Friday, April 13, 2012

Freaky Friday

This Freaky Friday I've decided to feature something other than paintings/drawings. Instead, I'd like to bring a certain game to your attention.
It's called The Endless Forest. It's a social game that can be run either on its own, or set as a screensaver. Effectively, an MMORPG, but very different from what you'd expect from the genre.

What makes it interesting? Well, you play as a nameless deer. All other players can recognize you by is the unique glowing symbol that sometimes appears above your head. You can communicate only through body language and generic animal noises. You can do a bit of magic as well. Nothing harmful, mainly stuff that can change either yours or other players' appearance. There are no objectives in the game other than exploring the forest and hanging out with your fellow deer.
The forest has a couple of landmarks. Mainly a ruin and statues. You can read more about it in the wiki article

And, more importantly, what makes it freaky? Well.... they've got human faces! At what point did that seem like a good idea, I ask you! Stick a human face on anything other than a human and you'll end up with something creepy!  If you like the look, however, you can find some more screenshots, as well as the actual concept art, here.

My thoughts? Well, I have tried playing "The Endless Forest" a while back (at least 4 or 5 years ago). It doesn't look like it's changed much though. While I like the idea behind it, I didn't think much of the game itself.

Sure, having a screensaver that "transports you to a magical place" is fun and all. Especially since your character can't be harmed when you're away. But, having a screensaver that has to load and refuses to easily go away can get really annoying. Sure, you can play it as an application, but I don't think it offers enough to be a standalone game.

As for the social aspect of it, I think there simply isn't enough you can do with other players. Sure, I like the idea of limited communication, which adds to the illusion, so to say. It also means that annoying idiots can't ruing the game for you. But I just think that Journey does it better and simply is a better game in every respect. Sure, the forest is rather large for an open space, but you'll know your way around it in a day. Then what?

By the looks of things, "The Endless Forest" has not had a face-lift since it was released, so it doesn't exactly look breathtaking. I think it could have made up for the lack of activity with amazing graphics (I mean if it's an interactive screensaver, it's the looks that make or break it, right?). Since that's not the case, I think it's safe to say that there are much better time wasters out there.

So yeah. I don't care much for the game, even if find the idea interesting. But hey, feel free to give it a try if you like! It won't cost you anything.

Some areas in the forest grant random accessories. Masks are great. They hide the scary human faces!

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