A little game slipped by our fingers last week. The end of June marked the release of Proun, which I would like to describe as part racing game and part art piece. One that you’d actually consider having on interactive mall displays, cafes and such.
Proun is fairly simple. The race is set in a rather strange geometric world and you roll a pinball through a spine, evading obstacles as the game gets faster and faster. For the faint of heart, the game may encourage some sort of vertigo especially when you go all topsy turvy and the objects around you flash by as the speed increases.
But that’s not the point. This is one of those rare “pay what you think it’s worth” titles following suite to one of many media business models similar to Trent Reznor’s Radiohead album released in ’09. According to Joost van Dongen, the game’s creator, this particular model encourages him to see how far he can push himself to make new games in the future. It’s a “Scratch my back, i’ll scratch yours” scheme: many more people get to enjoy Proun and Oogst (his alias) gets to make more games. In fact, Proun doesn’t even ask you to pay up front, allowing you to donate money AFTER you’ve played the game. If you donate something — anything, you gain access to a little bit more. In this case, it’s a bonus soundtrack.
Proun works well not just as a game but as a fixed piece of art you can install almost anywhere. The fluid geometric shapes rushing through your screen induces a trance-like state (which I think is what makes the game rather challenging as you TRY so hard to stay focused) which looks good against any wall from museums to coffee shops.
Proun runs on the many versions of Windows as we know it. Nothing on the Mac just yet.
Check out Proun on Facebook