Platforms: PC (reviewed)
Release: 1st March 2018
Artistic games, does such a genre exist at all, when games in general could be considered as art? A question I always ask myself when yet another simplistic indie game comes around the corner promising yet another unique and beautiful experience. 0°N 0°W is exactly that but with even more art, if you know what I mean and it´s somewhat amazing.
Starting out with real life sequences of busy city life and a mysterious road trip, 0°N 0°W throws the player right into its ominous world and cafe fittingly named Zero North Zero West. Playing as a lost man who fled from his fast, stressful world to finally relax once in a while … at least, that´s what I think the game is about. In practice, there´s no real plot, set-up or anything else, interpreting the events and the goal is completely up to the player.
Instead, the whole experience consists of traversing doors, each one leading to a new world of bizarre colours, shapes and many more abstract things. Only equipped with the most basic controls like jumping, walking and sprinting, exploring each world to its fullest is the real goal. While doors only serve as yet another escape from them, the end basically nonexisting and nothing is really resembling a game, 0°N 0°W is by no means something that needs to be played but analyzed, in order to understand why it exists.
Unfortunately, the overall game simply fails to deliver anything in terms of actual gameplay, relying solely on the players’ drive to analyze what´s happening in front of him. If you´re not a fan of art, the simple walking simulator experience without any text, plot or ending, will surely not satisfy you. Especially since most of the worlds never make it horribly obvious where the next door is located, leading to minute long searches or a complete restart, due to the fact everything is randomly generated.
0°N 0°W could be seen as modern art, put into a playable form to show how our modern life impacts our perception of things. On the other hand, it could be seen as a boring, redundant, badly designed game with an interesting artistic direction. It´s a little and definitely unique experience I still don´t know what to think of, so maybe that´s worth a recommendation in some way.
[A Review Code was provided by Game If You Are]