I recently came across a clever little platform game by Kyle Pulver named Depict1. It has a rather interesting concept of mechanics, that enables the narration to become part of the game mechanics. You begin the game given the command “Click nothing to begin”, which being the only button available, you obviously click it. This proceeds onto another screen in which tell you not to press X and C, again the player obviously does the opposite of what it is saying. You then will be on the first level, in which the narrator appears to you and gives you several commands, that through trial and error you steadily learn to be the opposite of what you should be doing. The game is being the opposite of what we know games to begin like, usually we have a tutorial that will guide a player through some simple tasks to get them acquainted with the controls and aim of the game. Depict1 uses the idea of a tutorial and twists it so that it allows the player to realise that the main theme of the game is to be witty and read between the lines; it makes for an interesting game.
This screenshot shows a part of the game where the narrator tells you to stop playing the game as you can’t continue over the massive pit of spikes. This is a very clever use of a well-known video game reference, all gamers will know the dreaded pit of spikes=restart from checkpoint, so at this point it seems that the narrator is actually trying to help you. Although the pit of spikes is the only way to go, so you have no choice but to risk it, and as it turns out the “deadly” pit of spikes end up turning into a projectile that you can use to climb higher up walls.
Depict1 is a very good example of how the language can be further integrated into a games mechanics, it proves how much language plays within a game. To understand this though, it is probably best to have a go on the game so here is a link to it.