surita parmar | pastel games
(© 2012 Mateusz Skutnik)
As technology advances, more and more platforms are being developed and marketed as mediums for high quality storytelling. Movies, once considered the ultimate audiovisual experience, are being challenged by a new wave of exciting and ambitious media projects. Television series like Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad are every bit as complex and captivating as any Scorsese film. The Guild, a hilarious and cleverly written web series, boasts millions of views on YouTube. You don’t have to be a fanboy into guns and explosions to enjoy video games like Skyrim and Portal. If you’re anything like me, you can spend hours exploring and admiring Skyrim’s vast and highly detailed universe, talking to game characters, and learning their stories if you don’t feel like completing missions.
My personal favourite new media projects are online computer games. Gone are the days of poor graphics, simple plots, and horrible sound design. You need not look any further than Pastel Games if you’re in the mood to escape from everyday life and enjoy stunning artwork.
(Video Walkthrough of Morbid: Pastel Games)
Pastel Games is a studio based in Poland that creates free, award winning flash adventure games for computers, IPhones and IPads. Founded in 2004 by Karol Konwerski and Mateusz Skutnik, their work is driven by a passion for gaming, artistry, and storytelling. Skutnik, an architect and graphic novelist, has a unique vision and striking aesthetic that has helped him cultivate a large and loyal fan base. The Facebook page for Pastel Games is filled with requests from fans begging them to continue developing their favourite game series, and create new ones.
Pastel Games builds on the point and click adventure template established by games like King’s Quest and Monkey Island. Puzzles are more difficult, story themes are darker, and narratives often provide insight as to where culture and technology are potentially headed. For example, The Fog Fall series offers a bleak, “your interests versus mine” forecast predicting how society would restructure itself in the aftermath of a nuclear zombie holocaust. Each game is a meticulously crafted labour of love that’s so rich and exquisitely structured that the player becomes one with its quirky world. I often feel as though I’m immersed within the hand drawn visuals, and am always a little sad when I’m finished a game and forced back into the real world.
Recently, Pastel Games created two flash games featuring characters from the TV show Rizzoli and Isles for Turner Network Television. Promotional games for shows and movies are a fun and innovative way to advertise them, and I’m hoping that Pastel Games gets more work in the same vein. In the interim though, I’m happy to keep replaying their lovely games.
(Video Walkthrough of Daymare Town 3 | Pastel Games)