The Tender Cut is a vignette game based on the 1929 film Un Chien Andalou. The film was made by Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali, two surrealists who took scenes from their dreams and weaved them together in front of a camera. It’s notorious for its opener, which consists of Bunuel slicing open an expressionless woman’s eye with a razor blade in extreme close-up. It’s shocking even today.
In the game, you play as Bunuel’s character during that opening scene from a first-person perspective. As its two Russian creators told me, “the goal is to give [the] player this short and strong experience of cutting [an] eye. The rest of the game is background for that.”
You can expect to explore the small room in which Bunuel’s character mulls around before cutting the eye. Here, there are objects to interact with that may give you some insight into what drove this man to the horrifying act that he performs. You can light a cigarette and smoke it, pull a picture from the wall to see ants crawling out a hole, and sharpen the razor blade on a wooden paddle.
At some point you’ll have to head outside to face the moon with your razor. It swells into an enormous eye in the sky, the camera fights away from it as if scared, and then you find relief by slicing the eye open.
There are at least two endings to find after that. But you probably shouldn’t expect answers, only more strange, dreamlike sequences. Whatever you make of it, The Tender Cut will probably stick in your mind for a little while despite its brevity.