Symon: the procedural adventure game

Jaz McDougall at

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Adventure game logic can be terrible, because the worst puzzles in adventure games aren't logic. They can be traced back to whatever unchallenged assumptions were sloshing around in the designer's head. The Gambit game lab knows this, and that's why they've written a game that generates puzzles based on their study of bullshit dream logic and unchallenged assumptions. Each time you play Symon, you're playing a new set of puzzles with a new cast of characters.

I've always suspected that adventure games were just thinly veiled excuses to tell a story. I've had the most fun in them while reading the dialogue and learning about the characters, not nailing a rope to a cart and tying it to a bus and loading a crate of chickens onto the cart.

In Symon, brought to our attention via the ever lovable IndieGames.com, you're a bedridden patient in a hospital who can only dream away his days. The dreams are dark, melancholy affairs filled with a mush of elements from his life, his regrets, and his nostalgia for his old life.

Puzzles are mostly dipping things in things - dipping a sad blue bunny in orange paint to cheer it up, then giving it to the kids you never had in exchange for a picture of your wife. Using a cheerful book on bitter chocolates to make them taste sweet, to help the frog you stepped on as a child feel better and give you a set of baby's pyjamas.

It's a pretty wild concept, and a gorgeous game. Play it in your browser here.


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