Developer: Christina Antoinette Neofotistou
Launcher Quote: “Go on the wildest of adventures. Just be sure when you come back, a steady foundation is waiting for you. Build it up and you can reach for the stars.”
This entry in the Meditation Games series really gave me a bit of a nostalgia bump, and that’s because of the presentation of the game as well as the animations and art. Back in the old days, when portable gaming was, even before the Game Boy, a twinkle in someone’s eye, the only way you could get your game on would be through pre-programmed, LCD screened handhelds that had a single game that you had to master. A simple set of single elements with no overlaps meant that what you could do with both gameplay and animation was very simple, but was also very challenging.
Such as it is that I found this game to be one of those unforgiving old-school games that forces you to do everything perfectly. You not only have to provide the platform for the girl at the right time, but it has to be position right so that she doesn’t fall off when preparing to jump next. There are varying sizes and speeds for each platform and a certain sense of unpredictability to both that makes this one a brutal climb to the top with each jump, punishing failure with starting over at the very beginning.
Some people might find this experience frustrating but I found it a reminder, especially given the launcher quote. In life, you only really have one life to live – no continues, no respawns, which means that as you climb, forming the foundation with which you are hoping to lay your life, it does have to be solid and be able to hold you. It does have to not miss the mark, less you fall all the way to the bottom. And it has to be one that has a certain sense of timing to it that ensures that you’re able to keep going. In this sense, the difficulty and unpredictability is perfectly in line with what life can throw at you at times, and one in which we should approach carefully (but not too cautiously) to risk reaching for the stars at the end of the building process.