Picture this. I’m sitting at my desk playing a very serious round of A Gnome’s Home that was totally 100 percent work related… when a little email message popped up alerting me to the fact that someone wanted my attention.
At first I ignored it… work must come first after all, and I was dealing with a particularly perplexing level that needed me to beat it into submission. But after a few choice words with the gnomes, some epic foot stomping, and an almost Olympian heave of my mouse, I decided I better open it and see what could be so important that it interrupted my very important…um… research.
You could imagine my surprise when I saw who it was from. Chris Campbell… the Senior Producer for the Drawn games at Big Fish. Apparently they had seen our Princess Bride Parody of Drawn Trail of Shadows, written by yours truly, and he wanted to invite us to come tour the studios and maybe get a glimpse of the new game his talented team was cooking up at that very moment.
After I did a little dance of joy, which due to my unbelievable skill and grace, I found myself on the floor with my very excited dog, Molly Ollie Oxen Free (don’t ask… my husband insists that all our animals should have professional “show” names), I wrote a very professional response accepting his gracious invitation.
Molly agrees that it was exciting...
Fast forward to our trip to Seattle, and you’ll find Jason and I standing at the gates of Big Fish waiting to be let in. Ok, there really wasn’t a gate, but in my mind, we were standing at the threshold of the emerald palace, waiting to see the great and powerful wizard. In reality, we were standing in front of a very nice reception desk waiting to get our official visitor badges.
Once armed with our badges, we were led through the strangely quiet halls of Big Fish, where people were hard at work all around us… playing games. Yes, it appeared as though every computer had a game open, ranging from older games I easily recognized to new and exciting games I’ve never seen before! What was this magical place?! Even the translation team had games open! We were truly on some kind of gaming yellow brick road that was leading us ever closer to what surely would be an amazing Big Fish secret.
When we finally arrived at the wizard… I mean at the Drawn team’s studio, it was all I could do to concentrate on keeping my mouth closed and my jaw in the upright position, instead of hanging stupidly open like a country bumpkin. The studio was nestled on the edge of the development ward, right next to the Mystery Case Files team, and again I was struck by how quiet everyone was. It was a serious quiet too, as if everyone around me was doing something monumentally important. Of course I didn’t realize how important, until I actually saw what they were working on.
We were greeted warmly by Chris and his team, and, after a round of introductions, we were quickly ushered into seats for the unveiling of their secret project – a game so amazing, words can’t begin to describe it… but I’ll give it a shot.
When the game started up, I was immediately met with a splash of vibrant colors in rich palettes I’ve come to look forward to from the Drawn games, but there was something decidedly not Drawnish about this new title. It’s not related in any way to those games, and it makes that clear from the get go, although you could tell the same amazingly talented artist worked his magic here.
The colors strayed more toward the metallic, teals, and industrial browns, transporting you to a futuristic world that reminded me of one of my favorite Pixar movies… Wall-E. But instead of a heart-warming, lovable robot… this game features something a little more… furry.
Now I might have forgotten to mention this… but I’m not supposed to say anything about this title… that’s how top secret it is. In fact, I’ve probably already said too much, and even now, I’m staring around my office wondering if, at any moment, Chris and his team will come crashing through the windows to rip my laptop from my hands and dramatically smash it to the ground.
I'm not kidding... they were really serious about this... We weren’t allowed to leave with even a single screenshot…That’s not to say we didn’t try though! Anything for our readers!
After we played a round of one of the most amazing mini games I've ever played, I had serious thoughts of grabbing the iPad (I need one of those anyhow), and making a mad dash for the exit. But, after taking a look at Chris and his team, and evaluating my own fitness state, I realized that was a lost cause. I mean… one of his team members was wearing a GraveDigger shirt… you know… the old monster truck... no way I was making it.
Anyhow… apparently Jason did his own calculations and came up with a scenario where he would actually make it. While I was nicely explaining to Chris that my turn to play the mini game was indeed NOT over, he made a mad dash for it, snatching up a poster of the new game and sprinting across the room. I think he got approximately 3 steps before he was tackled and wrestled to the ground by "Mr. Gravedigger," and forced to give up his prize. Sigh… and he’s supposed to be the smart one!
After nervously laughing at Jason’s little “joke,” we went back to the game, our feeble attempt to bring some part of the game to light, foiled. But we weren't vanquished yet!
As I cleverly distracted Chris with my gaming prowess… “Chris, look at how many times I can make this snake eat these stars… have you ever seen anything like it?” Jason was nonchalantly unscrewing his lens cap from his camera and snapping a few photos. Of course, this is the little gem he was able to take…
Well... that's helpful... As you can see, I was starting to feel like I was in a very bad episode of Get Smart… apparently top secret espionage is just not our thing.
After all of our efforts, we walked away from Big Fish that day with only one thing - the knowledge that this new game is like nothing you have ever seen before. It takes gameplay to a whole new level with multiple layers of play style woven into the game mechanics. It honestly offers something for everyone and allows the entire family to explore and enjoy this wonderfully playful new world.
Seeing our long faces as we were gathering up our things and getting ready to leave, Chris did promise me one thing... that when they were ready to unveil the game, our readers would be one of the first to know about it. So stay tuned for more information throughout the next few weeks as I keep pestering him mercilessly to give up the goods!
Until then, I'll leave you with one final hint... Chris loves his dog just as much as I love Molly Ollie Oxen Free... and as any pet lover knows... we all find ways of bringing them into our lives one way or another... isn't that right Scrape "The Refrigerator" Jerry?