Like Roots in the Soil
Who needs controllers or keyboards when you can play with a plant pot? Like Roots in the Soil brings the embodiment of its theme into its control scheme by using a plastic plant in a tin can for all user input. Twisting the can rotates your perspective of the world and pressing it (which you only need to do once) acts as a button press.
Through this dual perspective, you view a world as it was before and as it is now, the two linked together by a central thread. It’s a short experience, but it’s well executed, with musical changes tied into your current view. You find yourself constantly shifting focus between the two views before perhaps settling into an equilibrium. Obviously if you download the game yourself, you won’t get the full plant-pot experience, instead controlling the game with your mouse.
This is a curious game all about video editing and the message we deliver based on what we choose to present. Headlines follows a badger who has recently been made redundant as their previous employer — one of the last ‘free’ local TV news stations — was snapped up by a government-friendly megacorp. You set out on your own, editing together clips to make a compelling broadcast, with a massive degree of control over what you cover and how.
Headlines is still an early concept, with what was on show serving as a taste of its eventual scope, where you will find yourself treading a thin line between your job’s demands and the moral high path. You can follow the developers on Twitter @CupboardGames.
Turning to hardware now, and the Bitsy Boutique was on display at Adventure X. This DIY contraption acts as a stage for Bitsy games. You can select and play them using the integrated keypad, with the games and menus appearing amidst curtains in the top half of the treasure box.
You can find out more about Bitsy Boutique — including details on how to make your own — on itch.io.