When the first version of the Infinite Ocean was released back in 2003 I was apparently going through a particularly rare (for gnomes at least) anti-games period and stupidly missed it, meaning that when Jonas Kyratzes announced that a new updated version of the game was in the works, I simply didn't know what to expect. Apparently, I was lucky, as getting to experience The Infinite Ocean for the very first time is quite, well, an experience.
One, you see, could superficially describe The Infinite Ocean as a freeware, indie, vaguely cyberpunk, point-and-click adventure, and one would be right, except for the fact that the only game that comes close to capturing the feeling you'd get by playing The Infinite Ocean would be Infocom's A Mind Forever Voyaging. Then again, that was a text adventure and The Infinite Ocean, despite featuring a lot of excellently written text, plays more like a version of Myst that actually sports an interesting plot and puzzles that make sense. So how does it play exactly (I pretend to hear you ask)? Well, guess you'll have to find out yourselves. After all everything feels quite intuitive and not particularly taxing, but try it out yourselves you must.
Such a brilliantly written story isn't common in our day and age. Then again, a sci-fi game that avoids being technophobic is even rarer, let alone one that manages to not only to tackle major political and philosophical issues, but to actually discuss them with the gamer. This, dear friends, is a most Brechtian experience and an intelligent game that will dialectically challenge your beliefs without attempting to impose its ideas on you. The Infinite Ocean really does make one think. And -quite shockingly- even hope. Play it now. This is art and it's exhilarating.
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