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Paradis Perdus is a bit like Proteus, only with a dark twist

More than anything, Paradis Perdus (Lost Paradises) reminds me of this episode of Community (yes, I'm going to shoehorn Community references into everything now), but in game terms the first point of reference is probably Proteus . Both games feature a serene, somewhat abstract environment, but here it's one you despoil with every step. You can either play the game, and ruin it, or stay well away for the good of the world itself.

As game designer/programmer Sergey Mohov puts it, "the game is about not belonging. You are the bad guy, you are killing everything you touch. The world you are in is beautiful and green, but the moment you get into it, you start infecting everything, and the world starts decaying, until it eventually ceases to exist. You can choose to exit the world, and then it will heal itself, but then you don't get to enjoy it of course, because you're not there any more."

You can download a trial alpha version here for Windows or Mac, and I recommend you do, because along with being a beautiful game it's also a rather sad one. Looking back as I was exploring the peaceful environment, I noticed that my trail had left a brown stain on an otherwise verdant world. The music began to warp, as the ecosystem fell apart thanks to the mere presence of a human being. (And then I fell through said world and into the nothingness below - but hey, they're not called alpha versions for nothing.)

I'll be keeping an eye on Paradis Perdus as it develops, but I may limit future interaction to poking at it from the sidelines with a big stick, so I don't accidentally transform it into a Fallout-style wasteland. However, if you feel like paving paradise by putting up a parking lot, play the demo or give the following video a watch.

[Thanks to IndieGames ]

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.