Pampanga-made ‘indie’ game gets global attention

By Chloe Cabrera

Proving that world-class talent and creativity is not only confined to the big cities, a Pampanga-based developer has created an “indie” game that has garnered worldwide acclaim from players and popular mobile gaming sites alike.

Pinoy indie game developer Bari Silvestre (left) in one of the gaming conventions abroad

Pinoy indie game developer Bari Silvestre (left) in one of the gaming conventions abroad

Called “Pretentious Game,” the gaming title was created by Bari Silvestre, an independent game developer from Pampanga.

The mobile game, which was released in December last year, has so far racked up more than 350,000 downloads for iOS and Android. The game has also been featured on app store homepages and top “Puzzle and Family” game lists in over 80 countries.

“Pretentious Game” took home the “Director’s Choice Award” at Casual Connect San Francisco 2013 and the “Best Browser-Based Game” award at the Philippine Game Developers Festival Annual Awards 2013.

It was also nominated for “Best in Storytelling” at Casual Connect San Francisco 2013 and showcased at numerous events, including the Tokyo Game Show 2013 Awards and Casual Connect Seattle 2012.

While “Pretentious Game” is 100-percent Filipino-made, Silvestre has partnered with international game publisher BulkyPix for the distribution of the mobile game.

Its first chapter is available for free on the iTunes App Store and Google Play, while the rest of the game may be bought for $0.99 through in-game purchase.

The game’s objective is fairly simple – the player controls a blue square, whose true love is represented by the pink square. Each level is a puzzle in which the player has to find a way to move the blue square and reunite it with its partner, while battling obstacles like fire and cliffs.

Aiding the player throughout the game is a series of poetic riddles present in each level, subtly hinting how the puzzle at hand should be dealt with.

pretentious game

As the game progresses, obstacles become increasingly harder to overcome, sometimes even requiring the player to think outside of the box by finding secret passageways or breaking the fourth wall.

While the game’s name may seem misleading, players and reviewers alike have expressed how far the game is from trying to be too cheesy or emotional.

Its minimalist art, poetic lines of romance, and enchanting music, courtesy of Erik Satie, all come together to deliver “a powerful story about love.”

With its track record, “Pretentious Game” promises players an innovative gameplay experience with many possible levels of understanding. While short and simple, the game pushes players to read between the lines to progress through its story.

Regardless of whether one is a fan of indie games or not, all gamers will surely find its tale of “love, transcendence, and pursuit of happiness” to be a memorable game experience unlike any other.

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