There were some moments in my life that have left a permanent mark in my memory: my first videogame, my first exchange program, my first kiss, the death of my pet dog, my college graduation, meeting Ace Frehley at the London Heathrow Airport, my trip to Machu Picchu,…and finally being able to play and witness the magic of Life of Black Tiger. Words alone cannot explain this last experience, but I’ll do my best to try to describe it.
Life of Black Tiger felt like a cathartic experience. While I was witnessing the unfolding of our titular hero’s magnificent story (full of action, tension, drama and romance), I started questioning myself about the mysteries of the universe: what’s my role in life? What’s my purpose in this planet? Are we alone in the universe? Is there an afterlife? Why the hell did George Lucas think Hayden Christensen was a good casting choice for Anakin Skywalker? You see, no other game has made me think so much about all these crucial doubts about existence like Life of Black Tiger.
After being greeted with an emotional intro slideshow telling us everything we need to know about the heroic black tiger’s backstory (and its hatred towards the human race supposedly due to the fact we “smell bad”), the game begins, and we’re tasked with brutally murdering men, women, and their pet dogs, which were also counted as humans after my tiger killed them and ate them. I liked how considerate the developers were with the fact we all consider dogs better people than most people, so they were also killable and eatable, just like all the other human enemies. Yay for equality!
This is when you are introduced to the controls and the visuals, by the way.
The controls remind us of nostalgic days of the mid 90s, where there was less hatred in the world, life was simpler, internet wasn’t present to spread hatred and bigotry. You have an attack button and a run button. A run button you have to keep pressed all the time. Such a genius feature, as it showed us that, just like in real life, you have to make an extra effort in order to move faster. This shows how incredibly well-thought and philosophical Life of Black Tiger actually is. Shout outs to the framerate and the camera controls, which add an additional layer of challenge to the game, proving that there’s much more in it than meets the eye.
The visuals also ooze a nostalgic vibe, reminding you of your childhood, talking with your friends at the elementary school playground about how great the visuals of your Playstation 1, Sega Saturn or Nintendo 64 were. Such a warm and fuzzy feeling, bringing back the joy of a more innocent time.
A special mention to the game’s sound department must be given. Life of Black Tiger features a wide array of three songs scattered throughout the entire game, ranging from chilled new age to mosh-inducing heavy metal, proving how eclectic those game developers are. There’s no way to reduce the volume of the incredibly loud tunes, as the game is trying to teach you the musicality between those three constantly appearing songs. The sound effects are also notable: fish have voices, wolves bark like little dogs, and giraffes and buffaloes feature the same noise when being attacked. There’s no prejudice in Life of Black Tiger, if a giraffe wants to cry like a buffalo, so be it, who the hell do you think you are to judge such bold life decisions? Integration is the key word here, such a beautiful act of kindness towards every who feels like he/she doesn’t belong in a group.
I can’t describe much more about Life of Black Tiger without spoiling the experience to you, and without failing to find the nonexistent words needed to describe this journey. This was more than just a game, it is a statement, a love letter to life, nature, everyone who has ever felt love, and videogames. Each Engrish-written line of plot presented throughout the game impacted me like no other book, game or movie has ever managed to do in my entire life.
Life of Black Tiger is something we’ll all remember for the next years, maybe decades.
Oh, and by the way, this is easily the worst game I have ever played in my life. And I own E.T., Ben-Hur and Pimp My Ride.
Also available on: Android