Some games are so different, deep and beautiful that they just won't die -- Tale of Tales' The Graveyard is one of those games, as it has just been ported to Android, available for download right now through the Android Market. It's nigh impossible to think about the finite nature of human existence too much -- it's been pondered for millions of years and no one's yet come up with a better answer than "42" -- and now you can guide an old European woman through such questions in a gorgeous graveyard whenever you'd like.
The Graveyard comes in two flavors, the free trial version, or the full game for $1.99. There's only one difference between the two types: You can't die in the trial, while every time you play the full game, there's a distinct possibility you will die. Much like life, which makes the trial more like the great-great grandmother to Limbo. Literally.
Tale of Tales release The Graveyard on Android
Ghent, Belgium, 10 November 2011
Tale of Tales have ported the mobile version of The Graveyard to the Android platform. Two versions of the game are available: a trial version for free and a full version for 1.99 USD. The only difference between the two is that in the full version, the protagonist can die.
Both versions are available from the Android Market.
In The Graveyard you play an old woman who visits a cemetery. You walk around, sit on a bench and listen to a song. And then you leave.
The original PC and Mac version of The Graveyard was created during the production of Tale of Tales' most well known title The Path, in part to test how the audience would respond to the radical design choices the team were making.
"The Graveyard is probably the purest expression of our design philosophy to date," explain Tale of Tales directors Michael Samyn & Auriea Harvey. "As artists, we choose to use video games as an expressive medium. To achieve subtlety and variety in this expression, we feel it is necessary to abandon conventions of traditional game design. The Graveyard was designed to be an interactive expression of a certain mood, allowing the player to contemplate certain themes. It does not contain any puzzles or rewards because we feel that would have diminished its emotional impact."
In his keynote presentation at last month's IndieCade, Naughty Dog lead designer Richard Lemarchand conveyed how influential The Graveyard had been in the design of a certain chapter of their AAA blockbuster Uncharted 2:
Among Thieves. A sentiment that was elaborated on during the public conversation he had with Tale of Tales at GameCity 6 in Nottingham later that month.
Released for PC and Mac on 21 March 2008, The Graveyard was the first commercial title by Tale of Tales. It was also the first Tale of Tales title on Steam (launched on 9 March 2009). And now the Graveyard is the first Tale of Tales on Android. In 2008 The Graveyard was selected for IndieCade and nominated for the European Innovative Games Award. In 2009 it was nominated for the Nuovo Award in the Independent Games Festival.
The mobile version of The Graveyard was originally released for iPhone on 8 March 2010. Although optimized for the small screens of smartphones, the app will run on Android tablets as well as phones.
Tale of Tales is a small independent game development studio run by media artists Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn, and based in Ghent, Belgium.
Previously, Tale of Tales have released The Endless Forest, The Path, Fatale and Vanitas. The pair are currently working on several new projects, including a new interpretation of their first unpublished design codenamed "8", a spiritual prequel to The Path, their most successful title to date.
The music in The Graveyard was created by Gerry De Mol, the sound effects by Kris Force and the character animations by Laura Raines Smith.