Walkie Talkie

A chat room or a game? You decide! If you have ever looked at your textbook in bordeom during high school or uni, and imagined a little character running across a guantlet of letters – and let’s face it, who hasn’t? – Walkie Talkie is the game for you.

walkietalkiegame_1

Another Ludum Dare 37 game jam entry, at first glance, Walkie Talkie doesn’t seem like anything special. Mainly because it doesn’t really seem like, well, anything. Taking place in the form of a command line chatroom a la the BBS/IRC days, on booting it up I wasn’t actually sure if I was reading the game’s intro.txt file, or if it was some sort of IF game that takes place in a fictional chat room – like games such as Digital: a Love Story did. Or, if I even accidentally downloaded an actual online chatroom program. The answer, stranger things enough, is a bit of all three.

So, yes, Walkie Talkie does indeed take place in an online chatroom, a real chatroom, a real, live, online chatroom. But you also, er, “play” the chatroom – literally: each single message is a “level” in itself of sorts, that can be entered by highlighting it and then pushing the enter key to begin. Once you’ve entered a level, a small avatar appears on the beginning of the sentence, and you must run the gauntlet of words ahead of you. Not necessarily an easy task, depending on the message.

walkietalkiegame_2

As I mentioned before, the first few lines of text are the game’s introduction and instructions – but these too can be levels, a bit confusing at first if you don’t know what’s happening – from there, it’s open game and you’re free to scroll through the series of (unfiltered) text msgs submitted by other players. You can navigate through this list and select the “level” of your choice, and attempt to complete it, or probably more likely, give up in frustration and push ESC to exit the level and try something else.

One of the neat things, aside from the concept of playing a sentence, many letters have their own special trait or gimmick. The o’s become planet-like objects with little fireballs orbiting around them, dashes (-) become moving platforms, x’s become deadly flames, and so on. It really reminds me of the highschool days, where I chose to imagine lines of my dull textbooks as minutre platformer games. It’s fun to play through levels, or create your own, to find out what different tricks exist behind each letter.

walkietalkiegame_3

Like a chatroom you can, of course, send messages too; done by pushing TAB to switch to the textbox below (clicking on it doesn’t work), and typing in your message, which then becomes a level. Except in a genius little move, you have to actually play and complete your level before it will be submitted, ensuring absolutely every message/level in the game is bona fide completeable. Push aside your dreams of torturing people with Kaizo Meatboy style levels, unless you fancy a bit of masochism yourself. If only we could apply the same kind of karma system to the post-truth world.

Walkie Talkie | Download

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About J.C

I grew up in the dark dingy arcades of the 1980s, blasting heads with Robocop 2, but grew up in an era that spanned the introduction of the x86 home computer, through to the 16-bit revolution, into the polygon age and beyond. I write about food, travel and of course, New Retro Games. I started newretrogames.wordpress.com and contribute to www.thecitylane.com. I am also a freelance business researcher, writer, and editor having published academic and corporate articles on innovation and intellectual property.

Posted on January 6, 2017, in Platformer and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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