On a phone or handheld console, the notion of downloading a free-standing (and free) game, booting it up and enjoying a 15-minute tryst with it is familiar territory — it’s just another morning on the train. On a PC, it feels a little goofy. But Blendo Games’ Gravity Bone certainly doesn’t care about that fact, boldly drawing you in with its off-kilter visuals, wonky soundtrack and unapologetically befuddling premise. Like a haunting music video or a powerful one-act play, all of Gravity Bone’s odd little pieces come together to create a peculiarly entrancing atmosphere.
I barely know what Gravity Bone is about, and it’s better if I keep the same true for you. It’s meant to be pondered, not understood. But it certainly wastes no time getting started. Straight out of a double-click on your desktop, you’re descending down an elevator to a swanky party of blockheaded suits. A waiter hands you a note, and you’re off. You’ll gather fairly quickly that you’re playing as a spy, although it’s never made entirely clear. Not unlike Portal before it, Gravity Bone blends an existential, short-form narrative with a “figure it out yourself” mentality. You could think of that lack of polish or exposition as sloppiness, to be sure. But like an understated detective novel, each triumph or revelation in Gravity Bone feels profound because you came to it on your own. And in this case, it’s all packed into 15 minutes.
Blendo Games originally released Gravity Bone in 2009 but recently began offering it for free on their website. I’ll throw you a bone and post the link: just click on the Gravity Bone icon at the bottom of Blendo’s homepage to download the game.