by Bob Reinhard
As a writer, I often find myself focusing heavily on the writing of any game that focuses on narrative or tries to separate itself from various other games through use of unique concept design and story elements. This leads to a lot of disappointment as I often find the same characters and concepts being told in the same tired way. And while it’s fine to have traditional aspects to keep things fit nicely into their genre, it’s always nice to see games spice things up by taking those traditional story elements and presenting them in new ways.
While sifting through the Greenlight section on Steam recently, I came across Cool-B In Search Of Floyd, an indie game (which seems to have actually released today!) from a small company out of North Carolina called Solanimus. The game uses a quirky hand-drawn art style to put forth fairly simple platforming and mini-game style gameplay, but it’s not the gameplay that drew me in, as much as it was the description of the concept itself that caught my attention.
“In Cool-B in Search of Floyd, you play as Cool-B the cat on his journey to find his brother, Floyd.
These were two cats that I had in real life. Floyd passed away, and Cool-B dramatically changed,
searching for Floyd and calling for him every night. It was then, when I was much younger, that I
began thinking about the story for this game.”
While narrative concepts such as familial love and lose are nothing new, something about this very different, authentic approach to it gave the game something that separated itself from various games like it. Instead of relying on people, the game strips away the humanity of the situation and shows us these aspects on a more base, instinctual level. These are things we ourselves experience as people, but showing it without the ego and the conscious thought process that we go through is something that I appreciate.
With just a little tweak, a real-life concept that can be related to sticks much more as it’s shown to cross the boundary between species. This basic setup helps bring out the warmth and spirit in the colorful, fanciful worlds the game presents. It allows us to feel these things as part of a psychological, spiritual journey. While the game may not rely heavily on the narrative aspect or really mean for it to be analyzed so deeply, it’s that simple concept that makes the style work. It’s something games need to grasp in order to make a narrative, a story, characters, a world, more authentic and give us a sense of feeling instead of a barren, boring shell to play in.
So, kudos to you Solanimus for taking a small aspect of life and creating an experience around it that is unique and sticks out, while still relying on tradition.
Cool-B In Search Of Floyd is available now for PC and Mac priced at $1.99 or on iOS and Android for $0.99. You can pick up the computer versions and the games soundtrack (for $0.99) over at Solaniums’ store here. Check out a gameplay trailer over on Youtube. And be sure to swing over to Steam’s Greenlight and give it a vote!