There’s a time in every person’s life when they need to sit back a reflect on their life. It could happen anytime. It could happen while you’re at work, or at school. It could even happen in your later years. But, would you ever expect it to happen while playing a game on your mobile phone?
Well, that’s what happened to me when I chanced upon Pretentious Game by Bulkypix. The fairly assuming title might be a drop-dead dealbreaker for some. After all, it could easily be interpreted as the sort of obnoxious title desperately trying to make some form of misguided, “deeper” meaning.
So what did I end up with? Well, Pretentious Game is a deceptively simple platform game with levels that are simple in appearance. However, the rules change for each level and force the player to think outside of the usual platforming box, in order to reach their goal. To make matters worse, the only indication that something has changed is usually a single sentence written on the screen for the player to decode. Personally, I didn’t have all that much difficulty working it out but I can see how the game could potentially get much trickier.
Story-wise, it’s a bit difficult to tell. On the one hand, the simple graphics leave a lot to the imagination. With simple annotations left for the player to read, it could be assumed that the shapes on the screen are representative of characters in some way. But then again, it’s all up to the player’s perspective. While the notion of leaving things to imagination of the players is not exactly unique to games, it’s not something that’s been seen very often, recently. The closest comparison that I can draw to this, would be Thomas Was Alone. However, they both achieve their objectives in subtly different ways.
Ultimately, Pretentious Game is a sort of game that has a message. However, it doesn’t take itself too seriously and seems to place its message at the forefront without attempting to shove it down the player’s throat. It can definitely spark your imagination and get your mind working a little.
Try it for yourself! It’s available for free on the App Store and on Google Play, with additional levels (which I’d love to try) available for purchase.
PanzerSG is a gamer, modeler and animator-in-training. Supporting the Indies, whenever and wherever possible. Also is very active on Twitter: @PanzerSG and runs a YouTube Channel: PanzerSG Gaming.