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Thirty Flights of Loving Review (PC)

Hmmm. That was weird. I’ll play it again.

Hmm, that was weird. You play it now. I’ll watch.

Hmm, that was weird. It was weird, wasn’t it?

Is that it?

Such was my night (or more accurately hour) spent with Thirty Flights of Loving. We recently reviewed Proteus, and it was somewhat difficult to come up with a score for something that was barely a game. More of an experience, it at least had exploration and some lovely dynamic music. Thirty Flights of Loving is even less of a game though, and its a good deal shorter than Proteus too. So it’s not a game, it’s finished in less than 15 minutes and at the end I had no idea what had happened.

So I played it again.

And I still had no idea what happened.

So I watched Aeacus play it. And he had no idea what happened.

Now I am not the worlds smartest man, nor am I the worlds stupidest. I am somewhere in the middle. I like to think I lean towards the smarter end of the scale, but perhaps I lean more towards the confident. Regardless where I rank in intelligence, I was unable to understand the non-linear, dreamlike and metaphor laden story (such as it is) of Thirty Flights of Loving.

And I am even reticent to describe the game much. At such a short length, I could describe the opening minute of the game and would have given away almost 10% of the experience. I would also be skewing the views of someone who hadn’t played the game yet. With so much that’s interpretative and subjective about the story, its too easy to force your own views of exactly what is happening (or has happened) on others before they play the game.

So what can I say? Well its first person. Its not really a shooter. It jumps back and forwards in time. And….. thats about it.

Oh, it has a chunky Minecraft-type look to it. Its not ugly (the art style is intentionally basic), but its not attractive either.

So should you buy Thirty Flights of Loving? Well if I had paid for it I wouldn’t have regretted it, but I also find it hard to recommend especially strongly. As I said, I’m not the cleverest guy in the world, so I confess I didn’t understand the story. Is that my fault or the storytellers? The blame lies somewhere between us, but I am fairly sure its not ALL mine. It has some brilliant jump cuts and editing that I’ve never really seen done in a game before, but beyond that and the surreal atmosphere, I found the whole experience disconcertingly slight. At least you get a free copy of previous title Gravity Bone with this.

Perhaps there’s a brilliant story in Thirty Flights of Loving, but I can’t tease it out. As a result, I can give it only the most tenuous of recommendations. I’m glad I played it, and I feel like there is something great in here, but you may find it just as hard to penetrate the game as I did. Interesting, different, slight and just plain weird.

6 head scratching Tom’s out of 10

Published inReviews