SFTW: You have to burn the rope

For the next few weeks we'll highlight some of the nominees from this year's <a href="http://www.igf

This shortlist for this annual celebration of Indie development is a great place to start if you're interested in discovering some wonderful alternatives to the more anodyne, commercial pap that often stains our screens. The winners are announced in March at the Game Developers Conference, but everything on the shortlist is well deserving of a download.

Firstly, a game which was so heavily played last year it's eminently possible it may have already crossed your browser. No matter, for it's always worth revisiting this particular title for a few, brief minutes. Indeed, this one won't take you very long at all, the post-game credits taking more time than the playing and completion of the game itself. "You have the burn the rope" is a number of things; childishly simple 2d platform game, amusing software prank and
wonderfully sharp satire on the hollow pointlessness of poorly designed interactive entertainment. The game explains itself very clearly as you play, so I won't burden you with explanations or gameplay hints here suffice to say that there is a rope and you really do have to burn it.

Should you run into any trouble, the author has helpfully published a manual
and a number of other players have contributed walkthroughs.

As meta-games go, it's one of the most successful examples of its genre and a worthy finalist in the IGF.

Play You have to burn the rope

Iain Simons writes, talks and tweets about videogames and technology. His new book, Play Britannia, is to be published in 2009. He is the director of the GameCity festival at Nottingham Trent University.