This week a new game appeared in the app store, and it is so different, so creative, and just so pretty to look at, I feel compelled to post about it. It is made by Chillingo, a company that makes quality games, such as Cut the Rope.
It’s called The Act, and it is a glorious animated story about a hapless fellow named Edgar. In each scene, Edgar interacts with the other characters around him as he moves through a story. It is your job to make him interact “properly”. For instance, when he flirts with a nurse, it must be just right. Too much effort and Edgar will scare her off, and if he is too timid, then she’ll be bored. Gentle hints appear at points if the game feels you need a little help.
Moving your finger to the right or to the left, eventually you will get Edgar to appropriately interact with the other characters. When you get it perfect, the game cleverly moves onto the next scene, and it is delightful to watch.
I love it when an app is simple. The Act meets that criterion, in that your only control is a left-right swipe. Move your finger to the left and Edgar calms down. Move your finger to the right and he gets more active. (It is fun to swipe dramatically to the left or right just to watch the wonderful animation!) Yet this single movement is also surprisingly difficult. You’ll watch the other characters for clues, and strive to get Edgar to behave properly within each scene.
And getting it “just right” is all the fun. The characters are beautifully drawn, and their actions and reactions are funny and clever. While this is not of the “best game ever” category, it is so delightful to look at, so much fun to watch and manipulate, it was well worth the download.
In this scene below, Edgar is trying to fit in with these doctors so he won’t be noticed as an impostor. At one point, the doctors all laughed, and since I didn’t make Edgar laugh enough, he’s not “fitting in”. You can see by the look on his face, this scene is not going to end well! When I finally got it right, and Edgar moved on, there was a solid sense of satisfaction and anticipation for what’s next.
I’ve never seen anything like this. So far I’ve only played through several screens, but I understand the game is rather short. However, for a casual only-sometimes gamer like me, I’m sure I’ll be playing it for quite a while.
The Act is $2.99 and you can see more pictures of scenes here
update 6/26: I finished this game VERY quickly. It is extremely short. Fun, beautiful, clever, but …. short.