I know they made another Dune film, but if I see the letters DUNE I think WORM, then I think of the little speech he does and the box of unspeakable pain and Kyle MacLachlan, and then probably other thoughts. But worm is a pretty big one.
We all love Adventure Time, why? Because of the big worm and Shelby, the little worm. It’s basic logic, not hard to defend, and honestly I don’t know why people like to pretend there’s some other reason to experience fiction.
There’s a new game out from fotocopiadora – First Land, and oh boy, look I’m going to ruin the big surprise of the game so look away now… There’s a whole bunch of worms all over this game, and could I be more into it?
Yes, it’s a narrative exploration of melodic architectures at the end of the world, and the things that survive, but it’s also worm central. These two things co-exist, the story of the dirt farmer gods that unmake the world is also captivating as a tale about you and some lovely, grubby worms.
In the vein of old exploration based games that rely on an internal structure that you have to puzzle out, the Myst to Arx Fatalis bracket, First Land brings you into the fold as somebody navigating the aftermath of experiences now locked away, towards doors that need to be opened once again. I am a sucker for the kinds of spaces that that trajectory is full of, colossal underground passages, trick walls and public infrastructure, and have spent several hours trying to work out which door is the right one and finding many more behind each decision.
The unique input system that makes it even more alike these old games and their experiments with input is the speech generator, which requires puzzling out more than anything I’ve so far encountered. Outside of the dialogue with other people in the game, you can speak to the world with a language where each interaction is created with a phoneme generator you’re given, an alphabet of sounds you navigate and which takes time and learning.
As I usually have less patience than your average player thankfully there’s a character who may help you to interact with the worms in a major way… I know not their name yet.
However, this person who might just appear to aid you in getting somewhere with the worms is likely one of the most engaging and entertaining characters I’ve met in an indie game on this scale.
During our time together they would both lead and expect to be led in their quest, which is to maybe to help you on your quest, to help them on theirs, neither of which I’m entirely sure of the contents of, but it was sure fun to meet someone to share it with.
Was the excitement about the worms themselves, or the friends we made in their tracks, who’s to say? All we can really say is that a world in which we keep denying our ineffable adoration for wormkind, is a world that I don’t want to live in.