Play, or Play Not…
How do you write a video game review where there is no game? How about I tell you a nice story instead? No? Ok, I suppose I’ll try my best…
There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension is a point & click comedy adventure by Draw Me a Pixel, who also made 2015’s There Is No Game. So put the controller or keyboard away, there is no need for them here. Keep some brain power handy though because this is going to test it, and be prepared to think outside the box. The Developers boast that the game is motion sickness free: a remarkable feat for a non-VR game, as well as incredible 3D graphics that are totally flat and very pixelated. They do admit that it contains tons of bugs, but it’s supposed to be like that. What more could you want?
Normally I would comment on where the game starts and who the protagonist is, but seeing as the computer program wouldn’t let me play, I’ll have to improvise. Hey, does this mean I’m the protagonist? Anyway, the computer program, which seems to be Russian although he claims he isn’t, is very obstructive and won’t even let me begin the game. I mean, I guess it is a nice looking menu screen, but that doesn’t give me much to discuss. So, I was forced to muscle my way in, there must be a game in there somewhere behind all these barriers.
The computer program, who goes by the name of Game, keeps insisting there is no game to be found. But don’t let that deter you, get pointing and clicking and see what happens and remember that nowhere is off-limits. Sabotage your way through the system playing mini-games and solving puzzles along the way. Things start to get a little strange though as a troublesome glitch enters the computer and sends you hurtling into different dimensions, involving in-game advertisements, loot boxes, the World’s Greatest Detective and silent movies. As you spend more time with the annoying Russian program, you find out more about him and his lost love interest: GiGi. You’ll also learn more about Mr Glitch, who seems hellbent on destroying the world and generally making mine and Game’s life’s a misery.
The game also does an excellent job of gradually making you bond with Game, to the point where you’re pretty much teammates by the final chapter. I was actually quite fond of him (or should I say it?) by the end. I certainly didn’t expect this game to be hitting me with philosophical messages about love, loss and the struggles of game development either.
The game has a total of 7 chapters which are all unique and compelling in their own right. I did find one of the chapters a little sluggish, which I feel was intentional. The chapter in question was my least favourite but again, the way the chapter is designed is definitely intentional. I can’t say any more without spoiling the theme of the chapter though. Look out for some excellent musical numbers towards the end of the game too. Oh and don’t be fooled when the credits start to roll, although when the game did end I found myself questioning whether it was actually the end for real this time. Each level is well-paced, expertly designed and the dialogue throughout the game is hilarious.
I’m a fan of puzzle games and I found this totally addictive and I just wasn’t able to put this non-game down. The creativity that has gone into the design of these puzzles is astounding and the developers kept the game compelling throughout its entirety. I did find a few parts frustratingly difficult, but just bear in mind that this game really pushes you to think outside the box. Whilst being difficult, the chapters didn’t feel impossibly hard, and it felt incredibly satisfying when I did manage to solve each of the chapters. If you’re having trouble though you can ask the game for hints, of which there are up to 3 levels. The final one of which will practically give you the answer in some instances. Listen carefully to the dialogue too as there are hints concealed throughout the game. Or, you could just watch our handy walkthrough video.
There are an impressive amount of references throughout the chapters too. Some of which are subtle, some not so much. I haven’t seen this many geeky references since Spaced was airing. To name but a few examples we have a Wilhelm scream, which is a personal favourite of mine. Once it has been heard it cannot be unheard. We also have Star Wars references, a tongue-in-cheek dig at free-to-play games, loot boxes, facebook and ridiculously long terms and conditions we’re all expected to agree to without actually reading them. There are many more references too, which I won’t spoil for you.