You Have To Burn The Rope

The above video is the official walkthrough for this game and it shows you all of its content. You, a small pink dot with a funny hat, get thrown into a dungeon level, where immediately melodramatic music begins to play after you take your first step. Then as you go along the corridor, there are four announcements: 1. There’s a boss at the end of this tunnel; 2. You can’t hurt him with your weapons; 3. To kill him you have to burn the rope above; Have fun!

As you enter the last area, a trapdoor closes behind you, trapping you in a room with the grinning colossus, a big black square boss who shoots white circles at you. Don’t worry, however, you cannot die! If you get hit, you will blink, jump in the air and turn red before turning back to normal. You try your weapons on the boss, it won’t work. The only option you have is to burn the rope above the boss that will cause a chandelier to land on it, killing it and causing you to win the game. Then this happens:

The song is of course hilarious and it made me laugh. Yet I don’t see the innovation within this game. So let’s dig for a deeper message, see if that will explain why it deserves the innovation award from IGF. If you play the game on the official website, you can see a remark typed below the game window. It says: ‘Computer games are getting so hard these days…” The game can then be a reflection on this remark, stating that computer games should simplify, since they’ve gotten too hardcore. Or it could mean the opposite, explaining that computer games have gone soft on us and should become more hardcore. It could also a tribute to the old games, like Mario, Prince of Persia or Castlevania. Or it could have an even deeper meaning, but I don’t believe in looking for that many layers in games and I do believe Steven Poole was being sarcastic.

It’s still a briljant little game though. Kian Bashiri, the main designer, himself seems to be a little stunned that it’s nominated for an innovation award as he’s written on his blog. But he’s really proud of his creation and should be. I took a look at his other games and in Metro Rules of Conduct I really admire the way he has put his ideas about an issue in his daily life (in this case the code of conduct in the metro) in a gamedesign. It’s very basic and simple, yet meaningful and fun. Just like the rest of his games are, although it took me a while (1:39) to get to the piece of fruit in Rocket Belt Rawr, but that’s probably just because of my n00bish gaming skills.

What I also found cool about this game is that lots of people loved it. It makes you laugh, it makes you happy and it apparently gets a reaction of some sorts out of everyone who plays it. Like you can see in the video beneath, someone has created a level in Little Big Planet that emulates You Have To Burn The Rope.

You can play this game on it’s official site, where you can also find Kian Bashiri’s other games and follow developments on his blog.

You can find an overview of my articles on the IGF 2009 here.

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