The Glean of Glob

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Rating: 4.1/5 (98 votes)
Comments (21) | Views (4,743)
Grinnypgleanofglob_title.jpgA collaboration between game developer, Ricky Haggett, and artist, Daniel Baker, The Glean of Glob was initially created as an interactive art installation. And though this Web edition might be called an experimental point-and-click, the term 'game as art' is definitely at play here.

It is difficult to describe the gameplay of The Glean of Glob. This is a surrealist dream, or perhaps a nightmare. There are no instructions, the player must figure out what to do while interacting with the characters on the screen. Everything can be accomplished by a click of the mouse, but after that, well, perhaps you'd better see for yourself. If you are looking for a linear experience, starting at A and progressing neatly to Z, this is not the place for you. But if you are up to the challenge, and would like to experience thought-provoking artwork, then dive into the world of The Glean of Glob.

gleanofglob.jpgAnalysis: Add this to the category of games that push the envelope of what a game can be. Waker also comes to mind, a combination of game, education, and surrealistic art that becomes more than the sum of its parts. The Glean of Glob smashes past that, dropping linear structure altogether. Not quite a game, not quite a narrative, there is a story there nonetheless. The artist obviously chose to create something more like an experience. And it is an interesting experience at that.

You might even hesitate to call The Glean of Glob a game. Granted, it has the elements of a game. There is a beginning, a middle, and an end, and there are goals within each scene that must be performed. However, interacting is more like flying through a Magritte painting while listening to The Dark Side of the Moon (while, perhaps, suffering a psychotic break). What, in the end, does it mean? Like all art, it is subjective, and subject to the interpretation of the individual.

So if you are in the mood for something casual, then sit back, fire up the Glean of Glob, and live the experience. Perhaps your mind will wander paths it has never wandered before.

Play The Glean of Glob

Walkthrough Guide

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The Glean of Glob Walkthrough

  • Strap yourself in, it's going to get strange.

  • You will be going back and forth a lot in this game. The little stick figures will hold up arrow signs to indicate when you can move.

  • There's a little stick figure on the right, waving a sign with an arrow. Click on the arrow to go right.

  • You are now in a plain littered with boxes and bombs. Notice the box that has a small tear in the lower corner. Click on that box to release the little...things. If you click on the things you will notice that makes them jump. Eventually some of them will sprout red balloons.

  • Notice (and this is important) that when you click on the balloons they will drop down to the little guys holding them. Eventually when some of the little guys move far enough to the right, the stick figure will raise an arrow allowing you to go that way.

  • Wait until a large mass of little grey guys are moving to the right, then click the arrow.

  • There is a slab there. Click on it and it will fall down across the black area.

  • Some of the little guys will start to move towards the bridge. Also notice one of the heads will open its mouth and bird-like things will fly out.

  • This bit takes a little patience: you want to get the guys with the red balloons across the bridge. Click back and forth between the bridge and the previous scene (with the boxes) until you get a guy with a red balloon heading to the right. Keep up with him and keep clicking that balloon, keeping it close to the ground. When he moves to the edge of the box scene click on the arrow to move to the bridge scene, and keep clicking that balloon. If the balloon is flying free the birds will cut the string.

  • Once the little guy with a balloon reaches the right of the screen, the next stick man will hold up an arrow sign. Click on it.

  • You are now in a scene with six stick men (two holding papers) and a pile of something covered in a sheet. When the little guy with the balloon makes it to this scene the balloon will attach itself to the corner of the sheet.

  • You need to go back and escort three more little guys with balloons across the bridge (keeping the balloons down so the birds don't get them) and into this scene so that there are four balloons, one on each corner of the sheet. Once all four balloons are in place they will fly away with the sheet.

  • The sheet will lift up, revealing a pile of hay. Now something that looks like a ball with an eye will go shooting across the screen. Go back to the box scene and the ball will have landed, setting everything on fire.

  • You can move the ball by clicking on it and dragging. Click and drag it to the right, across the bridge, to the scene with the pile of hay.

  • Once you are at the hay, drag the ball to the hay to set it on fire. Moving the ball is tricky, but you will get there eventually.

  • When the hay burns down it will reveal a black hole in the ground. Four things that look like t-shirts will come flying out.

  • Here's another tricky bit. The four stick men who are not holding signs will jump when you click on them. Click on them when a t-shirt is hovering over them and they will transform into something that looks like a sawhorse (with the t-shirt acting as a head). When all four are converted, they will begin to walk to the left. Follow them. Work quickly, because they will start to break apart if all four aren't done quickly.

  • The animated saw horses will go back to the box scene, which is still on fire.

  • The t-shirts will separate from the stick men and pick up one of the bombs. They will then proceed to fly to the right. Follow them.

