Passage: experience a lifetime in 5 minutes with this artsy casual game

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Passage is a side-scrolling casual game done in pixellated, retro-looking graphics.

The game can be completed in 5 minutes and is meant to represent a lifetime from birth until death. Passage is an art project open to each player’s interpretation.

The description above pretty much says it all. As in life, the only guarantee in “Passage” is death, otherwise you are free to explore as you like. Make sure to use all of the arrow keys to scroll up and down as well as left and right.

Whats interesting is that even though your character is made up of a handful of oversized blocks (“pixels”) the process of ageing is nonetheless represented so convincingly. I’ll admit to experiencing a genuine, heartfelt sadness when my character lost his mate.

Passage Screenshot

More notes on this:

  • Controls: aside from the arrow keys, press F for fullscreen, B to adjust blow up factor.
  • Hints: don’t just avoid things, there are objects you can “collect”. Also note that you can re-play this game differently, making different choices.
  • Installation: no installer, just unzip and run.

But is it art?: I think so. As in all artwork, the author makes sure to point out that the player’s own reaction/interpretation of this is the interesting part. He does volunteer his own interpretation on his site though, but requests that you please play the game first (which is why I’m not going to link to it from this review).

Put five minutes into this, and see if it can get some pistons in your brain pumping.

[Thanks go to my friend Diablo for letting me know about this one].

Compatibility: Windows, Mac, Linux.

Go to the game home page download the latest version (approx 486K).