Ord is Swedish for word, and Ord. is all about words, but only a few at a time.
The game Ord. is a minimalist, slightly random, text adventure, with very little reading and a whole lot of imagining. It’s rare that there are more than three words on the screen at any one time, and if it is, it means you died.
The concept is simple. At the top of the screen is one word, and at the bottom there are two words to choose from in response to the top word. The word you pick gets added to the word up top, and a third word appears as a result of your decision, then it starts over with a new word up top, and two new words to choose from.
Described like this, it may seem a little convoluted, but it’s the kind of simplicity that makes sense when you see it, but which is deceptively difficult to convey in actual words.
Herein lies the brilliance of Ord. Three words on their own do not make a story (you’ll need six), but one word, a choice of a second, and a resulting third word does make a story. A very short, and a very simple one, but the words carry enough meaning that your mind just can’t help but turn it into an adventure.
For me, as a writer, this is mind-blowing.
This is a perfect example of the power of the human imagination. Association. Context. Deduction. Ord. makes use of all of them, and from almost nothing, your mind spins its own stories – at the click of a word.
What I’ll whine about:
There’s no save function. At first, this isn’t a big thing, but once you get deeper into a story and you’re eager to know how it ends, it’s frustrating to fail and have to go back to the beginning. Over time, you’ll learn how to get from the forest, to the cave, to the village, across the desert, and into the tower, so you’ll be able to get back there if you fail.
Except when you get Rain, accidentally click Umbrella instead of Cover, and receive Lightning as a result, followed by End.
What I’ll gush about:
This is the kind of game that gets my imagination racing, and after a few minutes of playing I get this irresistible urge to create my own Ord. stories. It puts my mind into overdrive and ideas start going off like a pyromaniac goblin in a fireworks factory. It’s an awesome feeling.
The very idea behind Ord. gets me excited. It’s a perfect way to showcase just how much information can be conveyed by a single word.
Workshop support. There’s now a way for gamers to create their own Ord. Adventures. I had a look at it, and it looks like the kind of thing that will take a little time getting started with, but which should be pretty smooth with a bit of practice. One of these days, I’ll take the time to sit down and get into it properly.
If you’re a writer, and if you’ve ever felt like your prose is too wordy and clunky. This game is for you. In fact, if you’re any kind of writer, you should have a look at this. At least look at the trailer so you get the idea.