  • When you get to the scene where the hay was, they will keep going to the right. Eventually the stick man will raise the arrow, and you can follow them to the last scene.

  • You are now in a scene with a giant head laying on the ground. The object is to click on the bomb when it is hovering directly over the head's mouth, so that the bomb falls into the mouth. If you miss, the t-shirts will pick it up again and continue to fly around.

  • Once the bomb falls into the giant head's mouth the head will swallow the bomb, and you can enjoy the end animation.

  • The end?


StephenM3 October 1, 2009 9:00 PM

That... was pretty depressing. I'm left wondering if there's anything I could have done differently.

StephenM3 October 1, 2009 9:02 PM

Although I disagree that it "drops linear structure altogether." This seemed very linear, just waiting for the player to click on the right thing before advancing to the next step in the pre-defined series of events. Unless I missed a whole lot?


wow - that ended kinda differently to how i imagined. i love these kind of games, thanks for reviewing it!


Is anyone else getting an error message?

[Edit: What sort of error message? And when do you get it? -Jay]


Nice for a casual game, just what I was looking for for a pre-bedtime entertainment. Although it's hard to do it with a touchpad XD. I don't really feel interpreting it tonight but maybe next time.


Um, yeah ok. I mean well done and everything. Very entertaining but ...mmmm.


I also got an error message; something about a script running slowly that could make my computer unresponsive. I quit Firefox and restarted and it went away.

Great game!

curiousgeorgie October 2, 2009 9:26 PM

Blew my mind.
Depressing end though.

Grant Thurston October 2, 2009 9:50 PM

I LOVED THIS GAME. :P I wish it were longer though. I love games like this, where you have no idea what's going on. I'm assuming that pine cone thing was the Gleam of Glob? O_o

Anonymous October 3, 2009 1:01 AM

I don't see how the ending is depressing...seeing as it's nearly impossible to form any sort of emotional connection with anything.

zbeeblebrox October 3, 2009 2:08 AM

"it's nearly impossible to form any sort of emotional connection with anything."

But those little guys helped you with their little balloons without even asking...and then you accidentally set them on fire. I don't think they liked being on fire. Although they seemed to be weathering it okay. And the lazy Easter Island heads were just minding their own business the whole time, chillin on the ground. They seemed pretty cool. Like they'd be good people to have a conversation with, as long as you do all the talking. And the Sign Guys, they might have been sticklers for the rules, but they were pretty gentlemanly about it. They were alright too, after you got to know them a little better.

And then you let the game make you blow everything up..

What if...what if next time, I don't wanna blow everything up?? W-what then??? Well...I won't! How do ya like that?!
...But...maybe if the Glean was gleamier, I'd think about it.

muffinmonkey October 3, 2009 8:04 AM

I think the glean in the Glean of the Glob means understanding. Or maybe not understanding, I don't think we should analyse this game, maybe just seeing it through till the end.

I saw the emotional contact being formed.

I spawned those little guys by clicking the box, saved them from evil bird people trying to crush their dreams, led them past the heads who spawned these things, accidentally set them on fire, and then helped them destroy their arch-nemesis the giant head.

I really liked it. (even though I did accidentally miss the end animation)

Offriender October 3, 2009 9:44 PM

Think I encountered a bug.

After I got the birds on horses and they went to the boxes, instead of following the birds back, I stayed and tried to put out the fires but quarantining the guys on fire. (Didn't work). By the time I went back to the right, the bomb was off the screen and the stick guy kept his arrow down. I couldn't progress and had to restart.


I cant pass the stage with flying t shirts at all.. D: and the stickmans jump out of screen to unaccessed place.. I had retry once and this happened again.. :(


I took it more as an example of how mindlessly destructive humanity will be in the pursuit of an unexplained, foolish sounding goal.

Pure curiosity and a desire entertainment leads each of us to set creatures on fire, as well as what appear to be their homes - to guide a destructive and malevolent looking ball of nasty around then abandon it irresponsibly to continue burning things - then to intentionally play with explosives without thought for the consequences =D


Interesting game.... Sad ending.....


what do you do after the stick men jump off to the right? I can't find anthing useful to do after that! :(


I see plenty of war metaphors in this game. The cardboard boxes represent a city and the little things that pop out are civilians; the birds that cut the balloon strings are raiding airplanes; the burning eye that falls from the sky is a dropped bomb, etc. It reminds me very much of Picasso's Guernica.


The ending is sad, you help save the little guys, and in return, you burn their houses and make them suffer a fiery dismise. D:


I actually thought it was a pretty clear condemnation of war

The little people live in a city, and want to bring balloons over to the right for some reason, but are denied by the heads. However, they succeed anyway, but then another really big head from the right spews a bomb (basically) and the little people retaliate by nuke the whole damn thing


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