Sawbuck Gamer

The Balance

Thy Fearful Symmetry

Good and evil hang in The Balance.

By Derrick Sanskrit • September 10, 2012

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.

There are any number of theories on how the universe was made, from The Big Bang to Intelligent Design to Lovecraftian Horror. There are, however, fewer arguments regarding the origins of morality. According to The Balance, the Evolution Master’s assistants fly above the surface of newly-formed worlds, smashing through the naturally-occurring spirits of cuteness and villainy to establish a status quo for the land that will rise in their wake. So sure, let’s go with that until a better theory comes along. Mostly because this one is pretty, with ink trails and splats that lie somewhere between Okami and de Blob.

There isn’t much of a goal, nor is there any worthwhile challenge in playing The Balance. No lessons are learned, and no trials are endured. After the game ends, though, things get a little interesting. The results of your game are added to a global chart where you can see the balance of good and evil for everyone who has played the game so far. The running tally of splattered wisps acts as a constant conscience, indicating where you decision places you in the grand scheme of morality. It’s so easy to stay on one side of the divide, driving through a row of like-colored pixies until you’re all good or all evil. Maintaining neutrality, however, requires attention and planning. How does Switzerland do it?

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645 Responses to “Thy Fearful Symmetry”

  1. Xtracurlyfries says:

    Kinda fun, but kinda pointless. Very pretty though, no doubt.

    Your comment about no lesson being learned made me think what a great game could be made by combining this with some kind of story from the guys that did “A Lesson is Learned but the Damage is Irreversible”. Perhaps a game that woudl both depress and excite?

    • DrKumAndGo says:

      Well, last time those guys helped make a game, it ended up being Braid, so I’m pretty much on board with this.

  2. trilobiter says:

    Maybe my mouse sucks, but I found the controls to be iffy.

  3. HobbesMkii says:

    Points for quoting Blake.

  4. I’m not sure why LSP is one of those little sprites though…

    • Look at her up there. She’s all…

      LSP: I’m bored and I’m not having any fun.
      Ice King: What? Not having any fun? But last night I read you the story of Baby Whatsits And The Bottle Prince.
      LSP: That wasn’t fun. That was lame.

  5. I like that depending on how which side you lean to your dude changes to be more evil/good looking.