Friday, March 13, 2015

Game Review: Sinister

"And then I died."

The other day I came across a little game called Sinister. It was made in 48 hours as part of the Ludum Dare competition. When I say a little game, I mean a game that you can literally beat in two minutes. That little. Yet, for some reason I keep playing it. I wonder why that is.

Sinister is as mysterious as it is short. You are a man, and you have died. Yet, somehow, a world is able to come back together around you, bred from your memories. Where are you? What is this world? You explore this world of memory, and after a short time you come across a girl standing over a grave. As she turns to look at you, the words appear.

"I said that you would never be alone."

And then the game ends, bringing you back to the title screen, leaving you to wonder what the heck just happened. However, the "ending" is not where the game ends, because the game actually works as an endless loop. The opening and ending lines go together, hand-in-hand. The girl is standing over your grave, because you have died.

"I said that you would never be alone...
...And then I died."

Could it be that your character is stuck in some sort of purgatory? The same dream of a partial world of memories playing itself over and over again? Or is there something more going on here? I played the game numerous times, trying everything I could think to try, just trying to find some answers. But no matter how much I've looked, I've found nothing more than what I already know.

What is it about this game that keeps drawing me back? Is it the mystery of it all? Is it the brilliantly haunting music? Is it the fact that no matter how many times I play it, I can't find the closure I'm searching for? It's probably all of these things combined.

The developer has in fact stated that he intends to expand on the story sometime in the future, and has stated on Twitter, "This is not the end of Sinister." This makes me both excited and cautious. Someday I may finally find the closure I need, but at the same time the game is brilliant as it is, because of the unanswered mystery of it all.

Regardless, you should consider spending two minutes of your time to play the game. Be warned, it may keep drawing you back, as it did me. That will probably not be the case—I'm just an oddball—but who knows.

Play the game online here.

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