Today’s post is a guest post from Ninety Nine Percent Gaming – a site which I love. They have a tonne of articles, features and reviews with unique and well substantiated opinions. Click here to visit their site.
We all have our dark times, days when we feel as if we’re walking around in a dream and even familiar faces feel vaguely sinister. Coma, the free P.C game created by Thomas Brush, encapsulates this sense of dread perfectly. What’s even more impressive however, is that it does so in half an hour or less.
Stylized and highly beautiful, Coma has a film noir – like art direction, reminiscent of Limbo that lulls the player into a trance like state. The game opens in a dilapidated house with only a few rays of light filtering through the darkness. The journey through this somber and tired house out into the open reminded me of falling asleep. The transition from stillness and quiet into an ethereal world full of wonderful things is a journey I take every night, and Coma allowed me to travel here while awake.
The game takes a minimalist approach to story, feeding the player slivers of plot as you jump and solve your way through increasingly taxing puzzles. The game isn’t particularly difficult nor the puzzles original, but these nuggets of information compel you to keep playing even when the way forward isn’t particularly clear.
The characters in the game are interesting; each one exuding a particular element of personality. It’s as if they’re all splinters of the character’s psyche, displaying unique sides to his mind. You have the father, a gruff man with threatening undertones, the greedy friend and the always present, paranoid Bird. I literally saw my fears and paranoia circling my head as I progressed through this game.
The game’s ending is left open to the player’s own interpretation, with several questions left unanswered. Coma manages to touch on religious themes and dealt without coming across as preachy or lazy. The character’s journey deep into his own mind to come to an understanding with the world is well thought out and powerfully executed. Your character jumps to lofty heights in the clouds and also dives deep underground to fully realize his situation. Coma in this sense works on many levels.
Coma’s simple use of light and dark in these areas adds to the dream feel, highlighting the fragility of the character’s mind. It’s thought out characters whisper half truths born in sleep, and it’s journey for understanding takes the player to a world so well conceived it’s as if Thomas Brush simply invited us unto his imagination. It’s a tragic, beautiful journey that ends far too quickly. Then again, so do all great things.