Hello everyone and welcome to a rather quick bite of “Food for Thought” for you all to chew on! Just last night I was introduced to a rather addictive game that answers the “big questions” about mortality and human nature. Sounds heavy, deeply philosophical, and a snooze fest? Well, you’d be surprised, especially if you’re a fan of (intense) personality quizzes and a sucker for side-scrolling jump puzzles.
Just step outside, get hit by a meteor, and plunge into the self-discovery-pseduo-purgatory known as The End.
So what is there to say about this game? It’s a side-scrolling quest for personal discovery where you navigate your (rather well-balanced, design-wise) avatar through the perilous worlds of Body, Mind, and Spirit, to collect “Death Objects” and answer questions that define the way you think about life, death, and other people. Of course, there are no right or wrong answers, the game merely gauges where you stand on issues and provides your (possible) “thought space”(IE. How you generally perceive the world). Your “thought space” corresponds to particular historical figures and the site also offers further research for the curious who want to connect with their proposed historical buddy.
So, yes, this is a personality-quiz-fiend’s dream because the site provides such thoughtful, well-written insight into your own personality with questions that don’t precisely point towards one end result over the other.
The only catch to learning more about yourself?
It’s a bit hellish to beat the levels and progress in-game.
As I said before, you are trapped in a stylized pseudo-puragtory so to get to the end of the game is going to take some effort and some brain power. Some puzzles are easier to solve than others but get progressively harder as the levels advance. These puzzles will require you to either time your jumps, pull down levers, push objects, or make use of your “Light Power”, a unique tool that helps manipulate the environment, provided that you have a light source to cast a shadow and you know how to manage angles.
After you beat a level you’re presented with the much-sought-after Yes or No question that helps define you and your choices — but that’s not the end of it. Once you’re done jumping from platform to platform you’re pit against one of the game’s three Guardians (Who are, also, rather well-balanced design-wise and just fun to look at) who challenge you to a game of “Death Dice”. Don’t worry, it’s not as intimidating as it sounds, and rather easy to navigate once you get the hang of it. Simply put, you’re given three-sided tiles with values ranging from 1-10, and you need to place them side-by-side; the highest number sides will flip lower number sides to your color and you need to have most of the board covered in your color to win. You’re awarded power-ups along the way, and the Guardians are rather forgiving; if you happen to lose, just rematch and keep going until you win to move on.
What happens when you finally reach the end of The End? Well, since I’m only about 20% in game, (Yes, I admit, I’m bad at jump-quests), I’d assume there is a final analysis and assessment of how you (apparently) think and perceive the world. (And definitely a hearty pat on the back for surviving this side-scrolling jump-quest purgatory)
So is The End worth the time (Hours, in my case) spent to determine who you are? For the personality-quiz fiend dying to know every little detail about themselves and what it could possibly mean, I’d say yes. And while the game can be frustrating, it’s also rather forgiving, and allows the player to constantly restart and try again. Not to mention it is, in its way, rather soothing, with an up-beat soundtrack and well-balanced, bright art that is engaging. There is also a “share on Facebook” option, so if anything, you could feasibly use the game as a means to play Death Cards against your friends are gage their own personalities (Because everyone likes competition as much as they like learning about themselves).
It is certainly not the “be all and end all” of personality assessments, but it is a cute and rather literal quest for self-discovery that is rather clever and well-put together. There are many, many bonuses and interesting tidbits of information to mull over as you advance and learn more about yourself with each progression, so there is incentive to keep going, if only to continue finding out more information about yourself than you may ever care to know.
So if you’re in the mood for a quest of self-discovery, try out The End and see for yourself what awaits!