Free Games I Like: Small Worlds

Written by Joe Martin

November 5, 2009 | 11:51

Tags: #art #free-games #free-games-i-like #games-i-like #games-i-own #independant #pixel

Companies: #games #indie

This blog post will be, like the game it’s about, small. I don’t really have a huge amount to say about Small Worlds, which was developed for a recent Casual Games Competition with the theme 'Explore', other than that it’s a remarkably elegant and effective piece of pixel-art brilliance.

A game which only ever alludes to having a deeper plot, Small Worlds opens with a single line before jumping to the gameplay – “There is too much noise”.

The gameplay itself is simple. At the start of each of the five levels the viewpoint is zoomed in on you – a small red line with a pale face and zero animation. The aim of each level is then to find the exit, which returns you to a hub level before you move on to the next world. There’s no fighting, no skill trees and no enemies. It’s just a gentle and rather lovely paced matter of exploration.
Free Games I Like: Small Worlds Free Games I Like: Small Worlds
Showing anything more would be a spoiler

What makes Small Worlds so striking though, apart from the fantastic soundtrack and pixel-art, is the way the levels are unveiled. Rather than having a static perspective that follows the player, every time you move towards the edge of the screen in Small Worlds you end up pushing back the camera and zooming the view out.

Navigation thus becomes it’s own reward, weaving a powerfully underplayed plot and creating a rare gracefulness that’s quite hypnotic.

In essence; Small Worlds is a very good game that takes about five minutes to play and which leaves a very strong impression. I like it. You should play it.
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