The story of a boy, the story of a girl, the story of both: One and One Story, a game about love, pain and life. One and One Story is not your common platformer. Watch the gameplay change as the protagonists face the euphoria and trials of their relationship.
What We Think
The One and One Story is a free-to-play browser based platformer with a slight flair for melodrama. This game has an aesthetic style and narrative that is reminiscent of Braid in that it is a mildly bittersweet romance with a dark atmosphere in its excellent artwork. While a short experience, it has some noteworthy qualities.
The gameplay itself is very easy to get onboard with; it’s a classic platformer with a few unique twists and superb difficulty scaling. The first level introduces the basic control system elegantly with the disarmingly written instructional phrase “And there I was, moving thanks to the arrow keys”. The tutorial continues in this efficient yet pleasing manner and you’re quickly led into the more distinguishing facet of the game- the ability to switch between two characters, the boy and the girl.
The objective of each level is to unite the boy and the girl, overcoming obstacles ranging from spikes to large mobile blocks that must be pushed into place to prevent deadly falls. For the first few levels things remain fairly simple, with the shifting of character control being the main gameplay factor. It doesn’t take long before things get much more interesting as the way in which the player interacts with the two characters changes.
With the narration announcing that “when she saw me, she ran to me”, the game steps up its gameplay. Instead of being able to control the girl, the player must now work with only the male character while the girl is given over to a simple AI. For these levels the girl will run towards the boy when eye-contact is made. There are several more shifts in the gameplay that not only keep things fresh but also ramp up the difficulty. Some of these include the girl mimicking the movements of the boy, making opposing movements and, in a gameplay element reminiscent of lemmings, running headlong towards disaster so that the player must take action to prevent her untimely demise.
What is particularly impressive about The One and One Story is how well its creator has married gameplay with narrative. Granted, the narrative maybe a minimalist love story but each beat in the plot is directly connected to the way in which the two characters interact in the game play. This is a rare achievement and it should be commended.
One disappointing issue with The One and One Story is that many of the later stages take place on exactly the same level layout as earlier ones while featuring new gameplay mechanics. This serves to highlight the changed gameplay but it also feels a little repetitive. Thankfully there is a bonus mode with many new level designs; it seems odd that these weren’t included in the main game but perhaps, as with the story, less is more.
The One and One Story is an enjoyable thirty minute experience with an impressive combination of gameplay and narrative. The artwork is effective and the single music track serves to set a sombre tone for the game. If you find yourself wanting more, the bonus mode provides a healthy number of extra stages which extend this engaging, if short, platformer.