I’m not much of a gamer, but I was fascinated and delighted to discover Samorost and Samorost 2, two Flash-based adventures by the Czech designer and animator Jakub Dvorsky. While falling into the category of point-and-click games such as Hapland and The Museum, in which you solve the puzzle by working out a sequence of clicks, the Samorost games are both easier to solve and much more beautiful to look at than what you usually find. Drawing on the rich Czech animation tradition exemplified by Jan Švankmajer, Dvorsky creates strange, organic worlds that you want to explore, as you lead your little nightcapped hero on his way to prevent a disastrous collision (Samorost) or rescue his abducted dog (Samorost 2). They’re so interesting that you might want to play them more than once just to enjoy the the scenes (and the stylish soundtrack).
Dvorsky has also created Quest for the Rest, an elegant promotional game for The Polyphonic Spree, and a somewhat ham-fisted game called Rocketman VC, which awkwardly combines Samorost-like graphics with a clichéd slam-dunk-in-space promotion for Nike.
Also published on Medium.