I am fortunate to be employed and able to work from home. Since our shutdown began in late March, I’ve spent my weekends looking at prepper-adjacent product reviews (backpacks, camping percolators) on the internet, and trying to learn Bitsy (Adam Le Doux’s “little editor for little games or worlds”) by making small Bitsy games. I’ve given myself 1 parameter: quantity over quality.
I’ve made 34 so far, and am hoping to get up to 100–we shall see (update: I did it!). Since they only exist on my computer, I feel pretty free to experiment and play. It’s been fun and distracting, and also an interesting way to mark the passage of time.
This means I’ve also been playing a lot of Bisty games. Here are some of my favorites. All of them take less than 10 minutes to play:
Five Great Places to Get a Nice Cup of Tea When You Are Asleep by cephalopodunk: This game is highly specific in the strangest of ways, with vivid environments and writing. It is thoroughly delightful. I am paying particular attention to the way the waterfall and train track tiles suggest continuous movement. I hope to visit one of these teahouses (well, perhaps not the Hand-Thief’s Den) in my dreams sometime.
novena, a poem by cecile richard: This is a lovely, elegiac game, whose story is told through repetition. I’m pretty astonished to see how the limited visual vocabulary of Bitsy can convey the various moods of the sea, and can even evoke light filtered through water. This game covers a lot of emotional ground in a small space.
In the pines, in the pines, where the sun never shines, a ballad by Laura Hunt and Thomas Möhring: I adore murder ballads, and this one is no exception. Excellent writing, and very effective use of color.
Our Damned Machine by Sophie Houlden: A short game, with an important reminder about the machine. I like the different categories of sprites and the rendering of machinery, particularly the gears and pulleys.
UNDER A STAR CALLED SUN by cecile richard: This is a heartbreaking game about loss and the instability of memory. In some ways it feels more like a graphic novel, in which the story is told through a succession of discrete cells rather than by navigating a continuous space.