Reviews for "Freigeist"


love the plot behind this game how you can switch worlds. wish you could actually attack those enemies when you are trapped and no wa out of jumping on a platform.

Trippy World

The game mechanics are after all based on the individual's taste and I fucking loved it. I found myself switching to the tripped out world more because I was in LOVE with the composition. Mad props to Kirby for that one, legit mad props. It was short but enjoyable in my opinion. Not hard or torturing or anything, just pretty much straight forward.

Side-Scrolling Steath Games Can Suck

As part of the Newgrounds Game Jam, Freigeist takes the unsympathetic notion of losing touch with reality and brings it to its foregone conclusions. It tells a tale while attempting a rudimentary "switcheroo" game mechanic. While one can appreciate the direction it's taking, lack of polish and foresight sinks it down.

You play as an unnamed Jew who has been unjustly incarcerated and experimented upon by the German Nazi regime. Take it with a grain of salt, because there are a lot of anachronisms and hand-waving with the history here. Still, they have experimented upon the player character and his bid for freedom requires tripping (literally, figuratively, and literally in another fashion that I found miserable) through a series of 1960s-esque psychedelia sequences freely switched between using the Space Bar. This is a bid for freedom, so you have to "avoid" Nazis although there really is no point since sending you back a few paces isn't gonna hold you back any.

What kept this from being a true period piece was incorporating computerized ECGs. Not to knock the presentation, but the device's modern appearance brought me out of the fold from the start. Even a short search for reference material online before drawing it means the difference between authentic and merely okay artwork; the graphics are still solid if not excellent for the time restriction. Also, the knowledge or desire to experiment with hallucinogenic drugs was not until at least a decade later; there is no well-known, current historical evidence of the Nazis experimenting with entheogens, and by their ideology and purposes surrounding their original medical experiments, such experiments would be considered minute compared to the more practical ones that they did do. We can conclude that Freigeist has less to do with Nazis and more with what the Nazis represent in a modern context, especially for one desiring freedom. In other words, everything about the game is suspect, and it's all very intentional thanks to this guy's state of mind, so it works a bit.

What I struggled with is the core mechanic of flipping between two states of being: the real and the psychedelic. This works well in a top-down setting, as seen in "The Legend of Zelda: Triforce of the Gods/A Link to the Past", but in all seriousness, choosing to create an escape-themed stealth game in a side-scroller format is just wrong on so many levels. You have to switch between the two worlds since platforms are mutually exclusive and thus you warp in and out of standard reality to get around rudimentary jumping puzzles. Really...?

The awful part about Freigeist is that the game is too easy. Sure, getting caught by the Nazis is bad, but here, it just sends you back a few steps. This is hand-waved as part of the delusion, as the protagonist is failing to differentiate between fantasy and reality. In the end, we catch this pseudo-philosophical bullshit about freedom being only a state of mind and not a word or concept or even a state of political power held by every individual instead of a few chosen authorities. Pair that with delusions of a little girl running for the exit (unnecessary due to the linearity of the stage design) and you get the notion that this isn't really a tangible victory in any stretch. The fact that I beat this in a short period of time with little trouble except a few annoying pratfalls suggests to me that the format is completely off.

Now, the game is pretty, the music is okay, and the premise is worth exploring. But if you want to give a Game Jam like this a reboot, here's my suggestion: switch to top-down perspective and augment the stealth mechanic ala Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. Seriously. The side-scrolling format needs to die and the authors need to revise their approach--not to get rid of the Nazi elements, or the inclusion of totalitarian regimes--but to incorporate the use of entheogen/psychedelic pharmeceutical experimentation in another context wherein it won't be as historically suspect.

Freigeist? An okay premise set in a deeply flawed game.

Wallross responds:

I appreciate your review, you put a lot of work into writing it out, and a lot of the stuff is justified.
As far as the historical context goes, we were definitely off. We weren't really trying to create an accurate period piece, but a little flash game people can identify with. Sure the Nazi's didn't do a lot of experimentation with hallucinogens, but the Nazi's do embody those sought of fears in people. And if the main character had have been an innocent Muslim wrongly imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay, drugged up on some CIA torture program, then every hard-liner american on this site would have gone and been really harsh.
The Gameplay stuff is really your opinion, some prefer it your way, others will prefer it in other ways.

I think you made good points in your review, but you were a little bit harsh when it came to score.

Good job

Awesome stuff guys. To think that four of you pulled this off in 96 hours is pretty cool. I can't wait to see the other submissions!

Good work.

very creepy

That was probably the creepiest game I've ever played on here. And that little girl, I'll be honest she creeps me out for some reason.