Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Michelin Game - Windosill

One of the joys of the Apple AppStore is discovering the sheer amount of indie games that have been created by brilliant and talented individuals.

One of these talents goes by the name of Patrick Smith, who happens to be an equally brilliant artist in his own right, and hails from New York. He first started developing games on the Flash platform before porting them over the iOS devices.

His games are distinguished by a very unique art style that combines elements of surrealism and Pixar-like animation that has to be seen to fully appreciate the breathtaking beauty of it.

My favorite game of his is called Windosill, which is really, an amazing experience that transcends a traditional video gaming experience. While the rest of the world are caught up in the puzzle gaming world of the Angry Birds franchise, I have been totally enraptured by a different puzzle gaming experience in Windosill.

Surrealistic Graphics

Patrick Smith does not provide much information about his games, and the fun in this is to discover the purpose of the game by yourself. In fact, I am trying not to give too much away here about the background of Windosill as it is best experienced without any prior knowledge of what it is all about.

A Combination Of Puzzle and Mystery

All I can say is it involves getting a toy car that bellows virtual smoke from one screen to the next. And in order to achieve that, you will have to solve a unique and specific puzzle in each room.

At first, each room seems almost impossible to solve as there is virtually no hint at all. But as you poke around, or tap around, you discover that almost every object can be interacted with, and as you experiment further, it becomes more evident as to the objective of solving each room.

Clever And Charming

What amazes me here is really the quality of the artwork, which looks simplistic at first glance, but it is actually quite deceptively complex. The animation is so charming and lifelike at times, that I compare it to the level of a Pixar animated short with its amazing wit and charm.

The only downside to Windosill is its brevity. Playing through the entire game will likely take you only an hour, though you will find yourself stuck at some point and return to the game at a later stage.

Despite the length, the entire experience is unlike any puzzle game I have ever encountered, and will leave you thinking about Windosill long after you have finished the last puzzle.

Windosill is only available on the iPad, and is fully optimized for the new Retina Display. And it looks amazingly beautiful on the high resolution screen. It comes with a few extras, like a sketchbook and an option to turn on translucent vectors for you to see how the objects look like in a kind of wireframe graphics mode.

While Angry Birds might be getting the attention as the most downloaded puzzle game ever, Windosill deserves attention as well for its brilliance in its puzzle construction and art designs. In fact, Windosill is as close to video gaming art as it gets.

Windosill (US$2.99) - Click here to download the game.

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