nested02.pngNested is a game or toy or simulation unlike anything I've ever played before. It's vast, ambitious, experimental, and completely enthralling. Its developer, Orteil (developer of the amazing Cookie Clicker), calls it "a simulation of everything". It contains universes within worlds within molecules, unto what may be infinity. I can't imagine any one person discovering all of its riches without studying the source code.

The interface is perfectly simple, which makes it easy to start playing and even easier to keep clicking away. The display is set up like a directory of nested folders. You click on a universe, which gives you access to a number of galaxies, each of which contains planets, asteroid belts, and such. You can click to explore planets, and if they harbor intelligent life, you can view the species and cultures, visit their museums, and even see their thoughts.

Or you can keep diving deeper, perhaps into the bones of a creature, or into the elements that make up a rock, then into the atoms and the quarks, and deeper still into an alternate multiverse. Fly inside a black hole, then through a white hole, and discover a hypoverse or a lasagnaverse or a sharkverse. Sift through the stars and see what universes are hiding within.

There are wonders, jokes, and easter eggs. There is discovery, revelation, and poetry. There are galaxies like grains of sand and worlds without end. You can play as long and as often as you want, and still find new marvels every time you visit. And the creator is adding new stuff at a fairly regular pace.

I urge you to play Nested in your browser. It can be quite an awesome experience.

[via Porpentine, Free Indie Games]