September 5, 2010 12:56 PM | Michael Rose
We continue our look at the IndieCade 2010 finalists with Ian Bogost's A Slow Year. If you're not a fan of 'art games', look away now - Ian refers to his creation as a collection of 'game poems', and implements the action of observation throughout the four minigames on display.
The first thing to note is that this is a game built for the Atari 2600, and while the game will eventually be released for PC and Mac using an Atari emulator, there will also be a limited edition cartidge and poetry set, bound together in a book. If that isn't old school enough for you, A Slow Year is just 4K in size, as all Atari cartidges were 4K. Each of the four games available are 1K.
The above screenshot shows the four games in order of how you play them - each is set during a season. Your objectives are always more to do with watching and require minimal input. Autumn begins, and your job is to observe a leaf falling from the tree, and choose where you believe it will land on the floor, with the gusty wind as your guide. Then it's off to sit indoors as Winter approaches, and stare outside as the sun comes up. You've got a cup of coffee, and the idea is to drink it before it goes cold - but not too quickly.
Spring comes around, and with it thunderstorms. As rain falls, lightning will flash in the sky, and you need to tap the action button whenever you think the thunder will sound. Finally, Summer arrives and you're watching the sea. A branch is bobbing along, and you need to estimate how far it will travel, then close your eyes for three seconds, open them and see if you were right.
This is A Slow Year. As if you hadn't guessed, it's a slow game - but this is intentional, of course. The game will be available sometime towards the end of the year, although there is no set date right now. Head over to Ian's site for more details.