It’s rare that a game evokes the same underlying vibes of a title like Eversion, but it’s fair to say that Tesselode’s love letter to Championship Edition DX manages to walk the same fine line of unsettling atmospherics and unrelenting pacing.
If anything, most attempts at making a fearful riff on the famous Pac Man have suffered from a fair few issues including a failure to grasp the underlying mechanics of the game. To induce unease in the audience, you must satisfy the suspension of their disbelief by showing you understand the source material and what made it compelling in the first place. If a designer cannot demonstrate the necessary competency in crafting the charade, the illusion will fail to ensure the captivity of the viewer’s attention span.
And this is one of EAT GIRL’s many strengths, it would’ve been difficult to fall into the clutches of the game’s uncomfortable subtext if it weren’t for the masterful precision that went into the 20 or so levels. An ever escalating cruel cascade of sinister design choices demand that you offer up your most precise dexterity as a sacrifice, slowly peeling away the nefarious scheming cosmic forces and lovecraftian overtones preventing your escape.
Every foe serves up a new complication, a new variable that threatens to disrupt your entire strategy, and pushes you at every moment to adapt and further yourself.
It’s hard to shake the feeling that EAT GIRL remains full of dark secrets and potentially hidden pathways, perhaps that too, is an illusion. Only time will tell with the successive playthroughs of determined completionists.
One truth remains obvious in the shroud of mystery: If you aren’t sharp, and if you don’t move quickly, the hunter will quickly become the hunted.
Don’t let Greg find you.
Emily Rose is an indie developer who writes for rebind.io and resides in the pacific northwest. She’s often seen in the local VR arcade and developer community participating in pushing the medium’s horizons. You can find her on twitter @caravanmalice