Hummingbird Mind


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Rating: 4.6/5 (164 votes)
| Comments (22) | Views (132)

joyeHummingbird MindYou're in front of the computer. You should be working right now. But there's dishes in the sink, maybe you should wash them. Hmm, has the mail come yet? And you're so tired, even the desk is looking comfy... Sound familiar? I'm guessing a sizable portion of the JIG community (your humble reviewer included) will recognize an aspect of themselves in Hummingbird Mind, a brief visual novel by Cardboard Computer about distractions and daydreams. You'll have to make your way through the abstract narrative and find equally abstract solutions to the distractions that pop up if you want to succeed.

Hummingbird Mind plays a bit like an old-fashioned "Choose Your Own Adventure" novel. Each scene presents you with a piece of narrative, and usually several options to choose from to help you navigate or decide what to do next. Just click to make your choice. Lather, rinse, repeat... hey, speaking of which, do you maybe need a shower too? Add that to the list. Right after "find the list". There's no way to lose, and while reason will get you there faster, you could conceivably brute force your way through every dialogue choice and get to the ending that way. However, you'd be missing out on the real point of the game, which isn't to provide a challenge for you to beat, but rather to give you a new perspective.

Many of you probably found your way to this review because you are checking your RSS feed (or Facebook wall, or Twitter or ad nauseum) instead of working on that thing that you are supposed to be doing right now. Don't look so sheepish! I'm not here to judge, and more importantly, neither is Hummingbird Mind. The premise of "you are distracted and you must eliminate the distractions to get to work" is a plot that is very common in creative works such as games, probably because so many creators are freelancers. Write/program what you know, right? Many of these games treat distraction as "The Enemy". Hummingbird Mind doesn't. On the contrary, Hummingbird Mind seems to want you to cuddle up to your distractions and have a big ol' kumbayah circle with them. It's a refreshing and stress-relieving take, and since the game will only take you 15 minutes to play through to the end, this is a distraction that you can allow yourself even if the deadline is dire.

Whoa, meta.

Play Hummingbird Mind

22 Comments

Acidifiers Author Profile Page August 10, 2010 10:21 AM

Just finished.

It was quite short. I'm unsure what to make of it, exactly, but it was a nice few minutes of... distraction.

*cuddles up with the game and forms big kumbayah circle with the others*

Ooh, this is fun...

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Nice game

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You can make the game darker or lighter by pressing the key above the Enter key, but below the Backspace key.

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As with a few other games.. this doesn't seem to work so well via Mac/Firefox.. Safari works fine though.

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LOL. The ending..

That was really fun :D

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"Does the mail ever come?"

I am sitting at work trying not to hoot at laughter about the delay of the mail delivery person.

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It struck me as odd that

the mail carrier would indefinately flee from the dog if you slept in the park, and would only do her duty if you were in the park and were awake to calm your dog. I mean, if I were a mailman, I would simply avoid the dog, or come back at a time when the dog wasn't at the park.

But alas, when do games make sense...

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Axyraandas Author Profile Page August 10, 2010 4:09 PM

Great game, and I loved how the kitten wanted the library card (That's exactly like me!)! I'd like some more games like this from you in the future- it's fun, surreal, and relaxing.

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sunnylauren Author Profile Page August 10, 2010 5:22 PM

I love visual novel games :). It's cool that this one was about

ADD. And that "Hummingbird Mind" is the name they're using for ADD. It's cute and I didn't expect it.

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Lovely interactive novel =)
Has that old-school text adventure feel to it, plus matching old school graphics.
I'd like some more games like this from you in the future (2).

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Little bit of VN, little bit of IF. I loved how actions you couldn't take yet were still listed, but blanked out.

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I love this game from beginning to the end. I can understand the meanings and I love the creative dialogues. My favorite character is the little kitten.

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Squeeeeeeee!

Best part about it - I finally have a name for my condition that doesn't sound like I have some sick disease! The next time I'm accused of being ADHD, I can just say, "No, indeed! I have a hummingbird mind! So there!"

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Choose your adventure games are fun. And the photo effect is interesting.

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Fun little game, and not too long, either. I like games where I can't lose. I don't like it when games force me to miss some of the content because of time constraints... Anyway, back to being distracted by something else. :P

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The Logical Ghost Author Profile Page August 11, 2010 11:49 AM

Adorable. I loved the bit about

The kitten needing the library card, and your cat being all high-and-mighty.

Truly a beautiful little game.

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"Quotation" August 12, 2010 5:39 PM

Strange. I usually think of people with "Hummingbird Mind" as being hyper (am I thinking of something else?) but this game was wonderfully calming. I was thinking that everything would build up to a big exciting moment, and I was disappointed when it didn't. It took me a bit to realize that even magic can be quiet and relaxing.

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The background music/sounds were annoying. I would have liked if the sounds described in the text were played instead, like the running water, the air conditioning and traffic, and the barking dog.
For some reason, I couldn't choose the "There are no birds in the park" option in answer to the cat.
Otherwise, it was pretty straightforward, and I liked it. I wish that all of my distracting tasks somehow link to and help each other.

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TheMusicGirl Author Profile Page August 27, 2010 10:43 PM

What an unexpected ending! I quite like this one. Kinda short, though...got it all on the first try. Gotta say about the music, though, could have been a much better choice. Something relaxing...or Xheia's idea sounds nice. Lovely.

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I actually do have ADD, and so it was wonderful to see a game make an everyday occurence out of it. It's a funny quirk, and I loved the name they came up with. I relate to it completely, but even those of us without "hummingbird mind" have had days like this. 5/5, undeniably.

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Quite a lovely, simple little game. I love games in which all you need to do is nudge the story in the right direction. :3

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I love my attention deficit. Distractions are fun!

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