Devil’s Tuning Fork – A Puzzle Game For The Brave

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puzzle gamesGaming is an extremely visual form of media. Graphics are often rated against the benchmark of reality. The closer they are to what you see with your own eyes when you look out into the world, the better graphics seem to be. Some games recognize this reliance on sight and even go so far as to augment it with the ability to see through walls or obtain other super-human powers.

But what if you were not able to rely so heavily on sight? What if you had to instead rely on sound as a means of navigating through space? This is the scenario that is explored in Devil’s Tuning Fork, an amazing free puzzle game that will challenge both your skill and your preconceptions about how you interact with games.

A Mysterious Dilemma

Devil’s Tuning Fork opens by showing you a world where children have been mysteriously slipping into comas. There is no medical explanation, and the world is beginning to wonder if an entire generation will be lost to the epidemic. You are also a child, and you fall into a coma just as the scene ends.

The world that you wake up in is dark. There is either no light, or simply no such thing as sight. You can, however, detect sound waves and use them to “see” your surroundings. Sound progress outward from their source in a circular panel, leaving a lingering impression that fades after a few seconds. As you walk down the puzzle game’s first hall you take possession of the game’s namesake, a tuning fork that can be used to create several different types of sounds.

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The puzzle game’s focus on using those sounds to map out your environment and find ways around various obstacles, such as swinging hammers and collapsing floors. You also have to save other children who have slipped into the same coma but have become trapped. As you save the children you will be taunted by a demonic voice, a presumed devil, or The Devil, that has caused the comas (the antagonist is not given a name inside the game). It is up to you to save yourself and the other children from permanent imprisonment.

Devil’s Tuning Fork isn’t a long puzzle game. You’ll probably be able to complete it within two hours if you play it straight through. There isn’t much replay value to the game, but that’s not really the point. It is the kind of puzzle game that you’ll only play once but won’t soon forget.

Be Brave And Careful

Devil’s Tuning Fork is a very disorienting game at first. It was created by a team of DePaul University Students who wanted to try and make a game that stepped outside normal conventions. You can literally feel your cranium straining to work differently in the absence of visual information. Its like trying to walk around your house at midnight without power. You have a general idea of what is going on and where you are, but each must be made with careful consideration.

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The puzzle game does have  a disclaimer stating that people prone to epileptic seizures should not play the game. Normally such warnings are simply meant to cover a company’s legal behind if such a thing were to occur, but in this case I highly recommend that people who have a history of epileptic seizures do not play the game. Its visual style and the initial disorientation could be a dangerous combination.

System Requirements

As you might expect, Devil’s Tuning Fork is not a demanding game.

Minimum/Recommended System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP, Vista or 7
  • Dual Core 2Ghz or Single Core 3 Ghz
  • 512MB / 1 GB RAM
  • 1GB Hard Disk Space
  • Geforce 8000 Series or Radeon X1900 / Geforce 8800 or Radeon HD 4000 Series
  • Direct X 9.0 or Open GL 2.0

There are no advanced graphics options in the game beyond a “high detail” mode. There is also a limited number of video resolutions to choose from. Don’t worry if the resolution does not match your display’s exactly. Just make sure that the aspect ratio of the resolution you select is the same as your display resolution.

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