Game: Statues

Time to Play: 1 Minute

In what is potentially the shortest game in this list, Statues tells the story of a King. All you do is press the spacebar to progress the dialogue. But it somehow becomes something more than that.

A gaming vignette, this experience is only a minute long. And if you’re a fast reader, it could be even less than that. However, in my first playthrough, I didn’t want to skip through to the end.

I’d recommend going and playing it before reading any further. Just because it’s a fascinating experience to play through without spoilers.

SPOILER DISCUSSION BELOW


Developed by Space Backyard, the same developer that created Like Roots in Soil, this game offers a fascinating short story, that effectively implicates the player through its creative use of incredibly limited interactivity.

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As theplayer, you only press the spacebar to hear the King’s thoughts. But every time you let go, the crowd - baying for your blood - inch closer. The flames increasingly fill the darkness as more and more pitchforks advance on our helpless King. You don’t want to let go towards the end, as you see the crowd inevitably advance.

Also, it’s hard to not feel sorry for this poor King. He speaks of holding a party. A luxury extravagance for all of his followers, filled with party music, food, and where he will even sing them a lullaby once they fall asleep.

But is he lying?

Is he just bargaining with them?

Or does he genuinely wish things hadn’t come to this? Did he have genuinely good intentions?

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And just as the crowd is in reaching distance, the King reflects on himself. He accepts that he was the ‘Hog’. He was the one who owned all the luxuries, as he stands in bright technicolour whilst all else are in a poverty-stricken grey. And, just as the only interaction with the game brings the baying mob closer, the King seems to accept his own inevitability. As you let go of the spacebar for the final time, he must let go too.

And so, the crown falls.

Kings and Q’s:

  • What is your favourite short game?
  • What’s the worst thing to have ever been spoiled for you?
  • What’s your biggest luxury item?