When looked upon by critics, one might wonder why such a "game" deserves a high score. But, if one looks in depth and with a high degree of thought, we can see exactly what makes this work brilliant. My interpretation of the piece, as follows, regarding the very make and form in which art like this thrives; will be -- I believe, revealing to those that fail to understand the beauty of this game.
As I look upon the game, my first observation is that one notices it's lack of a preloader, and the fact that the user is left unaware of the fact that the game is being loaded at all -- in fact, the first few frames are left (intentionally?), I believe that this was done on purpose to convey the underlying theme of the piece, that of society's expectations and and your expectations, and ultimately if the player chooses to disregard the objectives of the game and surpass it - that of ingenuity and solution-finding.
The artist is trying to convey the message that our world is not perfect, that each one of the many peoples of this earth must work together for a humane, constructive effort to ensure the betterment of our civilization, and our future.
This theme is predominately reflected by the simple choice of interface for this game, that of simple directional system. So it seems. But upon looking closer, the simple interface slowly ever becomes more warped the deeper we continue this game. This, I believe, represents the continuing burdens placed upon an individual as he or she advances and ages.
When playing this game, the average critic might simply interpret the nonsensical form of objects as as amateurish, the actions of a rookie game maker facing anguish - competing against well-funded studios, and their aggression. But, due to the sometimes exact and calculated, other times undefined and loose demands of the tasks given in this game, I offer that it portrays itself moreover as a presentation of life's challenges, not simple game design and incompetence. This is where the genius of the designer is seen, that such a vulgar, amateurish game is revealed to be seen as an accurate representation of the flawed society we live in.
As for the nonsenical backgrounds, one might interpret it as more of a chaotic, septic, and forced utopia that is society today. It portrays the player in his or her various forms (representing age), almost as a lone child wandering off into the wilderness, being pushed to perform inhumane tasks by his cruel masters. The mindless chaos and twisted imagery is contrasted by the will and soul of the player.
A nightmare indeed, but one that haunts us all.
When we notice that the choice of the subject of the game, out of all myriads of names- Bumcharles was chosen, we must wonder why. From Urban Dictionary, the word bum means.
1. A homeless person. Thus, I suggest that this implies a struggle for power and control, over the most likely antagonist: Society. Because of its lowborn nature and status, we assume that Bumcharles is of a particularly unlucky family in some cruel slum, but has the desire and will to become the very best, to overthrow society and in turn, become first. Bumcharles does not settle for second place. Bumcharles does not accept anything other than perfection. Bumcharles is disgusted by the corruption and inability to function by Society, that needs bums like him to do menial tasks they have no capability to do so, and Bumcharles plots to end the reign of Society. This is the horrible truth, the truth that all of us hold true. For yet, life is only a struggle for more and more power, control, and wealth.
This is but my interpretation.
Yet, I would argue that many more would hold this opinion as well. Although close to perfection, I do not believe that this work deserves a perfect 5 for a few reasons. Despite its succinct and flawless simplicity, it lacks of literary elements, such as a backstory, explanation and context that give more power and gusto to the artist's voice. Though the simple music and stark graphics alike can perfect a game, the player is left in the dark, as his own inexperience holds back his performance. Though this work is like the player, struggling to match the power of the great legends, it does come very, very close. Though, through wavering willpower and diminishing strength, it does not achieve the goal it set out to reach. But in effect, I bow to the humble beauty and simple elegance that enriches the entire performance, for it is this work of art that truly dominates the entire concert. Overall score: 5 stars.