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Ruins is a game where the player controls a dog in a small, desolate location filled with a piano, a monument, and some trees. The dog can chase after rabbits, but there is no action element to it. Instead, catching up with a rabbit triggers a short conversation that reveals more about the background story and what the setting represents. For each play session, the information revealed can be different. Some conversations are one-sided, while for others one or two answers to questions are shown to steer the topic.

Much of the game is about who the dog represents, and the story of a memory between two people. Each part of a conversation slowly reveals a bit more and Chopin's preludes play an important role. The player is free to have the dog explore the environment, but there are boundaries around the small area. The dog can walk around or run, but there are no other challenges. The camera rotates and zooms automatically.


Ruins Windows Clouds appear where the gameplay area ends.
Ruins Windows The camera chooses its perspective automatically.
Ruins Windows The rabbits guide the conversation.
Ruins Windows Main menu

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Critic Reviews

The A.V. Club Oct 31, 2011 B+ 83
Indie Game Reviewer Nov 21, 2011 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80


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Special edition

On 11th October 2011 Jake Elliott announced to sell a special edition of the game to cover the $95 entry fee for the Independent Games Festival. Announced as a limited run until 14th October 2011, the goal was already achieved on 12th October. The special edition could however still be bought after the goal was reached. It was offered in two flavours:
  • $10 edition: the game along with audio commentary, a folder of flowcharts & text files that comprise the full text of the game, and a few pieces of music he wrote for the game but didn’t end up including in the release, all packaged on a USB thumb drive. It also includes a small, handmade painting based on the imagery in the game.

  • $25 edition: the $10 edition of the game along with a small, handmade watercolor+ink painting. It shows a scene from the game, like a fuzzy screenshot that takes hours to render.

Related Web Sites

  • Ruins (project page on the developer's website where the game can be downloaded, free of charge (English))
Sciere (505904) added Ruins (Windows) on Oct 08, 2011
Other platforms contributed by Sciere (505904)