After a long, southern-hemisphere winter hibernation, Aussie Auteur Jason Nelson hits us with another simple movement game chock full of crazy texts and post-modern level design shenanigans.
Evidence of Everything Exploding lays its proof like this: you control an arrow, everything is exploding as you move around, therefore... I mean cOme oN, it should be obvious. Your goal is to get to the "Reach This!" thingey in every level. To pull this off you have to brave things that kill you on collision, along with switches that open doors. Jason understands that these objects are the Lions, Tigers and Bears of 98% of all games ever made, and he tears apart your expectations in a delightfully zany manner, then freezes them in a block of Fosters and lets you draw your own conclusions about the future you'll experience after your mind is cryogenically de-frozen.
Controls are simple, the [arrow] keys move you about. That's it. Then you collide with things, some things are baaaad, some things are GOOD, some things explode and then provide evidence. There are also buttons that will appear that can be clicked with the mouse and trigger effects laid over the screen, such as bees buzzing around or airplanes colliding. The game itself is dead simple, as usual with Nelson's work it's all about the content.
Analysis: Jason teaches new media in a university, a job that involves interacting with 18-22s on subjects such as deconstructionism, semiotics, what significance certain video games might have, ect. It also means you get to mess around and do whatever you want, and hence we get a consistently inconsistent set of "art games" from him. I think Evidence is the best one yet, not the least reason being that it's the most playable. The control scheme is so simple (gravity is taken out of the equation and there's no shooting) that you can directly poke around with the text. The texts here are typically enthusiastic in their dance between being meaningful and pointless, a post-modern signature, but I found them particularly entertaining, especially the bits about feces being a pre-historic super food and the Spanish Flu being a powerful alternative fuel. It's also interesting to get to read actual documents written by Bill Gates and others, and last but not least, the 1984 patent for the Pizza Box. I wish I/he/they were kidding, but someone actually tried to patent the pizza box. I wrote a patent back in 2008 for a financial process involving renewable energy, and I realized it was unpatentable, apparently, that shouldn't have stopped me, and I do agree with Jason that the law is confused about intellectual property. In either case, thanks for releasing this game for free Jason, though I think trying to charge people for it would have been way more ironic.
Are you ready to accept that things fall apart, the center cannot hold, and that doors can be opened by colliding with boxes? If so, prepare yourself for this mind boggling, stunningly austere experience.