• Add Review
  • Subscribe
  • Nominate
  • Submit Media
  • RSS

Walk towards the white light.

  • nhubi
  • 06/08/2014 12:18 PM
White's character is non-gender specific, but as English has issues with gender-neutral pronouns, I'm going to use 'one' to describe White during the course of this review. As the developer himself did in White's character description.

Dead and hot-headed, interesting combination.

White's adventure is a single player tale of a dead creature (don't call one a rabbit, or a cat) who has fallen down a hole into a bizarre landscape that appears to be the love-child of Ernst and Duchamp, and White's efforts to make it out the other side. It's listed as an RPG on the game-page, but don't expect any dragons or princesses in this tale. I think Adventure/Puzzle would be more accurate as none of the classic RPG tropes appear to apply.

The background visuals in this game are all custom made, and have very little continuity whatsoever, but that's ok because there are not supposed to have any. The maps you walk through are drawn from a widely diverse pallet but quite a few are not maps in the traditional sense; they are background graphics of bizarre proportions and at times freakish imagery that our poor eponymous adventurer must traverse on the way out.

Rorschach found a colour printer.

In one's first moments after falling down the hole White has an encounter with Mortimer, a negative mirror of White in almost every sense, and whose name is a dead give-away, if you'll pardon the pun.

Once White has survived one's encounter with the first layer of the absurd, White enters the world beyond the rabbit hole. Along the way one meets, and often fights, equally disproportioned and surrealist inhabitants of this place. Some offer advice, mostly nihilistic, but occasionally helpful (and even more occasionally, both). Amongst a host of others there are decomposing rodents who make rude gestures at you, a philosophising shrubbery, hanging bears that utilise music as a weapon, censoredniks that abuse you with politics, oracle kites and an army of little green men who act as exposition vehicles and sporadically as some kind of parental surrogate.

There is the well worn, but visually recognisable imagery of sheep as the example of a society in decline and identifiable global logos incongruously juxtaposed against a backdrop of senseless, disorienting, often menacing complexity.

White appears to be some kind of cleaning or purifying agent, cosmic bleach if you will, As one travels around the game world one appears to not only rid this plane of evil, but clean up floating rubbish and garbage cans, which luckily also give White items and the occasional weapon upgrade.

A weird harmony exists in this reality, not in any visual sense, as in truth the only thing that doesn't change is White, but in the vision of the journey. It's not like it gets any less surreal as the voyage continues but there is a definite sense of progression, of movement through space if not through understanding.

The music is this game is likewise custom; I don't believe I heard a single RTP track or even sound effect in the entire game. It ranges from a pleasant and gentle monotony to some discordant melodies designed to add even more disquiet to the surrealist visuals. In that it works well, and carries a definite feeling of claustrophobia and menace in some sections, flight and freedom in others.

There are some classic game-play elements, battles as mentioned and a great many of them with visible battlers who do chase you once you get within a line of sight. The battles themselves are ATB with a default wait dynamic, whilst the battlers and the skill-sets of both White and enemies are unique to this game. They are balanced well both for enjoyable and somewhat strategic fights and for the general air of appropriateness.

Oh it's Fantasia on crack, and that's the game right there, folks.

As expected in a world such as this, the puzzles are not the 'push a boulder' type. More listen for sound cues and keep going until it sounds like you shouldn't, as well as some memory based and somewhat obscure ones. It's an interesting dynamic, and requires you to look for alternate information sources to solve them before proceeding.

White's back-story is provided mostly as part of a dream sequence with small amounts as gradual revelations, but the dream sequences runs more like a visual novel than a cut scene with an array of visual styles to carry across the message.

There are some minor spelling and grammatical errors, mostly in the use of tenses, but given the developer is not a native English speaker, they are to be expected. Those should not be confused with deliberate misspellings for character differentiation which is used well at some points and is a little heavy handed in others.

For the record I'm not well versed in some of the source material the developer states he has used as reference points within the game, such as OFF and Sluggish Morrs so there may be in-game jokes I am not getting. However given the game-world the idea that I'm missing something actually adds to the experience rather than detracts from it.

Go and spend a few hours here. I have no idea if you'll enjoy it, or understand it, or even ever think about it again, but I did, so you might also.


Pages: 1
Thank you very much for the review. It means a lot to me.
Another thing is that White is supposed to be male, but then again, his gender isn't that heavily referenced.
Pages: 1