What Linus Bruckman Sees When His Eyes Are Closed Linus is comprised of two games, "Kami and "DocMcVonSpaceburger Jr." To figure out what I'm talking about, look at the picture right above this paragraph. That should give you an idea of what the game would feel like. The two games within a game are played using a split screen format. Yes, I know. "WHAT? Split Screen in a single player game? You must be joking." I kid you not. If you look at the screenshot right above this paragraph (you see it?), then you might get an idea of how it plays. The two screens look completely different, yet they play almost exactly the same. You use one mouse for both screens and both move accordingly. The game doesn't mess anything up here. You have the capability to perform 2 similar or different actions, but it requires you to check both screens before you click. Doing anything wrong will mess you up big time, as an action on one screen will have an effect on the other screen. The most obvious differences between the two can be seen right in the graphics. The bottom has cartoon-like graphics, with bright vivid colors. It takes a sort of comic-book style. The top screen on the other hand has collages and realistic, very artsy imagery. The two contrast each other completely, yet I feel that in doing so they balance each other out. They are beautiful actually. The intros, the dialog boxes and the characters themselves all look gorgeous. The ending scene is also great looking, but by telling you what it looks like I feel I'm spoiling it. Another thing that contrasts the two is the story. The top screen (Kami) is a Japanese Tale about samurai and myths while the bottom half (DocMcVonSpaceburger Jr.) is a comedic sci-fi story about an alien with a pink swimsuit that operates his dad's fast food restaurant. It seems extremely different, yet when you understand both of them together, you begin to realize how similar the stories actually are. They come together in many ways, most important of which is the ending, and this provides a great backdrop to compliment the gameplay itself. The gameplay is designed to emphasize the story. It's basically two similar slider puzzles (one for both screens). Yes, another rare thing, in addition to split-screens, they used slider puzzles. It seems to be strange and it may turn off some players but the basic point of it is to compliment the story, and it does so very well. Actually, it fits into BOTH stories and executes it beautifully. It's a puzzle game, yet it's trying to tell us something by being that. The puzzle basically involves trying to spin around objects using the sliders on the walls. Since the two play together, you have to figure out a strategy that lets you place the objects in the correct place. It's not that simple. First you have to know which goes where. In that respect, you have to mark the objects with colors, made easier thanks to the feature that was already placed here. The puzzles are difficult but they can be solved with some good thinking. Eventually, you'll get it, maybe after a few hours of play time. Mostly depends on the person's ability to work out the pieces. The game may seem incredibly frustrating (especially when you mess up), yet it manages to keep it interesting. The dialog while solving the puzzles is interesting. The bottom has a lot of quirky lines that almost feels somewhat like a satirical comedy, while the top is interesting and much more serious and dramatic. These manage to glue you to the story. Look! It's Charlton Heston!One important thing you should know about the story is the fact that you have to complete it twice. That is, if you don't speak Japanese. "Kami" has all of its lines written in Japanese, at least during the first playthrough. This forces you to finish it twice so that you can unlock the English subtitles for Kami (and also Japanese subtitles for DocMcVonSpaceburger Jr.). That means that you must focus on DocMcVonSpaceburger Jr. on your first playthrough and Kami on your second. This allows you to absorb both stories individually and eventually seeing how the two intertwine at the ending. The styling is elegant and elevates the level of design that the game implements. Finally, the music is perfect to the nature of the game. It is comprised of two tracks that are automatically mixed together (although it can be changed). The DocMcVonSpaceburger Jr. track is upbeat and quirky while the Kami track is soothing and calm. The way the music is used in the game suits to how the game is played, distinct, yet comes together very well. The way that this game plays is innovative and unique. It's one of the most original games I've ever played, and it's well worth a play even if the puzzle gameplay may seem to be a turn off. It's an amazing game and there's not really a reason why you shouldn't play it. The story is one of the most engrossing ones I've ever experienced. It's definitely a must-try. out of 4The game can be downloaded for free here: http://xiigames.com/linus/ Side Note - A 4/4 rating may seem generous, yet I'm using a 4 star system to emphasize the writing itself. The point of a 4 star system is to let the writing be read and not the rating. I'm well aware that the game is not perfect, yet that is definitely not the point of giving it a 4 score, it is meant to show that the game is a fantastic game. Please do not liken my rating with a 10/10. If I was using that system, I would have given if a 9.5, but this system has much less possible ratings. The system is exclusively composed of 0-4, with only .5 being the decimal ratings.