What do video games like Braid and Portal and Up There have in common? They are prime exponents of the rapidly evolving “art game” movement, where talented indie designers attempt to refashion the overt commercialism of video gaming into something more enduring and meaningful.
Our favorite art game of 2008, Jason Rohrer’s Passage, only lasts for five minutes at a time, but this is entirely on purpose. We don’t want to give away any details–this is something you should really explore on your own–but we can tell you that Rohrer’s lyrical design generates more emotional impact over that short time than you would think possible.
The game’s available for free online, so buying the 99 cent iPhone edition is really just an easy way to support Rohrer’s vision, if you decide you like what he’s up to. We were more than happy to pay him for his fantastic work. As far as we’re concerned, this is just one more area in which the iPhone is changing gaming for the better.