Tucked away in the corner of the third floor of the Seattle Convention Center, not far from Popcap’s rollicking booth, was a curious little title called “Mental Drift”, a platformer from Lo and Behold Games that incorporates its narrative into the actual gameplay by having you select various words from the protagonist’s interior monologue and using them to navigate the environment and solve puzzles. The example that stands out most was the word “bounce” being used to do just that, with the word being highlighted somewhat when it appears to let the player know it can be utilized in the environment. That is probably the most simple example, but it should hopefully help illustrate how the game plays. I asked Richard Weschler, one of the three people behind the game, whether that was just a tutorial element and whether the game would later require the player to puzzle out which words fit the given context, but it seems the game is very VERY early in development at this point and numerous elements are subject to change as things proceed. I asked Shannon Meissner, another third of the team, whether the idea for Mental Drift game from one of the oh so popular “Game Jams” that are sparking creativity in the indie scene of late (Lo and Behold being participants in the MolyJam), but no, apparently this was a homegrown idea of Richard’s that has been gestating for some time.
It is indeed a curious little idea, it reminded me of Braid to some degree, as that game did have lines of prose and musings to read in between chapters, but this seems to seek to implement those elements in the gameplay itself, making it a requirement for the player to read closely and digest that written text. It certainly could contribute to a compelling narrative, at this early stage it is hard to tell where this idea will go and what it will grow into, but best keep an eye on this one going forward as it has a good chance of becoming something special. Should Lo and Behold Games end up on Kickstarter in the relatively near future, may want to consider investing. In the meantime, they can be found on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.