Online Flash Game: Samorost
If you haven't yet heard of this enchanting little Flash-coded game, where have you been? Samorost is a simple, 7-screen (excluding linking, intro and outtro animations) adventure game. Produced by the guy (guys? gals? sorry, i can't read czech) at Amanita Design, an evidently quite well-known company (in their home country anyway), Samorost has become something of a hit online, gaining mention in a number of popular forums (i found it at the PC Gamer Forum but that's by no means even the first place it was posted at). Taking it's cue from general adventure games, such as Myst (don't groan yet), yet being a much shorter game and featuring a rather more whimsical yet engrossing game world, during the game you have to solve a number of puzzles, by finding the right things to click on at the right time. it works better than such big commercial games as Myst for a numebr of reasons, apart from those mentioned - it is forgiving (you can't die), and it has replayability (to see what you missed first time around). The order in which you carry out actions (this is Flash, so "actions" are limited to you clicking on certain areas of the screen) is mostly unimportant. The world in whcih Samorost is set is populated by little people and creatures living amongst trees and grass and moss and undergrowth. Your character lives in one rock, and happens to spot with a telescope that another rock is heading straight for his (or her) home. Oh no! the aim of the game is to change the course of the incoming rock so that it misses your home and leaves you safe for another day, and the game doesn't start proper until your rocket lands on the incoming rock. The landscapes have been crafted from real photos of trees and woodland stuff, nicely made into large landscapes for the little people. The people and creatures themselves are decptively simple in appearance, but if you look closely you'll see that the animations are very detailed. The creatures and people do actually seem almost alive - if they were more detailed in appearance you could be watching a film.
All in all, Samorost is a great way to waste a half hour or so. I can only hope Amanita Design see it in their hearts to make another, bigger, longer game in this style. I haven't seen any other online games like it.
Samorost can be found here:
(NOTE: you need a Flash-enabled browser)
Also don't forget to check out the main site. I had a look at the Flash Portfolio for Blanka Sperkova and there's some amazing stuff there.