Don't do drugs, kids.
While looking around for cheap games to try out on the Steam store, I managed to find an odd looking title that really piqued my interest. This game was called 140. With a $5 price tag, just 3 achievements, and a developer only listed as Independent, this seemed like a great opportunity for this game to get more of a spotlight on it.
The plot of 140 is, well, not anything really. You're a square who sometimes morphs into a circle when it moves and a triangle when it jumps. Not really much to it. Regarding the gameplay, there are 3 main levels, all with their own form of tricky platforming and puzzles. Regarding the actual controls, the arrow keys move the "character" while the spacebar jumps. Nothing really convoluted. Hell, the game doesn't even have a pause button. The movement is quite precise, and the jumping doesn't feel floaty in the slightest. When I accidentally screwed up a jump, I felt like it was my own fault.
Let me get this fact out of the way: 140 is incredibly short. I beat it in a little under an hour, and that was from me dying multiples times, so the average person could probably beat it in far less time with practice.
Despite its short length, 140 does a solid job of spreading out the puzzles and platforming throughout the three stages.
The main draw to 140 though is in its graphical presentation and music. These are the primary factors that really drive it home as an experience.
Sound design is an incredibly important factor in 140. Songs start off simple and unimpressive but gradually transition into a complex, technophilic eargasm (especially when paired with a good pair of headphones) Some games rely on realistic, mind-blowing graphics to convey their art direction. 140 is not one of them. The simplistic, colourful, not-even-8-bit backgrounds pulsate with the pounding beats of the surrounding puzzle blocks and jump pads. It's the video game embodiment of a drug trip, with it's only purpose being to ecstasize the senses. I found it to be quite hypnotic once I started to immerse myself.
140 is one of those games that you'll probably finish on a weekend, forget about it for a couple of days, then mention it to one of your friends in passing, only to forget about it again as it sits in your Steam library, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It doesn't strive to be some absolutely memorable event like The Last of Us or other games. The $5 price tag justifies it's purpose as a one time experience, although I do wish that it could have been just slightly longer. Overall, 140 is something I would recommend trying. Kind of like how an addict would describe a drug trip, it's fun while it lasts.
Seth Boester is currently a sophomore in high school. You can follow him on Twitter @cheesewombat and listen to him proclaim that Scott Tolzien is the future of the Green Bay Packers, and then violently cry himself to sleep immediately afterwards.