When you complain as much as I do about the lack of viewership on your own personal work, it really comes as no surprise that I try to find others in similar situations and boost their lives a little bit in the process. I think that’s really the key foundation of this silly business we call life, if you want to do something, you have to first help someone else do something. It’s a give and take, a push n’ pull, kinda world we live in; and I don’t think a lot of people realize that sometimes.
Of course being told that you should think about others is one thing, doing so is a completely different beast.
When you’re a child, life essentially is all about you.. as selfish as that sounds, it’s the truth. Everyone takes care of you, and your entire life revolves around being fed and taught. You don’t have do to shit except.. well.. shit. And as we grow up, we slowly realize “Hey, there are people all around me” and it really does take a long time to fully allow that to sink in; the fact that everyone else on this planet is doing the exact same thing: havin’ thoughts, following dreams, just livin’, trying to be something in this mess we call life. It’s all very surreal.
SO, it’s up to us and each other to squeeze our talented juices. Nobody else is gonna spread that butter; you either jam that bread yoself, or let the jelly wave that is the human population eventually discover and unfold that basket that is your artistic imagination.
And I, too, my friends, have flicked some ants from a delicious picnic.
The music you [may have] just heard comes from the game Knytt, which is but one of the absolutely fabulous, atmospheric adventure games created by Nicklas Nygren, otherwise known as Nifflas.
I can’t remember how exactly I stumbled across this man’s work, but I do know it was back when I was still a junior in high school. I remember loading it up on my laptop and being blown away by how simple everything was, yet.. still somehow extremely artistic. Every single element is beautifully intertwined at this weird base level platformer. I mean gameplay-wise, there really isn’t one defining feature about the game. You can run left and right, jump, climb on walls, but that’s it. No shooting or double jumps, no real antagonist if you actually dive into it.
You begin the game in this super-minimalistic, pure gray, menu screen. Nothing exciting going on, in fact, even the formatting of the game seems off; in this weird 600 x 240 ratio, it’s almost like we’re watching a widescreen film without the letterboxing. Right off the bat, Nifflas shows us the bare minimum necessities, a Tutorial Level, three different save slots, and credits. No fancy title sequence or opening montage, just gray. Artistic choice, or laziness? Who knows, but it’s all fine.
The game starts, and we’re introduced to a small village of what appears to be some kind of chimp things. There are only six residents of said village, one of them being a baby on the back of it’s mother. After a while, one of the little scamps runs off and climbs a nearby cliff. We then find out that there is more to this world than a simple village, and transitioning between screens is much akin to that of The Legend of Zelda. Everything so far keeps with this theme of being miniature and adorable, and everything’s so cute, and then SURPRISE [Spoilers] Aliens [End Spoilers].
So yes, in a tragic twist you get abducted by a UFO, and are sent to space for who knows what, because you never get to find out before the spaceship hits an asteroid and crashes into a nearby planet.
Your happiness is short-lived, as you soon realize that with the spaceship now broken, neither you nor the alien that abducted you will be able to return home. So, it’s up to you and your monkey-like grip to scour the planet, searching for what I assume to be either missing pieces of your ship, or whatever random crap you can makeshift and shove together to make the thing fly again (because in the end, the ship does NOT look like it did in the intro —>)
So, right off the bat you might start to get a very Pikmin-esque vibe from this game, both games having similar plots… sans Pikmin of course. The rest of the game consists of you discovering the many different landscapes and environments that this planet has to offer, all the while becoming entranced by the simplistic music. THE MUSIC! It makes everything. It’s what pulls this game from being a simple platformer, to a real piece of art.
The music has this trance-like ability to fluidly transition us from a desert in one screen, to a deep underwater base in the next. It’s insane how perfectly tuned these little.. tunes.. just really are. And really I could go on for hours explaining the different biomes and landscapes and how the music fits perfectly, but the best way is for you to just play the game yourself.
But yeah, you can find all of his stuff here. He’s got a lot of other games as well, each one is just as beautiful, if not more so (Within A Deep Forest is my favorite). So check ’em out! Sadly, if you have a Mac there’s currently no official way of running any of his games. However there are many workarounds for this if you’re desperate. Just talk to Google.