I will go wherever you are.

Life. Love. Happiness. Despair. Rejection. Courage. Betrayal. Tragedy. Camaraderie. Friendship. Hate. Hope. Death. To most, this list of actions and emotions may sound like the makings of a multi-season television drama – but it’s not. Perhaps then, it is what comprises long standing in depth RPGs – nope, wrong again. Surprisingly enough, it is the very heart of what makes up the simple yet enlightening puzzle platformer Pretentious Game created by Keybol Games/BulkyPix.

Climb any mountain. Use whatever is necessary.

At first glance, it is a graphically simple game made up of a few chapters all incorporating getting a square of a certain color to a specific point on the screen – whether it be another colored square or an alleged exit to the level. The obstacles involved are easy as jumping over blocks, chasms and small red triangles (representing fire) to get to the destination; and while they do increase the difficulty in some aspects, the change does not come by player skill but rather in other unique and intuitive ways. It may involve creating a safer route or taking a leap of faith to discover an alternative pathway or a new skill to help in progression; or perhaps turning the soft melodic piano music off for a moment or repeating an action, or no action, may even give results. Although never outright told exactly what to do, the small lines of story often give all the hint that is needed in order to reach the current goal.

Leap cliffs. Dodge Fire. I will run fearless.

The story itself, like the gameplay, is simple yet speaks volumes within its small sentences of text throughout the chapters. The words appear at the start of each level, without narration, and remain until the next screen is reached. It is an almost poetic story about life, love and relationships; most of which tending to err on a more depressing note though sadly. A hopeful new romance that soon leads to rejection, the recovery in finding new love to have it swiftly taken away by an unfortunate accident, an unrequited love, a cheating love – and they all circle back to one another weaving a single, tangled story of heartfelt emotion.

I will find a way…or make a way. Even if I have to drag myself to you.

Yes, they are inanimate squares, but the lessons derived from this small experience transcend to a much deeper look into human interaction.  There may not be much to this game overall, but it will certainly bring an element of surprise twofold: in how the story unfolds as well as how the player will react to its portrayal. Pretentious Game can be found through various sources on PC as well as through app stores for phone/tablet. For those who may not know, the word pretentious is said to mean an attempt to impress by affecting greater importance or talent than may actually be possessed. Perhaps that is appropriate for this title, for this story; but perhaps not. All that is left is to be decided.

I have faith in you.