“[A] short and witty [point and click game] in which [you will] follow the story of C432632, a finicky grey cube that sure [does not] want to miss his favorite [television] show. In a media-driven society in which nothing else matters but [television], will our hero wake up and understand the world he lives in is far from perfect?”
In May 2018, the one-man-studio Goloso Games and Philip Aldous contributed a remarkable entry to the Adventure Jam 2018 called “Antenna dilemma”. The story about a world full of cubes which all seem to have a television addiction was able to score the third place overall in the popular jam. Not even one year later, the story about the cube C432632 and his sudden companion, a sphere named Alfred, is back on track. But what changed?
For instance, the content of the new version has nearly doubled. The first half of the game’s storyline is nearly exactly the same as the old game: We see C432632 to be an obedient citizen. He glorifies his leader, a mysterious figure named The Dice, he loves his television shows more than anything else in the world and the world only appears in the shades of black, white and grey. But one day, something crashes on his roof and destroys his antenna, so he cannot watch his shows any longer. So we as players spend the first time of “Antenna Dilemma” to figure out how to replace the antenna, but we also learn about the sets of rules in C432632′s world – like law F8.23: “If doing something bad will allow you to watch a television show on time, then you can do it, provided an excuse note is left on the scene of crime.” – and we have to solve little, often funny puzzles.
But when our cube friend is ready to attach the replacement, we are slowly sliding into the new parts of the point and click adventure. We do not only meet Alfred and quickly go with him to the ending cutscene, but we can see more of the world out of his perspective. While one assumed in the first version of “Antenna Dilemma” that Alfred is some kind of explorer, we learn here that he actually is an ambassador on a peace mission. However, he crashed with his spaceship and did a major damage to it. Alfred is hoping that C432632 will help him out and lead him to the cube people he was originally expecting to see, but the grey cube refuses to do so and calls them traitors.
The extension of the background story is actually the most amazing part of the re-release of “Antenna Dilemma” for me, as the game world now becomes more interesting and teasing. For example, they mention a group called the Boxiteers, who want to leave the Union with all its beautiful television sets. The traitors seem to be a prototype movement for the Boxiteers, as they have escaped the Union hundreds of years ago after a long, raging war and are still hiding in the mountains. Also, the government is not faceless anymore: To establish The Dice as the imperious leader of the colorless world was a great choice, especially thanks to a little revealation in the end.
But even with all these narrative additions, the overhaul of the user interface and some new puzzles, “Antenna Dilemma” still is a teaser. It is not an adventure game with a completely told story – at least not yet -, but it is the complete first chapter for a game series. It continues to be surprisingly charming, it includes new witty puns and the hunting for the ten achievements in the Steam version is hilarious as well.
So do not be too disappointed, when you wanted to download and play “Antenna Dilemma” in the hope to disclose each secret of C432632′s world. Just be happy that such a game exists, and with it the possibility to evolve into something even bigger. Let us congratulate Goloso Games and Philip Aldous for their hard work paying off and together we may be able to motivate them to create the next chapter. [PLAY]