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30 Hidden Gems #19: Waveform


Welcome to my blog series! This is 30 Years, 30 Days, 30 Hidden Gems. In honor of my 30th birthday, I'm posting about a different lesser-known video game every day in November. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy it. If you want to start at the beginning, check it out here.

Release Date: 2012
System: PC

Waveform is one of the most peerless games I’ve ever played. I don’t even know what genre to group it in. What I do know is that there is nothing else like it, and that it is addicting fun.
So, space. The final frontier? A big empty void of nothing? Space. It’s a thing that exists. And bouncing through space is a little, uh, circle thing. It’s moving along a helix, up and down a big squiggly line. In Waveform, you adjust the shape of that line in order to steer that little circle to dodge obstacles and collect gems.
That’s pretty much all there is to it. There are some gimmicks and varying obstacles that show up as the game progresses, but the core remains intact through the whole thing. Move your mouse around to change the height and frequency of the curve’s peaks and valleys. Don’t let the circle die, and get as many points as you can before the end of the level.
You know the Tetris Effect? Where after you play Tetris for a long time, you start to see the blocks in front of your eyes? Waveform gives me something similar when I play it. After long sessions, I start to see that big squiggly line connecting objects in my view. Sometimes my vision seems to also be constantly shifting, just as space is constantly flying by in the game. It’s kind of wild. I even make a point not to play it before I have to drive somewhere, for fear that it will mess with my eyes too much.
It’s the kind of widget game that I’m honestly surprised isn’t more popular. I figured it would at least have a cult following in the same vein as Frequency or something like that. Yet pretty much nobody has ever played it. It isn’t like it’s cheaply made. The production values are excellent, especially for an indie game. I’d bet if it were re-released on mobile with a little bit of marketing, it would be a smash hit.
For now, though, it’s only available on Steam for the whopping price of...
Two bucks.
Seriously, it’s a steal. Go check it out, this game is great.
Thanks for reading! My plan is to make this a series, one entry every day this month. I hope you'll stop by tomorrow for the next entry.
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About Adam Pone of us since 10:34 PM on 04.28.2013

My name is Adam. I've been gaming as far back as I can remember, ever since the NES my parents owned when I was a wee lad. Writing has been a passion of mine for almost as long, and I've made quite a hobby out of combining the two pastimes.

I have a very wide taste in gaming. I'll give just about anything a shot, regardless of age, genre, or hardware. I like to think of gaming as an entertainment medium in the same vein as literature and film rather than a simple toy.

When I'm not writing or playing, you might find me in church, in the woods (probably on a four wheeler and/or carrying a gun), or in my room playing my guitar.