That Dragon, Cancer
Released on January 12th, 2016 That Dragon, Cancer is as heartbreaking as the title suggests. Based on a true story, Ryan and Amy Green present the story of Joel, their little boy who battled with cancer for four years. If this is a sensitive topic for you, I’d definitely stay away from this game as it’s very raw and doesn’t shy away from what this couple went through. Beautiful art and visuals create a world where you can interact with Joel, basically doing everything in your power to make him laugh. A scene that stood out for me was during a hospital visit where you enter a hallway filled to the brim with cards. They contain messages from real-life cancer patients or their surviving family and friends. Overall, I can say this game was truly beautiful, even through the tears. You can find out more about the game and the Green family on their website here.
(The Fullbright Company)
Released in 2013, Gone Home is an exploration game in which you take on the role of Katie as she returns to her family home after travelling. However, she is greeted by an empty house and a letter from her younger sister, Sam. Despite having no clear objective, you are encouraged to gather various diary entries that Sam has left around the house and by doing this, you discover her story and where she is now. This game was such a surprise to me – it went from simply exploring a house (which can be done in under a minute and will reward you with a trophy) to essentially a love story between Sam and a girl from her school, Lonnie. Not only does the game deal with Sam discovering her sexuality, but we also find out their parents reaction. Overall, short but very powerful and not what I was expecting. It is available on both PC and various consoles.
Far From Noise
Released in November, 2017 Far From Noise is an Indie game that allows you to take on the persona of an unnamed woman who has managed to get her car stuck dangling over the edge of a cliff. Seemingly a metaphor for her life, you discover (with the help of a talking deer/therapist) why she has ended up in this situation. Delving into life’s biggest questions, this truly beautiful game offers multiple choice answers and truly makes you think. As a person who has anxiety, this game really made me stop and slow down and think and that sounds bizarre seeing as the main character is literally inches from death. Other than dialogue options (some hilarious), there are no others ways to interact but this game still manages to involve you and relate to the main character. Truly a pocket rocket of a game which is available on Steam here.
A Normal Lost Phone
(Accidental Queens/Plug In Digital)
Presented with a mobile phone screen, A Normal Lost Phone allows the player to search through it and discover who it belongs to and what lead up to it being found. You are able to switch between various apps – albeit only ones without needing WiFi at the start – to work your way through the phone and put together pieces of a puzzle. Once you work out the WiFi password – this game does not make it easy to work out passwords – you are able to access emails, web pages and a dating app. With a beautiful soundtrack playing in the background as you go on your merry hunt, a very powerful story comes to life. In the end, you are able to get to know Sam and what led to their disappearance just after their 18th birthday. I won’t go into detail but this game also features a trans character and you are able to read through a forum dedicated to helping trans people with everything from coming out, to rants and beauty tips. If you are looking for a short interactive game with a lot of puzzle-solving but also an underlying important story delving into the LGBTQ+ community, then I’d definitely pick this up here!
I hope you find something you like and let me know if you’d like a second part to this post!
Lots of Love,