Tempres (Tak)

Meditations (Rami Ismail)

Meditations (Rami Ismail)

For 2019, Rami Ismail commissioned Meditations: a collection of games by different developers, one for each day of the year. The first, however, is not new. Tempres (Tak) is the browser game that inspired Rami to organise this game-a-day calendar. I’d seen it before, failed to figure out the rules, and closed the tab. This time I was a little more motivated but still initially struggled, and unfortunately I think the package in which Rami presents the game is partly to blame.

Tempres is ten vertical bars in a neat row. Click on the first and it’ll light up. Or so I thought. If you access the game on itch.io, you also get instructions that are missing in Meditations: “controls: either click the game window or press spacebar“. Clicking on a bar is clicking the game window, but clicking the game window is not necessarily clicking on a bar. My inputs reduced from ten to one, the puzzle became much simpler. Even better: clicking a window leaves open the “where”, but pressing the space bar leaves only the “when”.

It’s not too hard to figure out the rest. My friendly local musician tells me it’s a good game for those who are similarly inclined. I like what happens at the end. And I’m a sucker for a minimalist representation of a clever idea, even if this kind of simplicity does increase the pressure I put on myself to appear smart and good at games. I’m interested to see how the other – new – games in the collection compare to this original inspiration.