Alright gang, let’s get introspective here for a minute: getting older sucks. And it doesn’t suck a little, it sucks a lot. But that’s ok, right? We all get old together and get to come to grips with what that means as a group. Part of that is looking back at a time when you were younger/cooler/had better hair. Let’s look at some games that help you look back.
The original Emily is Away took my by surprise. An amazing adventure hidden inside of an AIM client felt like a secret that I needed to make sure everyone knew about. 2 years later we’ve been graced with Emily is Away Too, a sequel with new characters, more choices, and a “new Emily.”
Coming in with a skimpy $5 price tag, this game is sure to fill up your weekend with alternating joy and regret. Because that’s how Emily is Away works. First you fall in love then you deal with your life choices.
Arc Symphony is a weird game. Sure, I’ve played Twine games about the past before but none of them have made me nostalgic for a time in my life that never existed. I’m pretty sure that’s precisely what the developers wanted. The first time I heard about Arc Syphony was when several developers I follow on twitter all started talking about playing a JRPG called Arc Symphony on the PS1 and finding it in flea markets, attics, and the like. I’ve since learned that this was a brilliant publicity stunt, but like the game itself it’s all about this weird faux-nostalgia.
When you get into Arc Symphony (the game, not the marketing macguffin) you’ll find an emotionally affecting look at fan communities in the early days of the internet. If you’re interested in looking back to another time check Arc Symphony out. It’s pay what you want and playable in browser.
If you’ve been reading this digest for more than a few weeks you’ll know that we’re huge suckers for pretty games at itch.io. With that in mind, Yurei Station may be the best looking game I’ve seen this year. With a unique approach to hand-drawn art and watercolors, Yurei Station pulls you in as you learn more about the trains the creators’ took while they lived in Japan.
None of this is to say that the game is just nice to look at. Underneath the beautiful exterior beats a sinister heart that forces you to look at the Ghost Station that the game takes its name from. Yurei Station isn’t a long experience -- you can beat it in half an hour-- and it’s available as pay what you want so you have no reason not to check it out.
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