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Bernband is a first-person exploration game set in a pixellated alien city

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Bernband offers a simple pleasure. Namely, the pleasure of wandering around a strange alien city with no purpose whatsoever. You don't get to shoot anything, there are no complicated puzzles to solve, nor can you enter into personal relationships with said aliens. You just walk. It's a remarkably uncomplicated game, which is fine because it only takes about 30 seconds to download , and it's free as well.

Developed by a bloke named Tom , Bernband is set in the city of 'The Pff', which is a pretty good name for a city. The artificially pixellated aesthetic is a bit nauseating at first, but once you get your bearings (and adjust to the hypersensitive mouse speed) then it's an oddly hypnotic experience. At first the city of The Pff seems like a pretty drab and linear affair, but eventually you find whole nightclubs worth of aliens, and it's really quite nice to watch them mingle.

Adding to the sense of place is how minimal the interface is - there is no welcome or menu screen. Instead, when you boot up the game you're unceremoniously plonked in The Pff with no guidance. You have as little sense of direction as the silent NPCs you'll encounter. You might as well be one of them.

The city is quite cohesive too, though I'd hate to spoil all the features it has to offer. Go and give it a look . Thanks to Rock Paper Shotgun for the heads up.

Shaun Prescott
Shaun is PC Gamer’s Australian editor and news writer. He mostly plays platformers and RPGs, and keeps a close eye on anything of particular interest to antipodean audiences. He (rather obsessively) tracks the movements of the Doom modding community, too.