Have You Played... The Path?

Weird artsy video games have been as soon as laborious to seek out. The Path got here out in early 2009, simply because the indie sport renaissance was kicking off, and though we’d seen video games Trying To Say Something earlier than, I hadn’t seen something as experimental and darkish and obscure as this.

You select one in every of six ladies (sisters? The similar woman at totally different ages? Archetypes of girlhood?) and management all of them in flip as they Red Riding Hood their option to Grandma’s home. You should keep on the trail, however when you do what you’re advised you get there safely and the sport informs you that you simply’ve failed. You’re meant to seek out the wolf. But there isn’t a wolf.

I used to be by no means certain how I felt about it.

On the floor, it’s about main every woman to a horrible dying (and typically implied sexual abuse). That sounds cheesy and exploitative and low cost, however The Path is none of these issues. That studying of the sport is clumsy and literal and clueless, however to say what it’s actually about is to interpret, and to try this is to instantly diverge with what different gamers will conclude about what’s occurring.

You’ll most likely discover anybody speaking about it with these sorts of meandering, unsure, artsy phrases. If there’s one factor we’ll all agree on it’s that there’s little or no “game” right here within the conventional sense, and if it has a style it’s most likely interactive fiction. You work together with lots of what you’ll discover if you inevitably depart the trail and begin wandering the woods by letting go of the controls, and sure, it completely is a bit wanky and overdoes its subversive efforts at instances. But it’s memorable and splendidly uncomfortable in a constructive, thought-provoking method. It’s most likely my favorite horror sport.

I don’t suppose I prefer it. I wish to play it once more. It’s a bizarre one.