By Julie Morley
Right off the bat, I thought I was going to be playing something directly similar to Portal when I gave Stand Point a try. But Stand Point is nothing anywhere near a Portal replica; it stands completely on its own.
First of all, Stand Point is a first person puzzle-oriented platformer. The gameplay is incredibly unique and doesn’t resemble anything I’ve seen before in a game like this. The player relies on the ability to shift gravity in the level to maneuver their way through puzzles and around obstacles. You are climbing walls and truly flipping the world upside down. As you progress, you gain secondary abilities.
But why are you going through all of these strenuous tasks and difficult challenges? What exactly is the point of Stand Point?
Accompanying the player as they navigate their way through the levels is a narrator, almost as an overseer, keeping track of their movements and giving them a little bit of direction. Here and there, they will chime in with some advice about where to go and what to do. The player is not alone in the slightest.
But I am curious – why are we being told informed of what to do? Are we in a testing facility of some sort? Is this a dream?
Neither, we are in the stages of grief, my friends. I’ve got you there, that is one of the many features that gives Stand Point it’s unique, special touch. Something absolutely awful either happened to the player themselves or a loved one of theirs passed on, but either way they are juggling the emotional process of coping with loss. It’s as if their grief had manifested itself into some sort of testing situation and that is how the player is working their way through it. It must have been absolutely tragic.
The five stages of loss are:
- Denying that they are gone or that the horrible event even occurred. Your trauma does not exist.
- Anger and lashing out.
- Bargaining and wondering what could have been; trying to figure out what you should have done that could have prevented the loss or eased it.
- Depression and a sense of emptiness over their passing.
- Accepting what happened and moving on.
Each level is a different puzzle associated with the stages of grief and loss stated above. By shifting gravity and walking on walls, you’re able to move past closing doors, through portals, and even into secret rooms. At the end of the level, once all the puzzles are done and the obstacles passed, you could say that the player has worked their way through one of the stages of grief. You are helping someone along.
The narrator explains the player’s past and it becomes a story the player will become more and more desperate to find out in this playground of grief.
A demo level is available via link on the Stand Point Kickstarter page . The Kickstarter campaign has a target of 7.5K and ends on April 9.
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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/julie.jpg” ]Julie Morley is a freelance writer and comic artist from Spring, Texas. She attended the Academy of Art University for two years, studying Animation and Illustration. Whilst here, she learned about writing comic scripts, storyboards, and general storytelling. Since leaving college, she has been working on personal comic projects, stories, and illustrations. She aspires to release a self published comic within two years. For the majority of her life, she has been playing console games, typically being third-person shooters and sandboxes. Her favorite game of existence is Dark Cloud II (Dark Chronicle) and her favorite Indie game is Gone Home.[/author]