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The “I” of “It”

Okay, that was cute. “The I of It” is a freebie web game that might loosely be called a platform jumper, even though there’s no actual jumping. You control a capital I, separated from and looking for its soulmate, a small t. In place of the jump button, you can choose to elongate or shorten the I, and in place of jumping, you must maneuver about the screen by stretching the I, hooking its serifs onto fixed objects, then shrinking so as to lift the I over obstacles. Shrinking to duck under barriers is important, too.

The graphics are simple but clean. A narrator introduces each screen (or retry) with a little phrase like “Meanwhile…” as though introducing chapters of a drama. The voice can be amusing or irritating, largely as a function of how much trouble you’re having at the moment. Unless you suffer inordinate difficulty with one of the levels, though, there shouldn’t be time to get too irritated; the game is short because there’s only so many variations on the stretch-and-shrink mechanism you can explore, and the designer wisely refuses to outstay his welcome. He merely lets you try everything once then walk away with a small but genuine sense of achievement.

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