One and One Story

Played One and One Story this morning. It’s one of those games that uses game mechanics as a way to communicate something about the story. So your two little people are in love and thus if the girl one sees the boy one she “comes running” – both romantic and mechanical. And sometimes they “go in opposite directions” – emotional and mechanical. And so forth, that’s the game to the extent that I played a few levels of it. It’s a valiant idea, I think, but I also don’t think it works in the slightest – I suppose because the metaphorical connections made between mechanics and romantic/emotional concept are simply so heavy-handed. Whereas in Passage I find the basic connection between spatial navigation and life fairly effective, particularly because it has secondary entailments, the ideas in One and One Story felt too unsubtle. It’s very nicely done and everything, but it feels like another puzzle game with a nice enough narrative pasted a bit awkwardly on, as we see with FPSes and their stories, generally. I think that in principle this idea of mechanics as metaphorical vehicles (or is that tenors?) can absolutely work, at least, and it’s good to see people pushing on it.

5 March 2012
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