September 18, 2013 8:50 PM | Paul Hack
Matthew Gatland's Tide is an abstract action game with an interesting mechanic that strikes me as something completely new. There's no shooting in Tide; only collecting and avoiding. There are no enemies in Tide other than the force of nature for which the game is named.
You move a pale green square around with the arrow keys, scrambling to pick up all of the gold squares. From the top and bottom of the screen, the tidewaters inexorably advance, eventually overtaking any gold squares in their way. You can move through the water to get these squares, but you have only a brief time before you drown.
When you pick up a gold square that's in the water, an area around it will clear as if you were Moses parting the Red Sea. By rationing your health and using these patches of dry land, you can grab all of the treasure. The pace and number of gold squares increase with each new level and the game gets challenging pretty quickly.
With such an abstract presentation, the name of the game sets the theme. It could have been about clouds of radiation or fields of dark magic. Regardless, the gameplay is unique and addictive. I also find that the patterns formed on the screen can be hypnotically beautiful. You can play Tide in your browser.