Sawbuck Gamer

Pretentious Game 3

Keeping It Real

Pretentious Game 3 dispenses with the pretense of pretension.

By John Teti • August 8, 2013

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

When we reviewed the original Pretentious Game last year, Anthony John Agnello argued that the game’s superficial barbs at highfalutin’ indie works give way to an experience that’s artful and charming in itself. The joke of Pretentious Game is that it ends up being just as earnest as the works that message-board thugs might characterize as “pretentious.”

Pretentious Game 3 doesn’t make any feint at satire—the jig is up, after all. Instead, this conclusion to the trilogy dives right into a heartfelt story from the get-go, a simple but emotionally fraught tale of a wife, a mistress, and the scoundrel they have in common. Each beat in the story is represented by a new challenge in this basic platformer—when you’re placed in the role of the husband staggering home drunk, for instance, your controls reverse direction every few seconds, so you end up weaving around the playfield. Such clever flourishes of design define Pretentious Game 3. It’s not a terribly deep game, but it is an honest one, marked less by its pretense than by its lack thereof.

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7 Responses to “Keeping It Real”

  1. Cloks says:

    This game looks nice and all but the controls are frustrating as all get-out. One thing that games like Thomas Was Alone seem to offer are tighter platforming controls, so that once you see your goal you can actually accomplish it. I had to stop playing this after a few levels because I could clearly see the solution but couldn’t achieve it.

  2. Dariusz G. Jagielski says:

    It was quite depressing. I demand next Pretentious game will have happy ending!

  3. muddi900 says:

    This is the most subversive use of a title I have ever seen in a game and it’s fun too.

  4. TreeRol says:

    There’s some story unresolved if you just play this game. I went in search online, and it seems the Blue block is introduced, and his story played through, in the first two Pretentious Games.


    He had the hots for pink, but she got with gray. Then he ended up with peach. And then he ended up, well, get to the end of this one and you’ll see.

  5. stepped_pyramids says:

    I choose to reiterate my comment about the first game: a winking title doesn’t make up for the fact that you made a ‘blue block seeks out pink block’ game.

    • Jetamors says:

      To be fair, this one also has exciting variants such as ‘pink block seeks out blue block’ and ‘blue block attempts to drive while drunk’.