An experiment in storytelling, and not an entirely failed one. But it severely under-delivers.

User Rating: 2 | Thirty Flights of Loving PC

I like to try new and unconventional things. I've found some real nuggets of gold that way. And then there is Thirty Flights of Loving.

I can't say it was a waste of time because it only took 15 minutes to finish (and I took my time, believe me). But it wasn't worth my four bucks.

A lot of the praise for TFOL has to do with how it doesn't bombard you with narrative and hold your hand with mindless cutscenes. They say it lets you figure out the story for yourself. Well, to that I say good luck. I really do think it's on to something with the style of story-telling, but if you can find a coherent story in TFOL somewhere then I laud your truly magnificent gift of insight. I challenge anyone currently sitting on their pretentious thrones of higher criticism to tell me what the plot and story in this game are. My guess is they don't really know.

The world is kind of cute. And things like rushing through mobs of fast-moving people in an airport with a wounded team member slung over your shoulder to a soundtrack reminiscent of James Bond and The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (a la Quentin Tarantino) are novel and a little exciting. But your actions affect nothing. It's basically a slide show. There was no purpose for half the key bindings (not kidding). None of the objects you can pick up have any function whatsoever. The only game with similar gameplay I could relate it to would be Esther, but with even less interaction.

Strangely, there are more graphic options in TFOL than I've seen in a game in quite a while. I didn't even know what several of the options did. As a long-time PC gamer, I was impressed by that level of customization. But it was all for nothing since the game never delivered. I literally (by that I mean literally) spent more time configuring keyboard and display settings than I did playing the game.

I tried playing it again with the commentary option. I really wanted a window into the developer's stream of consciousness. What I gleaned from the snippets of commentary that I was able to read (it crashed twice during this playthrough so I just left it behind and didn't look back) were several inside jokes that required explanation and bits of personal life history of the developer. He likes oranges. Good to know. I'll send him a fruit basket.

I hate being tough on independent developers. But you open yourself to artillery when you crank out an under-developed, half-baked, unchallenging piece of work and put it on Steam for cash. We like to think that if we pay for something it will have value. Well this should have been freeware. I wouldn't have knocked it then because it would have had value as an experiment in storytelling (and not an entirely failed one). But it was just an experiment, and he's charging for it. I can see him now, pocketing my dollars and chuckling merrily that I fell for his ploy. Well good riddance, Blendo Games. I will be extra skeptical of your work in the future.