A blog about casual gaming

34
ImmorTall

ImmorTall

ImmorTall is a beautiful, emotionally moving game that makes you ponder on the nature of life.

Bookmark and Share
Published by Tasha on 11th March 2010

If you are expecting some mindless entertainment from today's Game of the Day - perhaps whacking hedgehogs into outer space, or lobotomising zombies with an AK47, or maybe just shooting up aliens - then, I am afraid, you are going to be disappointed. For today's Game of the Day cannot in any way be described as an action game (although it does have some action in it).

Neither is it an adventure style game (sorry, Zelda connoisseurs). Fans of escape-the-room games are also unlikely to find much in the game - there is very little point and clicking going on at all. And strategy game fans, get back to the latest version of Civilisation for there is nothing for you here. Ditto RPGers (replacing Civilisation with Dragons Age Origins).

So what kind of game are you reviewing exactly, I hear you ask. Well, err... you see it is very difficult to categorise it at all. I have only come across one other game like it and, frustratingly, that game was impossible to categorise too. So, I suppose, there you have it: today's Game of the Day - ImmorTall - falls into the impossible-to-categorise category of games. Wait a sec. Isn't that a contradiction in terms, I hear you say. Yes, it is. Now deal with it.

If all this lack of clarity over the game is making you want to vacate this site right now, I can understand, but stick with us, for ImmorTall really is a very special game, and if you were to go now, you would miss out on one of the most moving, philosophical games around.

The game starts with you crash landing on a planet. It soon becomes clear that you are an alien and the planet is Earth. Exactly where and when on Earth is never spelt out. After pulling yourself out of your space craft, you start to explore the planet. Soon you come across a native - a little girl. She seems excited to meet you and calls on you to follow her. She takes you to her brother, who is picking apples from a tree. He throws one to you. You eat it. You seem to like it. And you let the little boy sit on your shoulders.

The two children lead you to their parents, who are initially terrified of you and run away. But you soon win them over with your alien charm, and they give you something more to eat. At this point, unless you are a trully cold-hearted alien, you will have bonded with the family. The cute sprites and animations help in this respect. The family members emit little red hearts, showing how much they appreciate you.

It is about now that you find out that the family is in trouble. A damaged fighter plane, trailing a dark plume of smoke, whizzes by over your head. Then some soldiers turn up, firing at the family. You rush to protect them, using your tough alien body to ward off the enemy bullets. Your task is to lead the family to safety, doing your best to prevent any of them being killed by bullets, tank shells or bombs.

The game is quite difficult. The first time I played, I only managed to save one of the family. The second time I did better and saved three. I could have left it there but the game creates such an emotional bond between you and the family that you can't rest until you have saved them all.

The developer, Evan Miller of Pixel Ante, has designed the game with simple and effective graphics, largely using a pallette of shades of grey. This is perhaps a reference to Stephen Spielberg's holocaust film Schindler's List. The film is entirely shot in black and white apart from a girl in a red dress. Immortall is similar: colour is only used sparingly, for the red hearts the family emit to show their appreciation, the green drops of your alien blood, the blue tears the family let out when one of them has died and the colour of the sky to reflect how you are feeling.

ImmorTall reminds me a lot of The Majesty of Colours. Both games put you in charge of an alien monster interacting with people. Both leave it up to you whether to help or hinder the people. And both succeed in making you feel philosophical - something that is very rare in a game. ImmorTall may be a very short game but it lingers in your memory long after you have finished it - in a good way. Play Immortall here.

If you enjoyed Immortal, you might want to check out other games of a philosophical bent in Casual Girl Gamer's list of Five Games That Make You Think About Life.


Bookmark and Share

Add comment

Submit

Follow us

  • Twitter

    Be the first to hear about new posts by following us at @casualgirlgamer

  • Facebook

    Alternatively, you might want to become a fan of our facebook page, which you can find here.

  • RSS

    Subscribe to Casual Girl Gamer’s RSS feed here

  • Email

    Enter your email address below and we’ll keep you posted when we have new articles.

    Go

Game reviews

  • Lume

    State of Play's new puzzle adventure title Lume might be made out of cardboard cutouts but it is in no way a one-dimensional game.

    Read more
  • The Tiny Bang Story

    Beautiful hand-drawn graphics, nicely balanced and creative puzzles and a great sound track, The Tiny Bang Story delivers on all fronts.

    Read more
  • Castaway 2

    Robinson Crusoe had it lucky. He was only stranded on a desert island once. Things are not so easy for the hero of RPG adventure game series Castaway.

    Read more
  • ClubWorld

    If the idea of running your own nightclub gets you excited, then Tapulous's latest iOS game might have you dancing around with joy.

    Read more
  • Insectonator

    If the only good bug is a dead one, then you will be doing one helluva lot of good work in this cheery insect massacring game.

    Read more
> More game reviews

Popular articles

  • Top 10 robot games

    Robots make great characters in games. Don't believe us, then check out these ten great robot games, all of which can be played in your browser for free.

    Read more
  • Best One Button Games

    It is amazing how much fun you can have with games that use just one button.

    Read more
  • Five classic games that you can play in your browser

    In their day, they were at the bleeding edge of gaming technology. Now, you can play them in your browser for free. Oh, the humiliation.

    Read more
  • Top ten hardest games

    So you fancy yourself as a bit of a mean gamer. You always opt for the hardest settings when playing games. Well, we have a challenge for you - ten of the most difficult online games we could find.

    Read more
  • Top 10 Gravity Games

    The laws of physics might not work as you expect in our list of the ten best gravity-themed games you can play for free online.

    Read more
> More popular articles

Developer spotlights

  • Jake Elliott

    You won't find any resource-management or mindless slash and dash games in Jake Elliott's portfolio. What you will find are thought-provoking games that encourage you to ponder on the human experience.

    Read more
  • Con Artist Games

    Chris Condon of Con Artist Games has a reputation for developing some of the most polished games on the web. Casual Girl Gamer speaks to him about his gaming philosophy.

    Read more
  • Gregory Weir

    By combining great story-telling with imaginative game worlds, Gregory Weir has created some of the most thought-provoking games on the internet.

    Read more
  • John Cooney

    Armor Games' head of game development John Cooney - or jmtb02, as he is better known - is one of the most prolific and imaginative game developers around.

    Read more
  • Evan Miller

    In ImmorTall, indie developer Evan Miller created one of the most emotionally moving games to grace the internet. We speak to him about his gaming philosophy and plans for the future.

    Read more
  • Mateusz Skutnik

    Mateusz Skutnik is a rarity: a gifted artist who is also a skilled coder. He is responsible for some of the most beautiful casual games on the web.

    Read more
> More spotlights