Way is an intriguing little game with a very unique and interesting objective: to learn to communicate without words.
You’re stuck in a cave, and your only way out is to take instructions from someone in a similar situation. It’s strange to play and even stranger to describe, but it’s a blast.
When I first heard of the idea behind Way as a game, I was definitely intrigued. Two strangers, learning how to communicate.
Anyone who has seen one of those SCI FI movies or Star Trek episodes where two aliens have to communicate knows what I mean.
Or even someone who has been in a foreign country and doesn’t speak the local language could identify with the curiosity of “how could I handle that situation, what would I do differently, could I really do any better than this guy on this movie?.” You can find out with this game.
While it is currently in Alpha stages of development, Way already offers an interesting and thought-provoking experience that is fun as well as food for thought. The basic concept is this: You take the role of a primitive or a caveman (exactly what your race and origins are is a mystery even to you, the player) presented with some simple challenges of running and jumping and pushing a block here or there. This part of the game is very brief and is mostly just to get you familiar with the controls. There are signs showing you that the arrow keys can be used to run or jump, but that’s about it at first. The rest you have to figure out for yourself. Holding the left mouse button and moving your mouse will move your left arm accordingly. The right mouse button does the same thing, for the other arm, and of course both buttons will do both arms. Other than that, you can make some kind of grunting noises with the down arrow key. The mouse wheel zooms and and out on your character. Those are all the controls I was able to discover in the beginning but as you go along and after you meet the other player, you will learn more controls, each of which will help you accomplish your joint goals.
Once you have gotten past a few of these jumping and pushing and running obstacles, you will find yourself in a cave, and suddenly trapped in a room with a big mural on the wall. The mural, it seems, shows you the other player and what he is doing. Somehow, you have to communicate to the other player and help him/her through different challenges and they will have to do the same to help you along. This, of course, is where the game gets interesting. Some of the solutions and situations can be downright fascinating but since much of the fun of this game is seeing what happens next, I won’t be posting any spoilers here. However, I will say that at times, you will be able to see things the other player cannot, and therefore guide them with your gestures and sounds. It gets more fun and more rewarding as you go along.
Since the game is still in Alpha, the developers are working hard around the clock tracking and fixing bugs, as well as adding new content and ideas. That being said, expect a bug or two and if you can find it in your digital heart to make a post in their forums about any bugs or glitches, that would really help them make the game even better before it goes Beta or even a final public release. This game is shaping up to quickly be a great one. It thinks outside the box, and makes you do the same. Add to that an price tag of “Freeware” and we’re looking at one more great way to entertain yourself for hours on end at no cost, thanks to freeware.
A note about the fact that the game cannot be played single player. You must have another person playing, it just wouldn’t work, in concept, with a computer opponent, since the idea is connecting two human minds without words. So, when you start the game, it will auto-connect to the central Way server and search for someone to pair you with. Since the game is in Alpha there is not a gigantic player base yet but that will grow quickly, I think. You can also, through the game interface, send a tweet telling your followers that you’re looking for someone to play with and I got another player pretty fast that way. Additionally, for the Alpha release only, you can set up a private game that you can tell your friend about if he’s in the next room or what not. There’s also a handy note telling you what the average best time has been to connect for other players. All of these ways combined mean that sometimes you may have to wait for a player to join you but usually not long, one way or another, if you’re connecting at peak times.
In conclusion, I think Way is a great game and I will be eagerly following its progress as it gets better and better. It is worth a look so head on over to the website and check it out. Who knows? We might wind up getting paired for a game or two! Until next time, my friends!
Play Way here. (Windows, Mac).