May '24 Monthly Game Club - 140

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140 is a challenging minimalistic platformer with abstract colorful graphics. Rhythmic awareness is required to overcome obstacles controlled by an energetic, yet melancholic electronic soundtrack.

Available on lots of things at a pretty low price:

Nominated by @Tradegood, here’s what they have to say about it:

140 is a minimalist rhythm-based indie platformer from 2013. It’s very elegantly designed and clever in execution. Check it out.

Website


I hadn’t heard of it until today! Has anyone played it? Looking forward to digging in.

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140 is currently $0.99 on GOG until May 10! :eyes:

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I had a very peculiar moment seeing this thread because I’ve played 140 but I completely forgot I had until right now. It was almost exactly 10 years ago too.

I guess I get to play it again for the first time.

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Awesome, I’m glad we can spotlight this! When I added it, I was looking at indie games from 2013 and thought, there’s so many indies from a decade ago that have never stopped being cool even though no one talks about them anymore. Then after an hour of jamming to the music and platforming I thought this would be a great one to share with the game club.

This is made by the guys who made Cocoon which was a big hit last year and the designer of Limbo / Inside (never played those but have heard good things). They also made a similar-looking twin-stick shooter called Thoth. Love that it’s on sale!

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wow

I’m going to have to screen record my playthrough of this, I feel

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this game rocks! hope everyone enjoys it! My honest gripe is that I just wish there was a little bit more. If it was longer it would be an all timer for me.

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I’ve played this one! According to Steam, back in May 2016 between 7 and 8 in the morning - clearly a May game through and through. I happen to remember I played this having not slept, it was during my university years when my sleep patterns were less than healthy!

I noticed I only got 3/8 achievements, even though the game is fairly short. Seems as though a fourth level was added to the game in 2017, which explains why I didn’t play that! So I jumped back in and played through level 4, figuring things out as I went.

The game is super cool, I love the vibrant colours and the music. The imagery is really striking, particularly when you deploy one of those little balls. The colour from inside bursts out and changes the whole world around you in a super slick animation I never get tired of, and they add a mechanic that behaves in a manner similar to how the ball itself was behaving before you picked it up. It’s simple stuff but I find it all really effective and charming.

The other 4 achievements are for playing through mirror versions of each world that unlock after you beat the main ones. I thought, this seems like a good way to replay the game, in mirrored mode. Surprised I didn’t do this the first time around… maybe I fell asleep!

I get to work on the first mirrored level, eventually make a mistake and *BANG*, kicked out to the hub world. Ah, I see… this is a no death mode. Well, that explains why I didn’t persevere with it!

Still, I’m stronger now. More focused and determined. And well-rested. I’ve been chipping away at these levels, and managed to clear 1 and 2. 3 is tough, I played it through again in forwards mode to get a sense of things and the boss is a real mind melter. I’ll keep playing in small bursts and see how I get on. That BANG I referenced before is really unpleasant though - whenever you die in this mode. It’s super loud and the game has no settings at all as far as I can tell. I would toggle it off in a heartbeat. The game relies so heavily on rhythm so it’s not like you can turn the sound off altogether.

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140 is absolutely incredible. There’s one tiny moment in the game that I will never forget:

There’s one level where you have to move quickly to avoid getting lifted by a rising wall into a hazard. At one point, you have to stop in a tiny gap between two walls, and for a moment you are surrounded on both sides by the huge rising walls. When this happens, the game also puts all the sound through a low-pass filter to make it sound like you are insulated from the sound outside by the walls.

It was a surprise because (as far as I could tell) there were no other cute audio “puns” like those.

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I played this again all the way through the main game and still liked it and have no novel or insightful commentary to add but I felt like I should check in.

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I did indeed finish this game on mirror mode, at great emotional cost. Level 3 was rough, and level 4 was even more so. I wouldn’t recommend it! The game works very well as a relaxing platformer with super cool sound design and minimalist aesthetics, but the removal of checkpoints completely shifted the vibe for me.

Most of the platforming is more like a puzzle than a skill check, once you know what to do, you can do it every time. However there are a few sections with very precise timing, often requiring you to move sort of off-beat or just before a beat lands - I find that really tough! So I ended up in this pattern of playing a minute or two of fairly uninteresting stuff that I could do no problem, getting one attempt at a tough part and failing, then having to go back and slog through the boring part again.

I think the most difficult thing was: normally when I am grinding out repetitive stuff like this, I will put on some music or a podcast. It can be quite a relaxing experience. In this game, however, the rhythm elements are so vital that trying to focus on any other audio just completely threw me off. So, I ended up in this kind of purgatory where I wasn’t quite engaged enough to be fully immersed, but not able to divide my attention at all to mitigate that.

What worked was to not play the game too much, just 30 minute sessions here and there. I fired it up on a Sunday morning and cleared the final level on my first attempt. It felt great! Sometimes I get myself in these weird situations where I commit to some meaningless gaming challenge, and I’m wondering why I even bother cause I’m not even really enjoying it… but there is a palpable sense of satisfaction at the end of a trial like that. One of the things I really love about video games is they let you experience and experiment with the whole gamut of negative emotions in kind of a safe way.

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2024-05-23 06_59_59-Steam

Been a couple years!

I just finished replaying the game. I still think it’s neat. I remember nine years ago struggling with the boss in stage three, but this time around I just cruised through the whole game. Took me fifty-two minutes! Love that.

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