As Atticus Finch once said, you never really know a man until you walk around in his shoes. ALZ is an interactive art game which literally lets you walk in someone else's shoes, see what they see and understand how they perceive the world. All you can do is press the right [arrow] key to move forward and the [spacebar] when prompted to interact with an object. With its simplified visuals and a minimalistic setting, the game sets the scene effortlessly, unencumbered by an extensive story. There is only the protagonist, taking what seems to be a pleasant stroll to the bus stop. How ALZ goes from that to crushing your spirit in less than two minutes is a stroke of genius. Since it is so very short, giving out any clues would spoil the experience. It's enough to say that the game uses every last of its meagre resources and plays them just right to portray a terrible human condition at the core of our own deepest fears. Before you know it, ALZ will have you staring at the screen in a state of utter dejection, then clicking on "replay", desperately hoping for an alternative ending. It takes real courage to dare to condense such a saddening and complex subject into a small piece of interactive art, but the result is undeniably a sucess, even if it does break your heart.
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