A man in his small capsule home. A bus crash. A doctor birthing some strange anomaly. A fight with a giant spider. All of these things are featured in “I Saw My Soul”, a game made by Alex Starovoyt (Disco Fish) for a large scale jam.
There are some hurdles to playing this game. To start off with, the game and the site on which it is featured are in Russian. Google Chrome was kind enough to translate the page from Russian to English, but it could not do the same for the game. As luck would have it, dialogue is sparse and the inability to read and understand did not take away from the game as a whole. Since, for me at least, it’s impossible to fully understand the story or the premises it comes down to the visuals.
The animation is fluid, especially considering that this was a game made on a limited time frame. Disco Fish really manages to nail down a distinctive and evocative style with few lines and with a greater attention to detail than you usually see in jam games. “I Saw My Soul” conveys modern life, both it’s sleekness and grit, with equal detail. The capsule home is precise and orderly, and the halls with their irregular paint jobs have a kind of stylized beauty to them. Later violence and similar actions have the same level of precision, even if they are not as conventionally attractive. The characters’ movements through the space have a natural flow to them.
“I Saw My Soul“ is a relatively short game, playable in under 10 minutes (especially if you don’t speak or read Russian). It’s an experimental oddity, with a variety of visual styles and tones that come out on the other side into a cohesive game. The final battle was one I felt satisfied in defeating, even if I initially found it incredibly difficult.
“I Saw My Soul” is available to play (in browser) through the Disco Fish website. As well, there is an interesting post mortem that you can read from the games designer. Keep in mind that the post mortem is in Russian, and you’ll need the help of an in browser translator (like the one in Google Chrome) in order to read it.