passage - a game about the passage through life
Passage is a video game written by Jason Rohrer about navigating the
maze that is life and the obstacles, rewards, disappointments,
challenges, relationships and the inevitable departure that is part of
the adventure of life.
Passage is an art game. As a result, some people love it and some
people hate it. Check out the links to places it has been discussed on
the website for some of the reactions.
The mechanics of the game are fairly simple. Your "score" is related to
two things; exploration and treasure. Treasure pieces are represented
by blue stars that you find in the treasure chests scattered about the
maze of life’s challenges. Some chests will be empty, so you must learn
which sequence of gems on the front of the chests means treasure is
inside. You have the option to team up with a spouse. If you do,
exploring life will be more rewarding but some treasure will no longer
be reachable. As in life, your spouse will die and that death will
slow you down. In the end, you will die alone after your 5 minutes is
The most interesting part about this game is the emotions it evokes
within the player of the game. The ultra-low-res pixel art helps here,
by not being too distracting and by leaving plenty room for viewer
The followup to Passage is Gravitation, another art game by Jason
Passage has no command-line options.
The arrow keys move the player around.
The Esc key is used to quit the game.
The game resolution and use of fullscreen or a window can be set by
editing the files in /etc/passage.
The website and discussion: http://hcsoftware.sourceforge.net/passage/
The game creators statement:
March 2008 passage(6)