Dr. Langeskov is the first game by Crows Crows Crows – a studio formed by game writer and designer William Pugh of The Stanley Parable fame. The first person exploration game, that will be familiar to anyone who has played Pugh’s previous works, lasts around 20 minutes (it’s free, so don’t complain). In this short burst of narrative, Simon Amstell voices a stage manager who talks to the player over a loudspeaker. His character is both charming and hilarious (which pretty much sums up Amstell).
However, the game’s title is deceiving because, as the result of some unexplained mishap, you are unable to play the fictional Dr Langeskov game, and must instead ensure the game runs smoothly behind the scenes. The player’s environment becomes a metaphor for the mechanics that come together to form a game. Much like a techie (the theatre sort), you must pull levers and press buttons. And nothing ever goes right.The ‘stage’ directs the player via humorously labeled doors, guided in further detail by Amstell’s often incomprehensible directions. Although built in Unity, through a combination of lighting and minimal cell-shading the environments are able to match the atmosphere of more substantial, retail games. Few studios deliver such bold statements of intent with their debut releases. Dr. Langeskov is proof that games don’t need to be long to be exciting or memorable.