Tag Archive: nonviolent

A Bright Light in the Middle of the Ocean

itch.io Page

Video games allow us to intimately interact with spaces to a degree unrivaled by any other medium. It’s a lesson I think most players learn eventually. It’s learned in that moment when we catch ourselves examining every discarded scrap of paper, every shadowy corner, and the contents of every mug and cup left on a table because we’ve been captivated by a world, whether it is wondrous or horrifying, and we desperately want to know as much about it as we can. I first learned this lesson at a young age via my Sega Saturn when Myst completely captured my attention with its melancholy, mysterious island, but every now and then a game like A Bright Light in the Middle of the Ocean comes around to remind me of it.


Steam Page

I never would have guessed that within the span of a single year I would be playing and writing about multiple kaleidoscopic, abstract black-and-white games released in September 2015 with gameplay centered around moving in circles while avoiding red hazards, but here we are. Circa Infinity with its mind-melting, psychedelic visuals was one of the best indie games I played in 2015 and, while it took me an entire year to stumble upon it, I love Expand with its more subdued, somber, and carefully controlled acts of mesmerization almost as much. However, the similarities between these two games largely begin and end with their basic concepts as Expand has its own brand of surprises in store for players.