Thirty Flights of Loving: 3/10
Perhaps it was because I had gone into the game with high expectations (friends saying it was great, Extra Credits recommending it, and it having an overall 88/100 Metacritic score), but I expected a great game. A good game. At least a decent game… when I beat the game, I had a sour taste in my mouth, exclaiming “what the ♥♥♥♥? That’s it?!? …”. It’s difficult to say that I feel “burned” in my purchase due to the fact that I paid about $1.50 and the fact that I didn’t do any research other than “other people generally like it” (something I would chastise someone else doing)…but I feel incredibly disappointed in the game.
The first thing that I simply must state is the fact that it is short. I was “warned” of this beforehand, and I was cool with it. I’m fine with short games, so long as they “last” a bit (my view is one hour, thirty minutes and on is acceptable in most circumstances)…but this game lasted exactly 12 minutes. Yeah…12 minutes, from when I started it, to when I was done with the entire game. The ♥♥♥♥? I confused about the plot and game in general (I’ll discuss that shortly), so immediately after the game was over, I decided I was going to play it again to see what I was missing. Surely I missed something in regards to the plot or something. Thankfully, I thought, there’s a developer commentary, and so I selected that. Now, normally, this does a lot for me; as someone who’s obtained a degree in the field I find these things fascinating… but I was immensely disappointed in the commentary. Most of it was describing things that frankly wasn’t interesting (“Normally, ninety-degree angled hallways aren’t great, but after adding a bevel…”, “…I don’t approve of littering.”, etc.) and even after stopping to listen to the commentary, not only did it not shed any more light on the plot, but it lasted 15 minutes (with me taking my time and exploring, too). That adds up to 27 minutes. For beating the game twice. That’s not acceptable.
I was interested in reading some of the critic’s comments on why they enjoyed the game, and a reoccurring theme was that they enjoyed the ambiguous nature of the story, and the frequent use jump-cuts. I didn’t. Let me explain what happens in the story (spoilers, obviously
): you start in a hallway, letting you learn the controls of the game (WASD for movement, mouse for camera, tough stuff). You then enter a bar, unable to interact with any of the characters, who oddly stare into your soul. All you can do is consume alcohol (which does nothing, I add, other than disappearing and making a sound), and interact with a fake painting (which is among numerous paintings), opening up a secret passage, leading to the introduction of two characters (which is, admittedly, my favorite part of the game, although that’s not saying much). After this, you board a plane, and, after you leave, you’re immediately thrown into an unknown situation: your romantic interest is pointing a gun at you, in a strange location, and bloody. This is just a short summary of what you’ll encounter. And, sadly, this is about a third of the game. There’s so many random cuts to different parts of the story that you never really learn enough about the characters to care about them (and, I’m not sure if I’ve emphasized this already, but the game is short). Perhaps, in a strange way, peeling oranges with your loved one might be an intimate moment between two characters and the player, but when you’ve known the character for about two minutes, it didn’t mean anything to me. Also, I simply have to pose the question: why the hell were there three rooms dedicated to “Bernolli’s Principle” (something to do about high and low air pressure)?
So…yeah…I tried to be objective about this game and find redeeming qualities, but I just don’t see any. I mean, it’s a functional game, I guess…?TL;DR: Literally twelve minutes long, extremely brief and ambiguous plot, commentary about 90 degree hallways. Don’t waste your time with this game, no matter the price. Had I known what I know now, I wouldn’t have played the game even if it was free.
Posted: February 17th, 2014