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Tuesday
Nov062012

Asphyx is a Weird, Free Game. Try It.

Hey guys. Yeah, I know, it's been awhile. But I just wrapped up a show, and it's election night, and I'm here watching the results come in and trying out free games. This is one I think you'll like.

It's called Asphyx, and it's a game that lets you cheat if you want to, but you probably won't want to.

In broad terms, it's just a side scrolling platform puzzler - you run left and right, you jump, you hit switches to open pathways you couldn't get to before. The primary puzzle element, and your only enemy, is water - parts of the world are flooded, and you'll need to go underwater without running out of breath.

Here's the hook: it's your breath you need to not run out of. You, the player at the keyboard. The game has no mechanic for monitoring you, and it trusts you. If you want to claim you can hold your breath for four minutes, go ahead, it won't complain. If you want to play honestly, just hold your breath every time your character dips under the water, and take a deep gasp every time he pops out again. If you take a breath while he's under water, press Escape to admit defeat and try again.

It's not a game full of brilliant level design - it's a Flash platformer, and perhaps no more remarkable than any other I've played in that respect. But the personal challenge introduced by its unique honor system is very compelling, and I had a lot of fun testing myself in a way I can't remember doing in a video game recently. It's free, go give it a shot and see how you do. Just don't pass out.

Thanks to RockPaperShotgun for the heads up.

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