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Friday, 1 November 2013

Good Grief!

Yikes!  This isn't a cheerful happy game...

"Grief is a 2D, sidescrolling platform game in which you take the role of a small child whom recently lost its father in cancer due to a long time habit of smoking and is now going through the five stages of grief. The five stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, and every stage is represented in the game as a playable level. Through the use of not only graphics, music and a compelling story but also through the use of the games mechanics an emotional experience is created for the player."

There's a good reason for the lack of laughs here though - indie game devs Tarhead Studios, made up of a group of students in Skövde, Sweden, want to show the world that video games can be much more than just a toy or entertanment; they feel it is a medium with real potential to explore deep and serious themes in the way that people already accept can be done in books and movies.  Perhaps even more so, because video games are more interactive.

It's certainly an interesting idea - and serious themes have been dealt with before successfully in games of course, so it's not completely a journey into the unknown.   Grief also comes with a solid track record - the game has won two awards, Swedish Game Awards: Best Scenario 2013 and Skövde Academic Game Award 2013.  In doing so it has been praised mainly for its deep and unique theme, its captivating musical and graphical elements and its innovative use of the game medium.

Check out the trailer below and head over to Desura, where Grief can be bought for a cheap and cheerful (sorry, couldn't resist!) price.  It's current 15% off so only £1.69.  Review coming as soon as I can catch up with some of the others I've got to do...

Gameplay Trailer - Desura

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