1213, an indie video game from 16 years ago

Screenshot from the game 1213

When was the last time you wanted to play again an old video game?

Personally, I don't usually re-play video games. I'm always more tempted to try a new interesting one found on WarpDoors.

I have the impression that this is common to most video game players, whether the prefer AAA games or "indie" ones.

I bet that you have a few favorite books, or favorite movies, that you have already read or watched a few times, and you know you will probably read or watch it again one day.

Are there video games that feel like that to you? If so, I would honestly love to know in the comments 😉

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I had this burst of gaming nostalgia: I wanted to play again 1213.

It's an indie game from 2005, made by Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw.

It's a great game, but I probably had fond memories of it because it was the video game equivalent of a madeleine de Proust: it reminded me of the time I played it first, when I had a lot of fun being a student in Grenoble and regularly played indie video games found on HomeOfTheUnderdogs or the old indiegames.com blog.

Screenshot from episode 2
I was dumb-stuck for while here. Hint: don't expect the door on the background to ever open.

1213 is objectively interesting in more than one way. First off, it was made using the Adventure Game Studio, a game engine intended to build point and click adventure games. However Yahtzee managed to build a Flashback-like game out of it!

The game takes a slow start, but the gameplay becomes a lot more fluid on episode 2, when you get to move around faster.

The level design is nice, with an initial tutorial fitting the story. While some dumb backtracking is sometime needed, I did not find the game repetitive.

Visually, the game is minimalistic, with relatively "flat" pixel art. The color palette creates an atmosphere straight out of a comic book. The overall directing is well thought, with for example some ominous visual patterns repeated throughout the game... 👀

While the story is not very original in itself, the narration is really well done. There are very few cut scenes, and key story events take place directly around you as you move the main characters from place to place, solving some basic puzzles, escaping some enemies and shooting down others.

And the ending is good. Some will see it coming, but I loved how it was built up and revealed.

tl;dr: it's a great short short experience, go download it here for free: FullyRamblomatic Special Editions PACK