Author: mirosurabu
Audio used: Alec Holowka
Origin: 08/19/2010
Size: 7.8 KB
Score(As of 1 May, 2011): 4.45/5.00
Awards: None
Author's comments:
NOTE: If you get black screen and the game never loads chances are you have Adblock Plus browser extension. Try disabling it. If that doesn't help try deleting your cookies (make sure this won't upset you :P). If that doesn't help, I guess the server where this game is hosted is temporarily down or we're updating the game.

This commentary isn't a lie. Promise.

A voice is trying to guide you to safety but can you trust it? Things may not be what they seem to be.

Journey through 30 levels and escape from the cage.

There are 2 real endings and 1 fake. To get the best ending (2/2) you don't have to replay the whole game.

Game saves your progress, but make sure you don't hit 'Restart' accidentally.

Game by Kyle Pulver of IGF-nominee Snapshot. Flash version produced by Miroslav Malesevic of Eversion. Music by Alec Holowka of Aquaria and Infinite Ammo.

Enjoy and please let me know what you think!

Note This information only refers to the official release on the Flash Portal.

Depict1 is a 2010 platformer game by Xerus that was ported to Flash by mirosurabu. It is based around the ideas of deception and inversion. It was the winner of the 2010 Tank Awards.

Story Edit

Depict1 tells its story in an intriguing way. It begins with instructions telling the player not to press the X and C keys. This sets the tone for the rest of the game. The player controls a small, hooded figure surrounded by darkness, trying to escape from a mysterious place. They are being constantly talked to by a mysterious voice, via text on the top of the screen, that only gives bad advice. For example, it tells players that entering lights resets the stage, when it in fact sends the player to the next area. By filtering through the speakers' lies and paying attention to their actions within the game, players slowly start to collect information.

Both the protagonist and the mysterious voice are trapped, the two are old acquaintances, and the voice almost paradoxically wants to protect the protagonist. For a while, the voice is silent as the player progresses through more of the game. Later, the voice starts rambling again, this time saying that what they did was for the player's own good. Eventually, the player finds a light that seemingly traps them in a loop. Since the voice claims that there is a way out, the story is seemingly over. However, it turns out that if the player waits for a few moments, the light disappears, allowing the player to proceed. The voice finally told the truth.

At the end of the game, the player enters a dark, mysterious area where the speaker is finally visible. It is a shadowy clone of the player, bathed in light rather than darkness. It is a perfect mirror of the player, copying their every movement. It seems impossible to defeat them without killing the player as well. However, by breaking the symmetry, the player defeats the voice, shattering the dark world and allowing them to escape to freedom.

Design Edit

At a glance, Depict1 is a typical platformer with puzzle elements. Players run and jump in a 2D environment to reach a shining beacon, which brings them to the next stage. Some objects are dangerous and must be avoided while others are valuable and must be collected. Although the game features two false endings for players who can't figure out how to proceed, this is by no means a unique feature.

What truly sets Depict1's design apart from its peers is the inversion of typical platforming elements. Tutorials are to be distrusted, gems are dangerous, spikes are valuable ammunition, jumping on enemies kills the player, bottomless pits are entirely survivable, and the game's sole power-up actually reduces the player's abilities. Levels constantly challenge the player to forget the norms of the genre and adapt to the world's strange new rules.

Gameplay Edit

Gameplay in Depict1 is fairly standard for platformers. The protagonist moves left and right using the A and D keys. J makes them jump while K allows them to shoot a projectile if they have collected 1 or more of them. Pressing the space bar kills the protagonist. Like many platforming stars, they can jump a couple times their height and fall great distances without being hurt. However, their projectiles are ineffective against enemies, jumping on enemies only hurts the player, and control during jumps is somewhat limited. Generally, the gameplay itself is fairly simple, with puzzles relying more on strategy than reflexes.

Presentation Edit


Dark silhouettes are trustworthy sources of information.

Depict1 uses a highly pixelated style reminiscent of 8 bit games. The largely orange foreground stands out against the dark blue background, making the action stick out. Enemies are surrounded by a shining light, making them stand out even more. Animation consists of a couple of sprites at most, though backgrounds are often more complex.

The world of Depict1 is very alien. The combination of the unnatural orange, swirling blue backgrounds, and bizarre physics create the impression of an alternate world separated from the more mundane one the player is accustomed to. This impression is reinforced by the gameplay, which requires players to invert their knowledge of the platforming genre in order to succeed.

Depict1 has many levels without music, but what music there is takes a somber tone. The tunes are far more sophisticated than the primitive graphics. The sound effects, however, are standard for the style of game, and include a variety of beeping noises.

Reception Edit

Depict1 was not an obvious success at first, winning no daily awards. However, it would win the Weekly Third Place award and eventually won the August monthly contest, beating out the sequel to This is the Only Level . On Pico Day 2011, it was announced the winner of the 2010 game of the year award, ahead of promising candidates such as Larry and the Gnomes, Epic Battle Fantasy 3, and Road of the Dead. As of May 2011, the game has slightly over half a million views and an average review of 9.5/10.

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