the project of civilization

Firstly! The Talos Principle is an amazing puzzle/exploration game and is only $10 right now on Steam.

To expand:

I am a weird gamer, in that I’m not one and kind of wish I were. For console games, I peaked at SNES and have barely so much as looked at a console since. (Nothing will ever beat Chrono Trigger.) I have loved certain computer games in my time, but nothing from, say, this century.

But I do look at games now and then, and want to play them. Beautiful visuals, interesting stories, great work being done. But. Then there’s fighting, or whatever. I get frustrated when you have to manage quick keystrokes during high tension (like getting hacked at by a monster), or you just have to get killed a lot, or get good at physical mechanics of the controller through rote repetition. Also, I don’t have a controller, and playing on a keyboard and mouse isn’t the best.

Anyway, this is all to say that I finally bought The Talos Principle when I had a snow day and, boy, friends, do I love it.


First of all, look at the pretty! It’s so pretty! Ruins and varied skies and plants and shiny portal things and a few laser guards that kill you, and all of it is gorgeously executed.

Secondly, it’s puzzles and exploration. This appealed to me so much about Portal, but Portal became too quickly about maneuvering and dodging and all the dangerous substances. This, though it has some of that, is moving slowly into it. It’s not the point of the game.

THE TOWER (ominous music)

The world is the point. The philosophy. The story. The choices you make, I think, and what it makes you think about.

There is a voice booming from everywhere. There is a prohibition on a certain Tower. There are notes left by other unseen people. There are time capsules telling a slow story. There are questions of personhood, of civilization, of purpose, of intelligence.

And also there are puzzles!

I’m only a little ways into it and I’ve been playing almost 4 hours, so I’m excited about the amount of gameplay I have ahead of me. At the rate I go, this’ll probably do me for, oh, all of 2016.