Awkward Dimensions Redux: A Surreal, Dreamy Mini-Game
Dreams. We all have them, even if we can't quite remember all of the details. I'm both blessed and cursed with the ability to remember the bulk of my dreams, as well as nightmares. I once had a dream that a horse with clown makeup on was attacking me while my roommate stood idly by, casually asking me for the password to my Netflix account. Strange, I know, but that is the nature of dreams -- unpredictable, thought-provoking, and abstract.
This is what Awkward Dimensions Redux is -- a glimpse into the dreams and feelings of its creator, Steven Harmon, of Steven Harmon Games.
Awkward Dimensions Redux is a short game, roughly 30-60 minutes in total and plays like an interactive story, which I'm sure was the point. It has 18 sections with very standard interaction mechanics such as walking, jumping, and limited interaction with objects in the environment.
So what about this game makes it special and unique?
For starters, the creator of the game delivers something personal to us. According to the "About" section on the game's Steam page, Awkward Dimensions Redux is an "Interactive Dream Journal & Diary" -- and it very much plays like one. The lack of coherence between levels enforces the surreal nature of the game and the disoriented perspective that dreams place us in.
Initially, I wasn't very interested in the game, as the first few levels felt bland, uninspired, and overly artsy -- which I guess is to be expected of someone who is passionate about theater and human psychology. But as I made my way towards the end of the game, a few sections really struck home for me. At one point in the section called "Get Over Her", I literally had to stop playing and just feel the moment.
This is where this game, to me, showed its intentions. For that moment in time, I was engulfed in the experience of loss and dejection -- my first big-deal breakup. I was once again an angsty teenage boy, looking at all the notes and pictures of us one last time before they went into the trash.
It was an introspective moment that really made me take a look at my life and where I am now, which is not typically something that we expect a game to do to us. I'd say more, but I don't want to spoil any sections of the game -- especially given that its short playtime and free-to-play price tag makes it worth your time to experience yourself.
The final verdict I'd give this game is that, while a bit artsy and abstract (and definitely short), there is depth to it. Steven manages to give you a glimpse into his life, but it also is like looking at your own life and the common thread that connects all of us -- our emotions.
If this sounds like something you'd enjoying playing then head on over to the Steam store and give it a download. It's free-to-play, so there's nothing to lose but a few minutes of your day. But I have a feeling that almost anyone can take something away from this experience. Let me know what you thought of Awkward Dimensions Redux in the comments below.