FATALE

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Exploring Exploring Salome

Type:
Shareware
Developer:
Tale of Tales

FATALE is the newest work by Tale of Tales, developers of The Path, The Graveyard, and The Endless Forest.

Knowing what to expect ahead of time can infringe on the experience here, but because there is no demo and it's $7, that might be necessary to a degree. There are three basic areas, each of which has entirely different controls. As a game developer who also gets motion sickness from FPS games, I'm interested in their attempts to make a first-person 3D experience without causing that effect. As a result, the controls were probably the most interesting thing about the game to me, so I'll talk about those. This has the benefit of not spoiling the experience proper.

The first stage (to use game terminology) lets you move around, knock around crates, and even jump (although not high enough to stand on a crate, and jumping doesn't cause splashes in the water). You can move forward and backward with either the mouse or the keyboard, but cannot turn with the keyboard; you can turn with the mouse, but only if you hold down the mouse button, and turning also causes you to move at the same time. I don't know if this actually eliminates the problem of motion sickness or not, but I didn't feel anything. But this may well be because there wasn't much area to move around in: no passages or twists and turns, no reason to turn around constantly like a rat in a maze, and that might have had as much of an effect as the controls did.

In that stage you aren't required to do anything, although reading material from Oscar Wilde's English translation of his French play Salome hovers mysteriously (I do recommend reading the play before trying FATALE out, btw -- it's in the public domain here). After some amount of time, without requiring you to do anything but move around and read the text if you wish, something happens and the next stage begins.

The second stage is the heart of FATALE, and the controls are pretty unusual here. You are floating, and you left-click to move forward or right-click to move backwards, in a burst. It's a pretty interesting way of getting around, it feels as if you are swimming through the air. I was very impressed by this. I'm not sure it'd work as a primary control scheme, but it almost felt like a 3D Aquaria, where you click to take a little push forward in the water. It's not a perfect control scheme and probably could be improved upon, and it's not exactly accurate when trying to get somewhere, but it's a new experience and seems like it could be adapted to other games.

The setting here feels like a 3D painting: nothing moves, but there's a lot to look around at and take in. The interaction here is to find all the candles and extinguish them, and to move around the flames you captured against the various objects, knocking pomegranate halves split by an ivory knife around, or moving the flame around the body of Salome, which are actually pretty fun things to do. Knowledge of the play is pretty essential here; if you don't have it, you won't know what's going on.

The third stage is a dance, a very technically impressive one. Your control scheme here is that you use the mouse to move forward to get a better look at Salome as she dances, but you can't just go forward and sit there, you are pushed back when you get too close and you can't (as far as I know) stop moving.

So, what I like about FATALE is that it has not one, but three new first-person 3D control schemes entirely different from the basic WASD-to-move, mouse-to-turn-and-aim scheme used in countless first-person games. And just as an experiment with those control schemes it was worth the $7 to me. Oh, and the art is also very good -- for those who don't know, a lot of the art was done by Silent Hill artist Takayoshi Sato.

Fatale is a finalist in the 2010 Indiecade Festival.


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Painted Breasts

I really enjoyed this though to be fair, I played it for free. I think I would have felt comfortable paying $7 were the objective in the second part more clear. I really enjoyed SalomeĀ“s paint bra.

You mention a control scheme in the first part but as far as I can tell the control scheme is to do nothing. Maybe its a zen parable.


I also loved the demons that

I also loved the demons that haunt your spirit when you rest and things go dark, that shit is creepy. To be haunted by evil spirits must be a truly horrible condition.


High minded.

Play This Thing is getting very, very arty recently. Clearly, it has been far too long since I reviewed something. Time to brings things down a few levels and get shooting monsters in the face. A lot of monsters. Shot. In their faces.

Hmmm.....


yes please

That would go down well with me. While I enjoy PTT's arty take on videogame culture, I also enjoy playing games where I get to blow shit up. Or, indeed, shoot monsters in the face.

My personal ideal, if anyone's interested, is insightful, thought-provoking reviews of games where you get to blow shit up and shoot monsters in the face.


I found this work really

I found this work really interesting and sometimes frustrating, but the controls were probably the thing I liked least about it. At the beginning I kept nosing myself into corners by accident and having trouble getting back out; and it didn't help that the system gave hints about using "the middle mouse button" and such, which isn't very applicable to someone playing on a MacBook with a trackpad.

--
Emily Short


Worst thing I've ever seen.

Horrible controls, everything you can do is boring as all Hell, stupidity reaching higher levels than ever.