We're reporting back on a handful of the most interesting games at Rezzed 2016, in a series of short hands on impression pieces. Look out for me over the next week.
Are you breathing right now? Blinking? Focus on your breathing. Breath in. Count to five, breath out. Count to five. Keep doing that while you read this.
I've not gone a bit funny, I'm just trying to share a secret with you that I learnt while playing Manual Samuel, Perfectly Paranormal's game about, well… looking after someone. Really looking after someone.
See, you have to look after every single one of his needs, starting at the most base level, with breathing and blinking. Don't breath and you'll choke to death and die, don't blink and your eyes will slowly turn red and the screen will get fuzzy.
Once you've done this, you'll be onto the game itself, working out how to stand up, brush your teeth and take a shower, all while trying to keep your balance, breathing and blinking as and when you need.
It's Samuel's fault. After being flattened by a car, he gets an offer he can't refuse from the devil; live for a single day performing every single action manually or spend an eternity in hell as one of satan's playthings.
As a result, this is an adventure game where you have to control every single aspect of your player. Walk with an odd rhythm or forget to adjust your back and you'll collapse onto the floor in a choking mess.
The cartoonish art-style is great, although i'm less of a fan of it's gross comedy. We only got to see the start of the game at Rezzed and it's not sure how much more will resort to base humour, but the rest of it has that QWOP charm where doing simple human activites becomes hilarious because of how inept most players are at it.
It's a fair comparison, Manual Samuel was described as "Monkey Island meets QWOP" by its creators and it seems they're trying to create an adventure game that elicits the same sort of chuckles as that classic game while also getting laughs out of Samuel flailing around wildly.
Manual Samuel comes to consoles and PC this summer, published by Curve Digital. Keep an eye out for it.