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Art Style: Killer 7 vs Braid

At first glance, Jonathan Blow’s time manipulation puzzle-platformer Braid (2008) and Suda51’s experimental action-adventure Killer 7 (2005) appear to have almost nothing in common, although both lead players down paths of reflection. Braid’s impressionist scenes are full of light, pastel colours and flowing detail, whereas Killer 7’s noir tales rely on shadows, bold colours and sharp minimalism. Yet both games are often named as supporting examples in the ‘games as art’ debate. According to Henry Jenkins (2005), it is the emotional impressions created by games that qualify them as art, in turn allowing them to be stylistically categorized. Thus, in order to decipher the intended message or purpose of games, both the aesthetics and mechanics of games must be taken into consideration. This is highlighted by Chris Crawford’s comment that cosmetic aspects of games are necessary but supporting elements, secondary to the dimension of interactivity (King, 2006, p. 125). Continue reading

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