It's Not About The Aliens
We've got a real gem here, folks. A narrative-based art game with a gorgeous style and heart to match, Ian Burnett's It's Not About The Aliens (also available on GameJolt) teaches browser games can be so much more than cheap, fun distractions. What appears to be merely a platform game with a good physics system gradually unfolds into an emotionally resonant tale of lost love and somber yearning for better days. You control with the [WASD] or [arrow] keys, and you can shoot your little pistol with either a click or with the [CTRL] key. Aliens block your path, but you can't die. After all, it's not about the aliens. It's about the people you're longing for, and the ordeals you suffer through to save them.
Mr. Burnett has created a fascinating new retro art style with the Unity engine, somehow layering simple shades of yellow and black pixels into something that appears three-dimensional and deep. As mentioned, the physics are spectacular and very fun to mess with, although it can make the controls feel a bit slippery at times. But perhaps that's part of the point. Every missed jump costs you time and energy, each frustrating miscalculation mirrors your character's urgent need to find their beloved before all is lost. It's fantastically engrossing storytelling, all performed with minimalist flair more evocative than many triple-A console games could ever dream to be. If only the late, great Roger Ebert were still with us and complaining how games can't be art. We could sit him down in front of It's Not About The Aliens and prove him wrong once and for all.