Good day and welcome to The Indie Fix, where we direct you to games that may have sneaked past you in ninja suits. This week, I’ll be taking you on a tour of the Blade Runner inspired, dirty desktop, point and click platformer, Atum.
In a familiar intro scene, you plod into your recreation room, having a look at the mess you keep meaning to clean and head towards your throne of games to plonk down in front of a cluttered desk. An image that most gamers know too well, yet still we manage to keep our playing areas littered with useless objects. My desk is currently the home to a lighter, a box of guitar picks and a packet of dog treats… Not exactly useful tools for everyday gaming. In Atum, however, your virtual desk has some objects useful to the Flashbackesque platformer playing on the also virtual PC.
This short, yet imaginative browser game, developed by a crack team of third year students at NHTV IGAD in the Netherlands, is a cross-genre title of using your grey matter while also testing your platforming skills. Atum has you playing the platform action with your keyboard, while navigating your 3D rendered desktop and playing area. Using WAS and D to move around, Space to jump and clicks from the mouse to pick up and drop the bits and pieces scattered around you. You can run left to right, climb ladders and manipulate the scenery around you in spectacular fashion with your jumble of junk.
For instance, you’ll come across dark areas in the environment where you’ll need to find a light source to brighten the way. Scanning your desk, you’ll find a lighter and holding it up to the screen will dispel the darkness, allowing you to see the path ahead. There’s also some other bits and bobs that are useful, but revealing them and their uses would negate your exploration and any more examples would probably spoil the fun. There’s also a nod and a wink toward the game’s source material if you look closely enough.
I managed to finish the game in less than ten minutes, having a 15 second pause while I fumbled on my real desk for a lighter. That’s true immersion if ever I saw it… but as an introduction into how developers are using intersting, unique ways to make gaming more exciting and more thoughtful, this is a true indie nugget of gold and hope to see more from the team in future.
You can head over to the Atum site and play the game for the price of absolutely nothing, HERE. You can also read about the group of developers and get an insight into their inspiration.
For fans of our very own Joshua Merrick, he’ll be returning in a couple of weeks to deliver your usual episodes of The Indie Fix.