Usually I try to explain why I think the games I suggest are worth playing. It’s not because the games need to have their quality argued, I just try to pitch the idea and premise to hopefully encourage my readers to play them. This time though, while I will try to sing this game’s praises, this is just a game that has to be played. To describe this game beyond its basics is to spoil it. However, before we begin, I will freely admit that this is the most unnerving game I have ever played. Ladies and gentlemen… welcome to Mike Inel’s Which.
“Which” is a game by Mike Inel, an indie developer and animator probably most famous for his Draw with Me short and his work on indie darling, Katawa Shoujo, that has you wandering an empty house, looking for a way out. The game is part of a series of games that display Inel’s talents in drawing out emotions without exposition or sometimes any dialogue at all. Each game (How, Where, Why, Which, and the cancelled Who) takes a different approach to accomplishing this goal by subtly creating atmospheric emotions. In the case of Which, the main emotion you’ll be feeling is fear.
The reason for this is the way the game is designed. The house you are in is only covered in gray and white coloring, giving it a surreal, suffocating, feeling. While the house is perfectly normal, the coloring scheme makes doors and objects bleed together and into the walls, which makes it feel like you have to pull the doors into existence. In addition, there is no sound except for your footsteps and a couple more sound effects later in the game. This makes any time you actually do see a distinct shape or hear a new sound shocking. Finally, the real genius of the game’s design is that a playthrough only takes about ten minutes max, so even the flaws, like your slow walking speed, can be forgiven since you don’t have to deal with them for very long.
Another big strength is the game’s accessibility. For example, the controls are very simple; WASD to move, your mouse to control how your viewing, left click to interact with objects, and right click to crouch. It should only take a second to pick up for any gamer, regardless of experience or skill, making it very accessible. The game also comes packaged with three versions: a low-def version, which can be run on any computer made in the last 3-5 years, a high quality version that has some very nice lighting effects and can still run on most machines, and a 3D version that requires a pair of red/blue lensed glasses. So if you have a weak system that can only just play games from five years ago or a multi-core beast, you can enjoy this game.
Ultimately, there is only one piece of advice I can give: Play the damn game. There were a lot of things I had to leave out, like what makes the game truly scary, the multiple meanings behind the title, what ties it to the other games in the series, and how it made me a Mike Inel fanboy. Just play this game, make sure it’s dark and quiet, and prepare to be creeped out.