Ambient Times: Fall Harvest

Posted by on Nov 23, 2009 in Zen/Ambient Gaming | No Comments

Things may have seemed quiet of late on the Hemisphere blog, but we’ve been busy behind the scenes. The Mac port is nearing release, Dave got married(!), I was on the road for several weeks, and we’re almost finished another “secret port”. (More details on that soon.) In that time my ambient gaming inbox has filled to the brim with a bountiful harvest. I’ve taken a few peeks and nibbles, and am really excited to sink my teeth into them over the coming weeks. I’d like to share a few with you. Specifically…

Machinarium. For those who have played Samorost 1 or 2, you’ve been waiting for this one, and have likely already picked it up and thoroughly enjoyed it. For those who haven’t, expect one of the best point-and-click adventures ever, with beautifully textured environments, incredible ambient/dubby music, and tons of charm. Try the free demo and fall in love. Machinarium
Eufloria Eufloria (the game formerly known as Dyson) is an ambient RTS about asteroid colonization. The minimalist beauty of this game, graceful swarming of seedlings, and beautiful ambient electronic soundtrack by Brian Granger are all so peaceful that it’s easy to overlook the elegant strategy and conflict at the heart of this game. It doesn’t hurt that Rudolf and Alex, the developers behind Eufloria, are great guys as well. Try the demo and then get the full game.
Windosill. I only recently discovered this gem by artist Patrick Smith. It’s a whimsical series of “puzzles” through an elegantly physical world which follows its own internal logic. This is interactivity and exploration for the pure pleasure of it, and the life that Smith brings to these inanimate objects through his procedural animation is a delight. The first half is free, but at $3, activating the full version is a no-brainer. Windosill
Auditorium Auditorium was just released on the iPhone. I don’t own an iPhone/Touch yet, but when I do, this will be one of the first apps I’ll buy. It seems like a perfect fit for the platform, with its meditative, bite-sized, musical gameplay. In the meantime, if you haven’t tried it yet and you too are iDeprived, there’s the still-wonderful, original PC version.

Well, it’s Sunday evening, and I believe this is the perfect time to enjoy some of these chill new toys. Happy ambient gaming everyone!

ps. If anyone out there has enjoyed a recent ambient gem that I’ve missed, please suggest away. Thanks!