Having picked up the latest Humble Weekly Bundle (which features games from Blendo Games), I knew what I’d play upon getting home from work. I’d heard good things about the game Thirty Flights of Loving, and that it was a rather short game.
It’s a story about a heist gone wrong. Something happens and you make your escape, but the actual heist isn’t shown. Instead, you have a Tarantino-esque stylish crime story shown in non-linear fashion. There’s no exposition through dialog or text in the game, everything is shown and you have to figure out what’s going on by what’s happening around you and what you’re doing in the scene before the next jump cut. This is possible thanks to imagery that we’re familiar with and associate with these type of movies. I’m not sure this format lends itself well as a general one for every kind of setting.
The art style deserves special mention. It’s a very minimalistic look that still manages to capture the mood very well in quite rough brush strokes. Everything, especially the people look like made out of cardboard, which is as unique and cool as it is economic as an approach. What ties this all up is the sound design, which contributes more than sound in other games thanks to the contrast with the bare visual style.
The constant time-line jumps are a bit jarring at first, but you get used to it quickly and start appreciating the rapidness of it all. It’s a game that invites multiple playthroughs to think about the story, especially because you’ll probably won’t be able to piece it all together in the first try.
Overall, I have to say though it is really just a 10 minute short form experience, it stays with you longer than it takes to beat it. It’s charming and has a way of growing on you, because it is so different and worthwhile. There’s no point in over-analyzing something so refreshingly light-weight, just go get the bundle, especially as you can get Thirty Flights of Loving if you beat the average, which is still less as of now ($3.75) than the game would be on Steam. There is a commentary mode (more games need to include these) and as a bonus the previous game Gravity Bone (which is a free game anyways).