Sometimes atmosphere is everything. Coma, a delightful exploration and adventure game by Thomas Brush, brings such an abundance of atmosphere to the exploration game table you might just want to clean out your refrigerator to save the leftovers. Managing to set the scene, tell an intriguing story and wrap everything up very tidily in about 15 minutes, Coma makes for an excellent casual game experience. Cryptic graffiti scrawled on walls hint at a course of action but first there are things to be done.
Use the [arrow] keys to move your character around and the left mouse button to advance dialog. Within moments you'll be quite comfortable with the precise and tight controls which will come in useful with the very few platforming elements Coma introduces. The majority of the time the character will be running and jumping through non-hazardous environments and interacting with other characters to advance the story. Dialog options will always resolve themselves to move the adventure forward. Occasionally your character will need the help of his associate, Bird, to interact with elements just out of your character's reach.
Analysis: Mildly reminiscent of the Nevermore series, Coma is executed superbly well. The fluidity of the characters' movement and the soft yet exacting details of the scenery work together to create a rich and whimsical experience and it does so without being overwhelming or pretentious. The game does lack a mute button but a mute button in Coma would somehow be detrimental. The music (also by the developer) is as mellow and noninvasive as Coma's environment and is precisely complementary to the game's mood.
There is nothing very difficult involved with the game play; the few puzzles encountered are very straightforward and there's generally nothing stressful to be encountered. With no scoring mechanism and nothing that can kill you the motivation to continue is to resolve seemingly odd requests and questions introduced by other characters.
The ambience is somewhat melancholy in places but never gets too dark or depressing; there's always something the character is heading toward to give the needed momentum. The length of the game is approximately 15 minutes which might seem short but those 15 minutes bring forth a surprising amount of depth and quality. Hopefully future projects by Mr Brush will be longer because Coma is a thoroughly enjoyable adventure.