I was really excited to finally play this game. I had been following its development during the previous weeks and had already formed some expectation of what this game was supposed to be. Suprisingly though my actual experience differed a lot from that.
I thought it would be more about the narrative the world was telling and that the messages would be a nice social component to keep the player from feeling too isolated, finding comfort in other peoples words. "The Things We Lost In The Flood" delivered on all of that.
However, confronted by those writing prompts the game offers to you whenever you decide to write a message and pull up that blank sheet of paper, I repeatedly felt like standing in front of a mirror. These prompts pose some of the hardest questions a person can ask himself. - If you allow it, that is. Of course this requires a certain level of openess on the player's part. Few people I know consider themselves ready nor are they willing to face subjects such as what they believe to be their greatest regrets in life. To me finding this wonderfully unexpected place to do that made me really happy.
The nice thing about it: you don't have to engage on that level with it. Other players choose to create poetry and art that might or might not be personal at all. Some use the little bottles to help others with tips on how to progress through the game.
All of them will have an engaging experience. The level of engagement might differ though.
A lovely message I happened upon in the vast loneliness of the neverending waters:
I personally decided to embrace the opportunity to "let go of something", as the prompt phrases it. It was a cathartic experience, I left a lot in those waters. While the anonymity encouraged me to share things that were very personal, at the same time I never felt alone with myself.