The little match girl

Tale : The little match girl
Topic : domestic violence and money in the family circle

The player goes through 3 levels, with as settings the hell home, the dark city and the cold outside. While traveling in the level, the player can sense the constant presence and threat of the dad, patrolling or chasing you. In order to free him/herself from that enemy, the player goes through different tasks that will lead to his/her freedom and independance. His/Her power, happiness/hope, is symbolised by the light of the matches, turning obstacles into shields. The game ends on the dad being trapped and burned with the very money he was after.

Léa Coquoz, Retromorphose

Rate my Life

Title: Rate my Life
Based on „Eisenhans“
Inspired by the Atari 2600 game “Dragonstomper”

The game takes the essences (“Life your own life and don’t let anyone tell you how to” and “Making mistakes is part of progress”) of the fairy tale Eisenhans and wants to free it from as many connotations as possible. Like Warja Lavater in her leporellos did, the visual language is very reduced.
The player (green triangle) has to do her first moves in the titlescreen to actually start the game. There is a gallery, where one can find the latest 5 highscores and the corresponding goal to that very life. Before the game can be started, the player must enter a goal (honest or invented) and then move to the furthest right platform. Once there with all conditions matched the game starts.
The player has to explore the area and while doing so (living the life) 3 different scores are counted without the player noticing. They can be made visible by standing on the platform in the centre of the level (but only 2 times without ending the round, the 3rd will return the score and then return the player to the startscreen, where one can decide to stop playing or play another round).
The goal of the player should be to live a good life – which means in the games context to collect as many yellow circles as possible (this shape is also part of the startscreen to elevate its value). There are obstacles, distractions and hidden spaces that occur while playing. The game ends, whenever the player decides to stop playing (of course one can play multiple rounds).

Thoughts during development (these information are not meant to be revealed to the players)
Green triangle = Johannes, youngster, gets kidnapped by Eisenhans to learn, also the player
Pink Square = Mother, tries to distract Johannes, can be interpreted as all the distractions around the player (Social Media, addictions, …) which are not leading towards her goal.
Small pink square = the desire of the mother, the desire of others

Blue circle = Eisenhans, supportive father, helps Johannes in need and teaches him how to deal with mistakes, can be interpreted as loved ones that help the player overcome obstacles and face new challenges
Blue triangle = a mistake made, a mistake we can learn from, we can grow
Yellow circle with a hole = golden fountain, the place where mistakes happen
Black triangle = a hazard to the flawless fountain, a mistake which has to be made
Yellow circle = golden apple, the reward, the goal
Green triangles with black spikes = an obstacle in our life

The 3 scores:
Dedication: Finding and collecting yellow circles rises this score, it cannot be reduced
Consumerism: Finding pink squares and letting them collide with the mother rises this score and is reduced over time. The mother will always follow the player except when she is in the starting area or close to a fountain. The higher this score, the higher is the scale of the mother. Every time a pink square returns to the mother, the player gets a speedboost.
Perfectionism: Protecting the fountain from the black triangles rises this score. It is reduced when a black square collides with the fountain. Is a certain amount of score achieved, the fountain will release a blue square after a black triangle collided with it. The blue triange can be picked up and slows black triangles down to make it easier to protect the fountain.

Hidden Mechanic:
The blue triangle can be brought to the blue circle. This will end up in a level up for the player. There are 3 fountains and so 3 blue triangles hidden. The first gives the player a permanent speed boost, the second shrinks most of the green triangles with black spikes and the third gives an auto-recharging one-time-protection-bubble. All these effects are meant to make it a lot easier for the player to get around and collect all the yellow circles.

There are some platforms hidden, that display some story-text to the player (with the intention to bring her to think about the content a bit more, and contextualisation). They have no other game-play effect.

When the game ends, the scores are saved, but only the Dedication score is showed in the startscreen.

– Manuel Wirth, Retromorphose


Titel: Schneebeeren
Slogan: Sammle Essen im Wintersturm und teile es
Märchen: Die drei Männlein im Walde

Das Spiel entstand in der ZHdK im Modul Retromorphosen. Inspiration für das Spiel war das Märchen „Die drei Männlein im Walde“. Es geht darum, dass man gut zu den Mitmenschen sein soll und nicht egoistisch und selbstsüchtig handelt.
In der eiskalten Schneewelt muss man nun für drei hungrige Männlein Essen finden. Im Wald gibt es mehrere Nahrungsquellen, doch nur die roten Erdbeeren sättigen die Männlein. Im Kampf gegen den eigenen Hunger, die Kälte und den Schneesturm muss man die Beeren finden und das Wasser meiden. Man kann nur das Spiel gewinnen, wenn man den drei hungrigen Männlein Essen abgibt. Das Essen findet man

-Pascal Aregger, Retromorphose

Kurze Anleitung
Du kannst mit den Tasten „A“, „S“, „D“ und „W“ den Spieler bewegen. Sammle die orangen Punkte, um nicht zu verhungern. Suche die roten Beeren und gib sie den drei hungrigen Männlein im Häuschen. Du gewinnst, wenn du alle drei Beeren gefunden hast.


I combined the atari video game Boulder Dash and «Hänsel und Gretel».
The classic Brothers Grimm Fable „Hänsel und Gretel“ explores the topics of child neglect and poverty. In this game, we are navigating the siblings through the seemingly happy and lucky gingerbread house. This is an analogy to the harsh truth for many a children in our current time: Even in a seemingly happy and prosperous home they may be abandoned.
Child neglect can lead to detrimential consequences such as trauma and personality disorders and will affect the person for life.
In this game I have symbolized the regenerating items as drops, representing water which is crucial for life itself, but also the (missing) sentiment of their parents. They can temporarily convince themselves, that their parents actually do care, but in time as the game progresses, the regeneration drops are getting fewer and it gets near impossible to win.

-Sibel Metinogl, Retromorphose

As The Crow Flies

As the Crow Flies is a Game based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale called “Fitcher’s Bird”.
The concept of Whistle-blowers plays an important role, as the main gameplay involves navigating a maze with the W A S D keys and picking up Collectables (be it the body parts of the fairy tale or pieces of information) while dodging an Enemy (Bluebeard/The Wizard or the Authorities).

Picking up all Collectables results in the good Ending (saving your sisters/ revealing the truth) whereas not collecting them all results in a bad Ending (incomplete sisters/ incomplete truth). Being caught results in death.

Use Enter when prompted, use ESC to end the game at any time.
Find all or as many Collectables as you can and follow the whistling in the last level to escape.

-Michael Kämpfer , Retromorphose