Developer: Aviv Beeri
Launcher Quote: “A year ago, I walked the path of the gods: A thin, winding trail up and down mountains, rising above the hamlets and water below. Now, it is your turn to take this journey. Take your time, the path will wait.”
The old school pixellated, pre-8 bit days, I think, had a bit of trouble trying to depict going up anything. Most of the presentation tended to be side-scrolly or top-down, relying on mechanics and a bunch of visual game elements to make things a bit more exciting. Thankfully, these days you can be a bit more imaginative, which is why Aviv’s entry manages to re-create a mountain climb to an ancient temple without much difficulty.
We’ve seen a lot of journeys and climbs for the Meditation games project so far, a lot of them sending a message that perseverance and dedication get you to your goals. This has some of those elements, especially as you progress through the climate and weather that fall around you when you make your way through parts where climbing is needed, but there’s also a literal sense of taking the path up to the highest of the high as well. When the depiction of something is not only something imagined but is also based on reality, as this one is, it gives it a certain sense of physical presence as well.
Part of showing these sorts of real-life events, as the developer based this on a path they took, is to show what they drew from it when they did it. Mythology has often set the gods up on high, and thus temples are often set in mountains, up vague and narrow and difficult paths, and with a view from above that would take your breath away. This is not just a “journey not the destination” message but also one of aspiration and agency with regards to ancient culture as well. It gets more and more difficult as you use the climbing mechanic a bit more, and it also gets a bit narrower and steeper as you climb, but the reward is no less satisfying. Looking down on what the developer talked about, there had to be a feeling and an emotion of how the gods or those that were inspired by them felt – something certainly done on purpose for both those that built the temple in the first place, and those that came after that climb to its great heights.