Day #308: THOTH


To listen to the sounds of THOTH without actually seeing it in action, your first assumption would be that it’s a tense horror game, likely at the point where the main character is being chased by some sort of supernatural force.  To open your eyes and then see a simplistic twin-stick shooter doesn’t really compute, making for a discordant feeling that’s somehow scarier.  Compounding this is the sensation that you never quite know what’s coming next, as if the game is inventing the rules as it goes along.

The only constant in THOTH is the knowledge that destroying a block will then turn it into a black void that chases you.  With this comes an extra layer of strategy, since the levels themselves will often transform depending on how many voids are in play.  What doesn’t change is the oppressive feeling; the Kubrick-esque soundtrack and the inability to guess if there’s any meaning to the various abstractions being thrown at you.  Once you feel like you like you’ve sufficiently fallen into an solid shooter-trance, the game makes sure to remind you that it’s not beholden to your expectations and will find another way to surprise you.  For a genre that’s often so rudimentary, it’s a refreshing take that persists long beyond the feeling of a simple gimmick.  With time, you learn to dread those blocks just as you would the most well-rendered and terrifying of monsters.


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