Global Game Jam 2021: game=lost

“game=lost” by Kristian Kallio.

“[A] puzzle game that is played primarily through the Windows [File Explorer].”

In “game=lost” your only goal is to start a video game. Of course, it is not enough to double-click or perform similar simple actions. Instead, under the guidance of the developer, who acts as a ‘ghost in the machine’, you have to create missing files and modify existing ones in your own real file explorer. In order for you to know what to do, he will sometimes give you clear instructions, sometimes more cryptic hints.

Fortunately, players are always given direct audiovisual feedback once they have solved a puzzle. This way, the whole affair does not become too theoretical. A literal lock needs to be picked before moving on? Then you just have to create a text file with the filename “key” in the right folder so that the required object magically appears!

To get such a project like “game=lost” up and running in a period of a few days is always an impressive achievement for me, especially when a single person has done it. It also manages to act as a metagame at the same time, as it also lets players interact with its own medial form to some extent. The manipulation and configuration of digital files is something that is easily disregarded in the actual act of playing, but here it is truly the game itself. [PLAY]