Ladies and gentlemen, I have your answer. Two wonderful little games by Blendo Games are just what the doctor ordered. Gravity Bone is a spy game set in a fantastical world of intrigue and weirdness. Thirty Flights of Loving is a game about a crew of smugglers on a big heist. Neither game takes more than a half an hour to complete, but I spent a few hours playing and replaying them. Both are tremendously smart about incorporating story into the medium of games, and I found myself drawn to the stories over and over again.
Each of these games is set in Neuvos Aires, a fantastical and futuristic city where spies and smugglers thrive and perish. Gravity Bone mocks the tropes of video games in an amusing, but loving, way. You move through ludicrous stages and work to accomplish tasks that make a mockery of spy movies and games at the same time. It is equally clear that Blendo loves the genres it mocks as much as they love video games.
Thirty Flights of Loving is slightly less gamey and calls itself a short story. While it is true that there is no fail-state and no real player choice, the story that it is telling wouldn’t work the same way in any other medium. This is my pretentious way of saying that it was really interesting and I liked it.
Both of these games are tremendously accommodating for almost any schedule. The whole experience of one of these games can be had in the time it takes an oven to pre-heat or three kids to brush their teeth and get into pajamas. If you don’t have that much time, there is a save system built in. You can always find the time for one of these. And, you really should. These are two of the best stories I have played this year. Gravity Bone is available as a free download at the Blendo Games site, and here. Thirty Flights of Loving is available on Steam or the Blendo site. Check them out. You will like them, and a very small gaming company will be able to keep making games.