Inkubus. Make the right choices and you just might survive.

In the interactive digital game, Inkubus by Andy Campbell and Christine Wilks, you play as a teenage girl who was just grounded. You start off the game by chatting online with your friend, Beccy. Depending on the responses that you give her, you can earn hearts. Once your conversation is over, you happen to go into a dream-like world where you are given light to protect yourself from other the “pressures of society.” 

This 3D interactive game is a great form of showing digitally animated art and incorporating that in an interactive manner. The decisions you make in this game are crucial to your life span. This represents the difficulty of being a girl in middle/high school. The “cooler” and more “superficial” responses you give, the more life you gain. What is interesting though is if you give different answers to the same question, you still receive the same or similar responses. Essentially what matters though is the survival of school and your supposedly friends think of you. But the fact that you receive the same responses no matter with what you respond indicates that they don’t really care what you think. It’s an interesting play of getting in the conscious mind of teenage girls. 
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The animation in this interactive game is particularly interesting. The base color is red which could represent both love and hate. The color gives off an eerie setting of blood, as if the character’s eyes are always blood shot and clouded. This could represent the uncertainty and confusion of identity. The character doesn’t know who she is which is why she is given different responses. When you enter the other world, you walk through what seems like the inside of a body. This could be the own girl’s body. You go through different paths eliminating the unrealistic perception of beauty and avoiding to please other people. 
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The music and sound in the game is off setting from what a usual teenage girl would be listening to. What caught my ears though was the sudden breathing from the girl when you were either about to enter the other world or when the game was almost over. This represents either the state of panic of being accepted from your friend Beccy or the sudden excitement of finding your own identity.  
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*Spoiler Alert* 
At the end of the game, you go through a massive cave where bubbles are floating around showing different faces of girls and it is up to you decide which one is you. If you choose the wrong face, an alarming noise is set of, but if you choose the right one, the similar sound goes off. But with either one that you choose, the game ends. 
This means with whatever decision you make, you will have the same result, the game is over and you’ve lived a life of your own decisions. 

  2 comments for “Inkubus. Make the right choices and you just might survive.

  1. sarahjoy
    February 3, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    This game sufficiently creeped me out. From the beginning, everything felt really off-putting. When walking around your room, for instance, it extended into darkness in one direction. When IM-ing with your friend, her avatar gradually develops into an eye, and you get the feeling of being watched, which also happens when you’re in the body/cave. I think the dialogue was incredibly effective in creating such an uncomfortable setting. The way the questions are relentless and guiding, almost to the point where they’re accusatory. For me, the color scheme was neither love nor hate, but rather appetite and danger. The cave resembling a body probably influenced that first interpretation, as the walls looked like organs, and the blue-ish branches looked kind of like veins. Also, before I started playing, my boyfriend informed me of what an incubus is (demon who has sex with sleeping females), so I was expecting something along that line. However, incubus also means “a cause of distress or anxiety” which is undoubtedly what this game was about. What struck me the most about being inside the cave/body was how quickly I felt lost. The first time I played, I meandered around for a long time, and wasted all of my light thinking I needed it to explore, rather than defend myself. Eventually, I felt so hopelessly lost inside and distressed and anxious that I gave up. I thought this was eerily representational of how a young teenage girl might feel growing up. Creepy, but really effective.

  2. Steve Rechter
    February 3, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    This is quite a dark, unique experience. The premise is wonderfully original and the art style is effective for the limitations of the work. There are a ton of different avenues for discussion you could take with a game like this. You do a great job describing and establishing the general tone and angle of the game, but somewhat leave it at that. You’re right that the game is “an interesting play of getting in the conscious mind of teenage girls.” There are tons of implications made by this game, and that is the sort of topic that can really get a discussion going.

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