, software development, and web design. You can contact him at nwoll27 at gmail dot com.