There is one main reason why I like indie games. More often than not, they are not targeting the majority of the gaming community. This allows them to be different. Instead of deploying the usual high-quality graphics and over-used game mechanics, indie games try new techniques - ranging from different gameplay styles, different graphics, and different stories. The latter is the main attraction for me - I just can't ignore a game with a great story.
NothingElse, developed solely by an Italian indie developer Ivan Zanotti, caught my eye by chance. I was browsing the Internet, and decided to search for indie games. The first one my eyes fell on, was this. Seeing as NothingElse was a free game with a small download size, I decided to give it a go. It couldn't disappoint me too much, after all, since it should have been short. Having completed it though, I have mixed feelings.
First of all, I did expect the game to be short based on the 11.8 MB size. However, only after playing it did I realize how short it actually was. Perhaps even shorter than the average flash game on the web. On the second play-through (which I did for a reason that I will explain later) it took me about 5 minutes, if not less, to complete it. The shortness is not necessarily bad - it was quite good for this specific game and its story, which did not allow me to get tired.
Now, what I expected to see were puzzles. That's one of the main aspects of games like NothingElse - the thing that gets the interest of many players. The game itself, however, had very few of those. Without spoiling anything, I just want to say that one of the puzzles was extremely frustrating - after trying several times, I had to go on Youtube, and see a gameplay video. After understanding the mechanism to solve the riddle, I realized that it might not be that difficult after all. On first play-through, though, it was. The inaccuracy of the clickable parts did not make things any better.
Why did I play the game more than once? No, it does not have different endings. Neither does any gameplay change after completing the game. Instead, the second play-through allowed me to understand the story better. I won't hide it - I did not understand the ending very well at first. Comments on the game page were very positive, and mostly talked about the unexpectedness and deepness of the ending, so I decided to give it another go. Although some things still remained a bit unclear to me, the story unraveled itself. I have to admit - the story was quite smart. Although not perfect, it could easily give some things to think about later. This is the reason why I would recommend NothingElse to any gamer out there.
The graphics are not really worth mentioning, but I would still like to say that they were bearable. 2D and drawn in paint, they fit the game quite well. Perhaps a bit more detail to the surroundings would have made the game better, but I understand that wasn't the authors aim. The sound effects on the other hand very very good, and added tot he game's atmosphere. The developer has already stated that there will be a v2 of the game, where he would fix some aspects of the gameplay, so the game will become even better.
In conclusion, NothingElse is a game that should make people think. The ability to understand the story and ending is also part of the game - directly connected to the core idea. As I already said, it won't take long to play the game, so just give it a go. You won't regret it - it will just take 10 minutes, and might give a lot of inspiration in return. Even better - it is free to play and download, so there really isn't anything stopping you from playing it and supporting indie developers.