David O’ Reilly, the visual artist behind the fake futuristic video game played in the Spike Jonze film “Her”, released his first real game called “Mountain”.
Mountain is actually a very simple game. It’s a sort of a virtual pet hybrid that's meant to be running while you're doing other things like working or Facebooking or commuting. You can spin it around, observe it, zoom in and out, and play little melodies at it because why not? That's it. The game requires very little of you. Basically nothing.
You start the game by answering a number of psychological questions with drawings, in order to create your unique, procedurally-generated mountain. Data gathered from your images also influence the shape of the terrain, snowfall levels, and the type and quantity of vegetation that will appear.
Upon the mountain loading, a bold text appears on the screen: "Welcome to Mountain. You are Mountain. You are God."
Fully loaded, the talking mountain hovers all alone, in the vacuum of space, occasionally spouting heartfelt observations and bizarre pieces of wisdom. Time passes, seasons change, trees grow, wither and die. Occasionally very odd objects come careening out of the sky and embed themselves in your mountain.
What’s so cool about the game, is that its all relative. Everybody's Mountain experiences something different.
Having Mountain opening on my iPad was a really surprise. I had already liked the general style and aesthetics of the indie game when I first found out about it, but the way it engages and became part of my day-to-day life, really made me wish there were more games like this.
I'd love to see an entire genre of low-impact (interactive) toys that just kind of... make people happy. Or sad. Or make them think about things they normally wouldn't.
Surely more of us feel this way, as this iOS mountain game has rocketed to the top of the App Store charts, ranking at #4 in the United States, #1 in Germany, and hitting the top category in 33 countries.
The Mountain has about 50 hours of gameplay, and has an actual ending.
For more information, check out the trailer below and visit the game's website.