Violence is not the answer in the surreal forest of Quur.
An alien dreamscape where the plants sometimes waft and sway like tidepool plantlife. A smooth, featureless black shade climbing up a slope, throwing pulses of neon orange and relatively softer violet at a fracturing rock. A stream of fluorescent paint that bursts, rushes, flows and ultimately pools in the area below. A smattering of colorful oases in an otherwise ash-white plain. Quur is profoundly vibrant.
The instant I first saw a screenshot I knew I wanted to take a look for myself, and when I did it absolutely did not disappoint. Quur is the game equivalent of that perfectly drawn piece of candy in a cartoon, more delicious to the eyes than it could ever be on the tongue.
Quur's arresting color and design surround you as you navigate its spaces. You'll use a couple different abilities to interact with those spaces and their inhabitants, but for the most part you just need to go along for the ride and see where it takes you. Although it's best played with a controller, I got by perfectly fine with a keyboard and mouse. The soundtrack, meanwhile, may be best described as chillwave if sung by or performed for whales, which serves the simple but surreal experience of playing perfectly.
As a mellow, atmospheric trip game, Quur exists much in the same vein as Journey, Abzu and Bound, albeit much smaller and executed with a bit less finesse. It's a little unfair to evoke any of those games at all, though. Quur is the product of a handful of students and not that of a studio of seasoned professionals, and that does inevitably show here and there. But even so the comparison is important, because if you've enjoyed any of those sublime and heavily-styled games in the past then Quur should be at the top of your to-play list—especially given its pay-what-you-want price tag.
Whether you're interested in its low-key exploration or its high-intensity art design, Quur is available for Windows on itch.io for free or for an amount of your choosing if you'd like to support its developers.
Header image courtesy of QUUR.