Something that feels fresh, new and interesting? Yes please.
The first game of 2010 Xbox Summer of Arcade. At it's core it's a sidescrolling platformer with some puzzles but it's wrapped in some excellent visual styling and atmosphere.
The game is visually simple but incredibly striking The game is a 2D sprite looking game that only uses the colors black, white and shades in between. Even with just this very limited range this game is hands down one of the most visually stunning games I've played. No two places look the same and the entire thing just feels lovingly hand crafted. As far as I could tell, it didn't seem like any art assets were reused. This isn't a big deal in itself but it just adds to the unique feel this game has.
There's no music and limited sound but it adds to the atmosphere rather than detracting from it There is nothing aural distracting you from what's going on in the game and that's actually a positive thing. You get a very strong feeling of being alone in the silence similar to how you might have felt wandering the wastelands for long stretches in fallout 3 or riding your horse around in Shadow of the Collosus.
The puzzles are unique and keeps things interesting Too many times in games there's a single type of puzzle that is used over and over and eventually becomes boring or bothersome. This game's puzzles while not entirely unique and groundbreaking do not repeat. There may be some similar variations but for the most part you'll be doing something different than you did before througout the experience.
The game seems dangerous and safe at the same time For starters, you play as a little boy so you would think you're safe from death. Wrong. Death is everywhere and waiting to strike and when it does, it doesn't make a huge show about it. It just happens, usually violently but without excess.
The story. . . or lack of story I only know that you're looking for your sister because I heard it somewhere. In game, you get nothing. Not where you are, where you're going or anything at all. Even the ending is a little strange but it's open to interpretation. I'm not even certain that the story about you looking for your sister is legitimate. It could be anyone you're chasing.
The game is pretty short I think I went start to finish in around 4 hours. I've heard as high as 4 and speed runs as short as 2 and a half. Whichever way you look at it, it's a pretty short experience and it leaves you wanting more. Still, wanting more of a game isn't really a bad thing.
The game is $15 I honestly almost never complain about a game's price but in this case, I have to say wth? I guess the game is worth $15 because it's crafted so well and the experience is worth having but I can't help but think that compared to other downloadable games, quality aside, it should be cheaper. $5 would be the ideal price and $10 would still be very acceptable but setting this game at $15 makes it harder to recommend.
My final score doesn't reflect my distaste for the price of the game because for the most part I rent all the games I play and I never raise a game's score because it cost me a net like $10 worth of rental fees to play when retail it's $60. The game in itself is pretty fantastic and I played through the whole thing in just 2 sittings late at night. Really great stuff here.