There’s a wonderful little game called Dungeon Hearts by Cube Roots that I picked up recently. One guides for adventurers through a series of battles to meet the Dark One (who graduated from the school of unoriginal names), relying on special skills and a puzzle-like interface to fight enemies. The core of the game is the ever-advancing line of symbols called “The Fatestream” where you move symbols around to create attacks, destroy enemy symbols that can harm you, and achieve other goals. It’s a classic rythm/buzzle/motion game in the vein of Klax or guitar hero and the like.
The game stands out for a colorful aesthetic, little touches of blackstory, and a well-crafted interface. But The Fatestream at the core really makes it work because it takes a common game interface of the moving-puzzle pieces, and uses it as a metaphor for the game and the weaving of fate you do to guide the heroes. It’s one interface used, rather cleverly, to symbolize something else.
Now I’m not going to pretend this was necessarily some great insight – maybe it was, maybe someone said “hey I want a moving puzzle adventure how could I explain it?” But either way the idea of The Fatestream works and is rather cleverly.