I played the video-style game Tulpa the other day. I was going to try to write something long and thoughtful about it in this space, but honestly it’s not really worth the effort. So I’ve copied and pasted my initial reactions, which I posted on Talking Time yesterday. It’s basically the polar opposite of the thing I wrote about Limbo earlier this week. Enjoy.
On my quest to slim down my number of unplayed Steam games, I installed and played Tulpa last night.
My first reaction was more or less “what the heck did I just play?”
After thinking on it a bit, I still don’t really know.
The game starts you off as a blonde girl in a cute dress, and then you solve some wagon-pushing puzzles and then you find a man being sacrificed to Satan I guess in a shed. Then the world gets all spooketized and the sacrificed guy becomes your Ghost Pal who can flip switches and stuff. Also sometimes Ghost Pal gets sucked into wormholes. And if that happens, or if blondie gets too scared or hit by something, she shatters into a billion tiny pieces.
The world continues to get more messed up as you progress, and the puzzles are often dumb and unintuitive: a lot of the time I found myself just clicking around to see what was interactive. It’s especially confusing because right away the game teaches you that white objects are interactive but then there’s one puzzle that requires you to interact with a black object and it took me forever to figure it out. Maybe the game is outing me as an unintentional racist?
When you make it to the end of the game, you solve a puzzle that suggests that blondie either has super-dense bones and weighs as much as three men, or that her soul is as valuable as that of Jesus Christ and also the other two guys that were crucified with him. Then Ghost Pal leaves her in the Scales of Cthulhu and I guess his job is done because then he vanishes.
So yeah, I have no idea what was going on.
That said, the game wasn’t really enjoyable enough to keep thinking about it any longer.
Oh and also I played through a second time to get those easy cheevos.