It’s been a very long time since our last look at SCALE, and since then the game about growing or shrinking anything at all has undergone major changes. The initial proof-of-concept now looks like a structured game with characters, a story, a sense of humor, and a new art style. It’s also grown beyond its original (don’t say “scale”) scope, and today it landed on Kickstarter with much fanfare and an impressive first-day take to go along with its fantastic concept.
The reason SCALE is exciting is that it’s a game where almost everything is malleable. You have a gun that can take size from one object and transfer it to another, so if you want to get that boulder out of the way it shrinks down nicely to pebble size. See a dollhouse on the ground? Transfer the stored size from the former-boulder to the dollhouse and now you’ve got a full-sized building to wander about in. Now apply that sense of spatial playfulness to the whole world and everything it contains and you’ve got an idea that’s too much fun to resist. Even in its ultra-early form in 2012 SCALE felt like a game to watch, and while there’s still a long way to go before completion, I found the memory of playing it for 30 minutes 16 months ago strong enough to warrant the donation.
Also, you can grow a frog so large you can swim through his mouth and out his butt. So that’s Game of the Year 2014 locked up.