Piece Together the Polaroids in “Vernacular” to Find Out What Happened

Piece Together the Polaroids in “Vernacular” to Find Out What Happened

Vernacular might play in only a few minutes, but it took me considerably longer to figure out how to get started. The instructions are obtuse–drag the polaroids around and examine the creepy, evocative pixel art. To actually progress, click on the polaroids following their captions to make the images change and reveal the hidden pictures.

It’s hard to describe a game so short without giving away everything, but here: it’s a puzzle game revolving around 20 polaroid pictures. There’s a story to unlock and a history to reveal, but even that relies heavily on the player putting the pieces together when the game is over. For all its rough pixel art, the images are eerie and sometimes frightening in their implications, sometimes progressing into outright surreality. What is it about? A murder, a killer, a story of regret? Or something else entirely?

Not quite horror, not really adventure, and definitely weird, Vernacular is an intriguing game with a unique conceit.

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