The way Indie Spotlight works is I take an itch.io game that has been recently released, play it, and review it. At the end of the review I will either recommend the game or I won’t. There are no scores. I’m also going to try and put my recommendations into context. i.e. I review a walking simulator, I will likely recommend it only to fans of the genre, especially those that are bare or, obtuse. The content of the review is my opinion, any requests to alter my opinion will be fruitless.
Title: Il Pleut
Published: March 8, 2017
Developer: Quentin Arragon
I’m going to start by saying that I simply do not get this game. Il Pluet, which is French for ‘It is raining’, opens with the camera-locked looking at a woman with an umbrella and a red car without wheels. The woman appears plastic and immobile. At this point I was forced to watch the woman and car move away from me at roughly the rate molasses moves down a nun’s bodice for a good forty seconds or so without giving me any control of the situation or any explanation for what I was witnessing. This is when the game really starts.
The controls are simple, mouse to look around WASD to move. Unfortunately, by some miracle of miscalculation, I was required to lift and move my mouse no less than five times to complete a full rotation of my camera. There is no excuse for a camera that is that unresponsive. My move-speed was roughly as slow as the aforementioned molasses, but that didn’t bother me quite so much, as there was nowhere to actually go.
“This game is an example of the art of imagery for the sake of imagery…”
As I moved through the world, I was confronted with a series of seemingly disconnected images that cut into the scene as if by accident. At one point I’m staring at a spire, then a building, then the woman and the car again. Any time I was lulled into feeling like I was making progress, a landmark that I was shown previously arrived to remind me that I was playing random nonsense.
I’m not going to go further into the gameplay, there is no need. I could only handle doing this for about fifteen minutes and there was no payoff or bonus that I could see. With that out of the way, I’m going to go off on a bit of a tangent here. This game is an example of the art of imagery for the sake of imagery, in which the artist is absolved of making communicative work by blaming the observer for not being clever enough to pierce their veil of metaphor. It’s pseudo-intellectual hogwash and I’m not going to stomach it here. If the developer meant to express something, either I’m too stupid to understand or they’re shitty at communicating. The answer is anyone’s guess and I’m not going to pretend to know it.
I cannot possibly recommend this game.