Au Sable

By: Paul Eres

On: November 5th, 2009

Au Sable is a game by the maker of All of Our Friends Are Dead, Amon26, and appears to be at least a spiritual sequel to that game. Fans of the previous game might enjoy the new one. For those who didn’t play that one, they are both platformers which focus on delivering dark and creepy feelings.

There’s more variety than the first game, and the controls feel tighter, and the art is just as nice. My only complaint is that the mouse cursor is off by default and the only way to learn how to turn it on is in the ReadMe file (which I missed and played through the game with that difficulty).

Again, you can get a taste of the game from Ortoslon’s playthrough if you’re sleepy or unconvinced by this review.

  • Wooly

    Great game, Amon! I loved AOOFAD, and AuSable is a lot of interesting fun as well!

    @Anarkex: Couldn’t he do both?

  • Anarkex

    Wooly: Too often “art” is used as an excuse, as at the beginning of the discussion:

    >it’s intentional that the mouse cursor is off by default, it’s to make it seem like the character has never used a weapon before, so they can’t easily handle it.

    HURR IT’S BAD ON PURPOSE, THAT’S WHY IT’S ART. This is the kind of thing we need to avoid, and it’s the heart and soul of “games as art”. It’s the reason why Shadow of the Colossus had only sixteen bosses, few of which were more engaging than the bosses in Zelda.

    Our man Amon is already more than capable of making very pretty games. What he needs to improve on is mechanics, to make his games at the very least BEARABLE. This is the former path. The latter path is *not* improving mechanics, churning out five or six more games with slightly different graphics and annoying jumping puzzles, and stagnating into the wankery of artgames. The fun part is that the state of the community basically dictates that people will love him either way.

    Paul Eres: the demographic that a creator intends his work to be analyzed by has a specific level of intelligence. There are undoubtedly some people who wouldn’t understand the quote I posted. I have not read Zarathustra, but it’s likely the case that the people who Nietzsche intended it for will be able to understand it just fine.

    The difference is hard to see, between something that’s hard to understand and something that *appears* hard to understand. People were arguing for a full year on whether or not Smash Bros. Brawl was even worth playing competitively, and I don’t even know if they agree on it yet. Is the game really deep, or is it just posturing as deep? Is Zarathustra really posturing as profound, or am I just unable to understand it? It’s by comparing the subject to things I’ve already evaluated, by understanding the subject in every way I am capable of, and through faith in my own intelligence, that I can even produce an *opinion* that can answer these questions.

  • Caleb

    The “fuzz” guy who said the cursor was off on purpose was being sarcastic and the controls work fine for me without them. There’s no cursor since the gun isn’t being aimed at the cursor, the gun gets moved with the movement of the mouse. The cursor thus would make things more confusing and would probably decrease the immersion as well. Frankly, I don’t like to see crosshairs or cursors in sidescrolling shooters. I do think the controls might be better if shooting was handled with the UDLR keys.

    Nothing about this game is wankery or unbearable if you have an half-ounce of tolerance or patience. And I would take it as a deep complement on our community that we will love people regardless of where they choose to go along the wide spectrum of possible paths this medium offers us.

    If Nietzsche can write for an intended audience, why can’t Amon26? It’s likely that anyone who enjoys Yume Nikki will enjoy this game, along with anyone who enjoys Lovecraft or Lynch influences in games.

  • Paul Eres

    exactly, caleb — i think it’s kinda hypocritical to say: well nietzsche can write things which are cryptic to most people cause he targeted an intelligent audience, but this, this is a freeware game! it can’t ask people to think about its contents, it should just a Good Game, like other Good Games are

  • Anarkex

    Caleb, brother, I never called this game wankery. I never even said this game was pretentious. I *liked* this game.

    And Paul, nothing about what I said was hypocritical. The emphasis of my statement was that “pretentious” is a judgement, an opinion, that a person holds. Like all opinions, it needs to be supported by that person’s experience and intelligence. But I refrained from calling this game or Nietzsche’s Zarathustra pretentious, because as far as I’m concerned, neither of them are.

  • fuzz

    hey, caleb. i wasn’t being sarcastic, i just think it was put to somewhat good effect, it felt like ms. au sable had never used a weapon before. and yeah, there’s no need for it, the only reason it causes problems is for people with multiple monitors. i think the game was quite well designed overall, i don’t really see how much of it could be improved upon (except for one tight section with a snake enemy)

  • Caleb

    Yeah, I’m sorry Fuzz. I played the game again today and the manual says that the lack of crosshairs was because the character hasn’t used a weapon. And I was wrong about how the aiming worked. I tried with and without the crosshairs and I like the immersion of without better, but it was good of the designer to add it in there for people who need/want it.

  • Phasma Felis

    I think TIGsource does have a *minor* slant towards lo-fi, punk rawk garage games in the indie “scene”. I just don’t see why that’s a problem. Oh, it might be if TIGS were the only place in the world to find indie news, but it’s a great big internet out there and there’s plenty of room for news portals that cater to different styles and tastes. Nobody complains that Metal Blade magazine doesn’t cover the hip-hop or folk scenes adequately, and TIGS has a much broader focus than that for certain.

  • Kryptn

    Because fuck those bland unoriginal games

  • Kryptn

    Are you retarded? GSB is just some fucking moving tower defense game