Hey, you, wanna spend maybe five, ten minutes wandering around a deserted city which looks a bit like Hitman’s Sapienza or Dishonored 2’s Karnaca? Admire some architecture? Meet some people? Wonder what hapened? Yeah you do. You want to visit City Of Muse, a moody little pay-what-you-want game. I played its ten minutes yesterday and it’s still in my brain today. A good thing.
Something’s happened. This beautiful cliffside city must once have rung with life, with houses and squares winding down to the sea, but now every door is locked or boarded and the only noise is the hum of electric lighting (and a nice minimal soundtrack). Apparently someone new is in charge. Best go see what’s up, eh?
I’ll not say much, only that this is an excellent example of a type of game I adore. It wants to let you explore somewhere new, feel a big mood, build to a climax, then be done inside ten minutes. It does, and it is. I’ll take a handful of moody little games over one giant sprawling spookfest which drags on and insists upon explicitly answering every question, any day. Images and feelings like these lodge in my head then lurk the back with a life of their own, rather than being remembered as an exerience I did indeed undergo at exhausting length. Then in idle moments, they’ll creep out to wash those vibes over my brain again before slipping back away to a secluded fold. Splendid.
VIBES NOT PLOT: that’ll be my knuckle tattoos once these so-called doctors finally approve my finger transplants.
Made by Nikolay Ushakov, City Of Muse is available from Itch.io. It’s pay-what-you-want with no minimum. I threw in my usual amount for PWYW Itch horror games: $6.66. Yes, I still think that’s funny, and clever.