I first came across George Batchelor’s Far from Noise during this year’s Bit Bash. I never got to experience the game hands on, as it seemed to have a constant stream of people enticed by the beautiful art who stuck around for the interesting dialogue. Stretching the definition of “game,” Far from Noise is really not much more than a conversation while teetering on a cliff.
Far from Noise is a deep contemplation about subjects ranging from life, death, what it means to be alone and what our place is in the universe. A young woman drives to a cliff that she used to visit as a child to think about where to go next in life only to find herself literally teetering on the edge of life and death. The dialogue has a simple philosophy to it that hits on truth as often as it feels like drunken musings or purple prose, but there is truth in these musings and they’re delivered with a whole lot of endearing charm.
This is where some of the problems arise. The dialogue itself is delivered very slowly, and I found my mind wandering a bit between prompts. This isn’t because of the subject matter, but the pace between the actual dialogue can feel leadenly slow as the camera slowly pans across the single horizon in the solitary setting. Even with these interstitials filling in time, the whole experience takes less than an hour and a half to get through – which may not be worth the asking price on PC at $7.99, but closer to the more reasonable $2.99 on iOS.
Far from Noise is more of a gentle, serene meditation than a game – a poignant contemplation that ends up being closer to a visual novel than a full-fledged interactive experience. There aren’t really any mechanics to speak of, only sublime art, woodland creatures and a serenely beautiful soundtrack by Geoff Lentin. I recommend Far from Noise to those seeking out an example of interactive art but those looking for traditional gameplay mechanics should steer clear. Far from Noise is available now on Windows and iOS.