Indie Quickies: i saw her too, with lasers

I saw her too

By Patrick Walker

i saw her too, with lasers
Developer: KrangGAMES

Newgrounds.com is an odd beast to me. Is it still relevant? I think it is. I have the same trepidation toward judging it that I have toward judging Three Days Grace, Good Charlotte, The Used, and The All-American Rejects. I’m nervous about calling them pointless and irrelevant simply because they are no longer relevant to me. From the early to mid 2000s, Newgrounds was my favorite site on the internet, period. Now, I can’t be bothered to visit it. The purpose of this entire ramble is because the last time I was compelled to visit, in 2012, I found i saw her standing there.

Bottom line: it’s a simple, witty, heart-warming flash game that’s definitely worth the ten minutes it takes to play. However, we’re here to talk about the sequel, i saw her too, with lasers. I cannot properly describe the joy I felt when I saw that KrangGAMES released a sequel to this gem. I will, however, limit my gushing to a single sentence. So, how is the sequel, and how does it compare to the original? First off, I’ll admit that I’m late to the party. This game was released in November 2013, a third installment came out July 27th of this year, and I just found out about both. However, if you’ll excuse my tardiness, I’ll tell you what I think.

I’ll start with the music. Along with the wistful acoustic guitar it shares with its predecessor, we’ve now got a whole folk band in the mix: complete with bass and drums! It may seem small, but when a game has a minimalistic presentation, small additions have a huge impact. It’s a sign that the sequel is starting off on the right foot: it shows that the designer wants to build off of the original, not just slap a fresh coat of paint on it and call it a sequel. Admittedly, these additions may seem inconsequential to some, but that’s how I feel.

The presentation is almost identical to the original, with an ample helping of SCIENCE. No, not science, but SCIENCE (there is a difference). There’s not much to say about the art itself, but I do have a lot to say about the function it serves. I’d love to show this game to a game design 101 class, specifically one on how to properly convey gameplay and plot elements through visuals alone.

I saw her too 2

As you can see on the first level, you have two characters: one clearly masculine in color scheme and one clearly feminine. You also see a transparent blue block with red lines running down to another block with an electricity symbol on it. It’s the only interactive object on screen, so you click it. By clicking it, the wall disappears and the two characters move to each other, they appear to embrace, and there are heart symbols over their heads.

"True love. Bloody, decayed, pus-filled love."

“True love. Bloody, decayed, pus-filled love.”

With 7 assets, you have completely explained the plot, the goal, the obstacles, and the method of overcoming said obstacles in your game. I am a sucker for minimalism and this is why: brilliance in simplicity.

That leads us into gameplay. Though the end goal is the same as the original: guide zombies to an end point, the gameplay is completely different. Instead of manually controlling a single character, you use your various contraptions of SCIENCE to direct the zombie lovebirds to where you want them to go. It’s at both times intuitive and sadistic. I was never confused as to how I was supposed to beat a level, but found myself failing constantly due to my own inadequacies as a player. The minimalism means that the game can compound several different puzzle elements without them being confusing, but the complexity is still difficult to juggle properly. Thankfully, each level is small enough that starting over isn’t too much of a setback.

It’s the best kind of frustrating: it’s infuriating, mostly because you know it’s entirely your fault, but when you succeed it’s all the more satisfying because of it. Last but not least, the story. You are a scientist. You found a boy and girl zombie in love. You want to cure them. It is as if the story was written by a six year old, and I mean that as compliment. It’s simple and absurd, and you can’t help but smile at it.

So that’s i saw her too, with lasers and my first indie quickie. If you have ten minutes to spare, and want a deceptively complex, charming little puzzle game then I can’t recommend this one enough. I’d also highly recommend checking out all of KrangGAMES work at http://kranggames.com, including the third installment of this series: i saw her across the world. That is what I’m going to be doing… right now. Toodles!

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