Serendipity in 2D
Serendipity. An attitude for making desirable discoveries by accident. It also adds a little more mystique to Sri Lanka, which was once called Serendip. And it's a pretty apt name for this little game, providing that someone will have to die in the process. Serendipity in 2D by Justin McKeon is an arty game, maybe even an experimental one. You view a hospital from the side, the walls cut away. With your far-reaching cursor you have to orchestrate chains of events that will ultimately lead to three things: someone being saved, someone finding love and someone dying.
This is not quite the same as ImmorTall, that sad tale of a visiting space alien exposed to humanity's best and worst. In that game you could alter events and get different outcomes. Serendipity isn't as inclined towards any real arty commentary, even though you might think so at first. After all, realising you can make someone die must have some symbolic implication...
No? No. Serendipity is more of a clever puzzle game. As mentioned, you need to achieve three things in the game and you will only accomplish that with the exact sequence of events. The only way to uncover them; trial and error. Extensive trial and error. Precision pixel hunting trial and error. As you click around, you will discover small sequences. Some of these are intentionally misleading, such as causing a pivotal character to leave too early. Maybe a character needs to be distracted at just the right time. Perhaps you are doing something at just the wrong time. These factors all play a role while you try and crack the full sequence (which is hardly a minute long).
What's the point? Entertainment for pedantic minutia sniffers? Probably, but that means I am one of them, poking around the screen to find the golden way to life, death and love. Serendipity In 2D will cause frustration and howls of disbelief (especially on one bit where timing is almost more luck than skill), but it is well worth it when you figure it all out. Nope, no prize (apart from a romantic evening), but you get the satisfaction of knowing that you figured it out. If that won't do it for you, maybe sidestep this game. But then you won't find life, death and love for the little characters.