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There is No Game: Jam Edition 2015 Review

Official Score

Overall - 70%

70%

Despite its claims, There is No Game is a solid enough game that does a fine job breaking the fourth wall. Its short length hinders the possibility of multiple playthroughs, but those who have a passion for cheeky humor will dig its vibe.

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In what is quite possibly the biggest lie since Santa Claus, Draw Me A Pixel gives players a new game to explore in their new title There is No Game: Jam Edition 2015. This title effortlessly breaks the fourth wall, but does this meta title provide a compelling experience?

There is No Game: Jam Edition 2015 Review

If there is one thing the narrator of There is No Game makes perfectly clear, it’s that there is no game. Apologizing for wasting your time, he says that there’s nothing here, and that players should go outside or read a book instead. In an added jab, he says that you should get a refund for the title and get your money back…even though the game doesn’t cost a cent.

However, with some finagling, players can make some alterations to its inner workings. It starts out small, with players muting the voice over, but soon evolves into something greater. What follows is a brief jaunt that features a number of quirky elements, genres, and things to do. There is a fair amount of variety, and the solid spritework makes each element stand out. By the time things wrap up, players would have come across goats, squirrels, trophies, safes with kryptonite, and a versatile letter system.

Each of the different tasks is done with a disembodied hand. Players can grab onto letters, objects, and paddles along the way, and the controls work as you’d expect them to. There are certain screens for certain puzzles, and giant arrows make it easy to see exactly where players need to go next. Dexterity isn’t required for this particular title, though there are some achievements for going above and beyond when it comes to certain scenarios. Nevertheless, even those who have never played a game in their life will understand how to navigate its world.

Rather, the game hinges on its puzzles. There are a number of glitches that appear on the way, and the only way to get past them is by solving a multi-stage puzzle. There are a number of objects that can be interacted with, with interaction being key. The solutions are far from obtuse – players will know what to do before too long – but the narrator is all too ready to chide you if you take too long.

If anything, the narrator steals the show. A talkative fellow, he is quick to make a joke and will keep players engaged throughout. Unlike pests like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of TIme’s Navi, his deep voice is something players will want to keep around. Some of the jokes don’t hit the mark, but there are far more hits than misses.

Just be warned that this “game” is incredibly short, clocking in at around 15 minutes. Those looking to get the achievements might come back for additional rounds, but playthroughs do not vary greatly each time.

Despite its claims, There is No Game is a solid enough game that does a fine job breaking the fourth wall. Its short length hinders the possibility of multiple playthroughs, but those who have a passion for cheeky humor will dig its vibe.

This review of There is No Game: Jam Edition 2015 was done on the PC. The game was freely downloaded.
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Casey Scheld

Drawn to the underground side of gaming, Casey helps the lesser known heroes of video games. If you’ve never heard of it, he’s mastered it.
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