Joy Exhibition is a very odd, first-person experimental game where you must use art to communicate with a silent and strange alien race.
There are no explanations, no tutorials or hand-holding, in Joy Exhibition. You begin in a doughnut-shaped room, confronted a swarm of aimlessly wandering vaguely-humanoid shapes. You cannot interact with them. They do not acknowledge your presence. You soon realize there is a doorway in the middle of the room. The doorway rotates with your movements. You enter.
Inside is a wonderful array of guns. The guns don’t seem to work when you fire them. It is only when you point the gun towards the white canvas directly opposite the rotating room entrance that you discover their function: they are the alien equivalent of paintball guns. From then on, you can use any number of the procedurally generated guns to paint the ten canvases that adorn the walls of the spaceship. Will the aliens appreciate your art? Or will they find your offerings unworthy of their praise? You’ll only find out through experimentation.
For such a simple game, Joy Exhibition has a surprisingly robust procedural-generation algorithm. There are endless possibilities for those patient enough to explore them. One of the game’s nicer touches is that it saves your previous creations for the next time you boot up the game, allowing you to rework previous art pieces to your heart’s content. Joy Exhibition provides some intriguing visuals, which is sort of the point of the game, and with its subtle sound effects and ambient noise, the whole experience feels very realistic, despite the game’s somewhat strange premise.
Note: When looking out the windows in the outer ring of the doughnut ship, the movement of the world is a tad disorienting. The floaty landscape zipping past is actually a little bit nauseating. You’ve been warned!
Controls: WASD – Movement, Left Mouse Button – Interact/Fire Your Gun
Available On: Windows, Mac, and Linux