A Casual-Game Review

South Africa By: Mandy J Watson on 3 February 2011
Category: Games > Casual > Reviews Comments View Comments


In Love you play a polyamorous square who derives happiness from being near others (the closer the better and the more the merrier). Yet one cannot have love without tragedy and actually touching one of the other blocks will end your game - and your shot at happiness - quite abruptly.

LoveYour game of Love starts off with six black blocks in the playing field (a seventh may manifest later in your game) and you need to use your mouse to move your white square into the proximity of a black block in order to start earning happiness points. However, if you touch any of the blocks your game immediately ends. (It is safe to touch the walls.) Your white block has a little "head" that orbits your square and the more happiness that is generated, which is compounded by the number of other blocks you are connected to, the faster the head spins, increasing your maximum spin score. The black blocks move around the playing area quite quickly and bounce off walls, which can send them spinning back to you at an unexpected angle. As you connect with them they slow down and you have slight influence over their movement but sometimes if there are too many heading towards you or they're moving too fast you have to react quickly to avoid being hit by them.

The play area is a 550x400 rectangle but the walls of the area will, from time to time, drift inwards thereby temporarily reducing the size of the gameplay area and sometimes giving you a bit of a tight squeeze that you'll have to figure a way out of.

For such a simple game the thought that's gone into the visual design is quite impressive. The background colours, block, and connection trails change colour depending on how many blocks you are connecting to, with the intensity of the colour of the blocks increasing as your proximity to a block increases (and vice versa).

none: black
one: orange
two: pink
three: blueish purple
four: maroon
five: purplish blue
six: green
seven: red

Love is also a subtle music game in that your actions create a unique musical score. Every block resonates a tone as you move into its proximity area and start to generate happiness. Each tone is harmonised to the others, so the more blocks you are connected to the richer the music that is generated becomes. The sound is also played in stereo based on where the blocks generating the tones are in the gameplay area when you connect to them. The sound programming unfortunately isn't sophisticated enough to move around as you rotate around a block but if you disconnect from a block and then reconnect its sound will be assigned a new spot in the stereo audioscape. The score you generate is so gentle and beautiful that if it weren't for the fear of being bashed out of the game by a marauding black block you might find your stress soothed and your mind lulled to sleep.


When a game ends you are presented with your score, which is calculated as your final happiness score added to the maximum spinning speed that you achieved. There is also a random tip, which is a short philosophical metaphor that (in most cases) ties an element of the game's mechanics or gameplay experiences to the concept of love. These are very clever and make your death far less unpleasant. You also have access to stats for the game that has just ended (unfortunately stats aren't accumulated and saved over multiple games). You can have a look at them by clicking on the small "Stats" link at the bottom-left corner of the game screen.

Whether you're in love love love or completely jaded about the whole concept, Love and its metaphors will suit your particular proclivities perfectly.

Play Online Play Online: Love
Note: There are three badges available for gamers who have (free) profiles at Kongregate. Click here to sign up. (It's not a requirement in order to play the game but it's highly recommended to increase your enjoyment.) Opinion
Rating: 9/10
Time-Wasting Value: 30 seconds to a few minutes per game
Learning Curve: Easy
Entertainment Value: 8/10
Replayability: 9/10

Key Facts: Love
Price: Free
Year: 2010
Genre: Action
Keywords: action, casual, music
Size: Unknown (possibly around 500 KB), embedded Flash file
Resolution: 550x400
Requirements: Internet connection, Adobe Flash Player, web browser, mouse
Developer: Valentin Huette ("Contrebasse")

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