Ludum Dare 41: Dear Clicker

“Dear Clicker” by Robert Pfeiffer.

“[A]n atmospheric virtual art product. […] Prepare to click a lot.”

Ever wondered what “Dear Esther” as a clicker game would be like? Here’s the answer to your question! Raise your walking speed to explore the low-poly island, collect coins to open a closed gate, use your money to listen to pre-recorded poems, get upgrades for your gaming experience, unlock the ending for just tens of thousands points!

What might seem first like a mean-spirited joke against ‘walking simulators’ and atmospherical exploration games, is in fact a very clever and pleasing meta game. Of course you could easily take it as an offense, but I’d advise you to take a closer look: This jam entry shows off how important specific elements can be for an atmospherical experience. For example, by unlocking a higher movement speed, you might get through the game faster, but it reduces your experience. The slow walking in games like “Dear Esther” is important for the ‘decelerated’ exploration, because then you might find hidden details which you wouldn’t catch when you just run to the next ‘narrative checkpoint’.

Another good example might be the unlockable poems: In “Dear Clicker”, they don’t really correspond with the narration and feel like a dispensable accessory; but in “Dear Esther” the audio bits are an important part. In a way, “Dear Clicker” reverses the main elements of its inspiration and by doing so it shows off, why they are included at all. So take your time and prepare yourself for this humoristic meta game! >>PLAY