Wednesday, Dec. 07, 2011


Created in a small San Jose, Calif., house by indie game studio Supergiant Games, Bastion ushered players into a bluesy science-fantasy fable in which a world lies fractured by a civilization's poor choices. Typical role-playing tropes like leveling up weapons and adding party members were transformed into achingly personal milestones, thanks to gravel-voiced narrations that reacted in real time to how you played. The downloadable title evokes the look and play of video-game cartridges from 20 years ago, and that's by design. Its triumph, though, lies in commanding metaphor and nostalgia so powerfully that players of all sorts feel as if they've come of age all over again. The hero may be called the Kid, but he stars in an exceedingly mature game.