Explore Death and Rebirth in the Lovecraftian Platformer “Verge”
Death—its desolation and horror—bleak spaces—sea-bottom—dead cities. But Life—the greater horror! Vast unheard-of reptiles and leviathans—hideous beasts of prehistoric jungle—rank slimy vegetation—evil instincts of primal man—Life is more horrible than death.
Excerpted from the H.P. Lovecraft’s Commonplace Book, this passage served as the inspiration for this brightly morbid little platformer. Verge has been around since 2008 and hasn’t changed much since then–aside from being ported to Flash–but it really doesn’t need to. The game revolves around a clever dual world mechanic that turns the typical platform game instinct on its head. Each level is dotted with enemies and spikes that impede your path to the next room and common wisdom says to avoid or eliminate them, but in Verge, letting yourself die is often the only way to progress to the next point. Dying sends you to an upside down world dotted with strange demons where you have to get to the resurrection point marked with an ankh that transports you back into a different area of the living world.
The first few puzzles are straightforward enough, easing you into the game mechanics and lulling you into a false sense of security, but Verge ramps up the difficulty fairly quickly and leaves you scratching your head as you mull over your next few steps.