Developer: Ahmed Khalifa
Launcher Quote: “Life is not a race. Life is not about being the best; it is about enjoying the journey. It sounds counterintuitive, but stopping to enjoy life helps us to be better people. We can see what is happening around us. We can smell the roses, enjoy company, and try new and wonderful things. These things will not only help us to relax, they will also help us along our journey.”
The saying “stop and smell the roses” or, its more popularized version in 80s movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” of taking the time to look around while you’re going through life, is an age-old piece of advice that I think has a lot of applicable meaning outside of just life as a whole. It can apply to a variety of experiences in life, such as going through school, getting involved in activities, meeting friends, building a successful career, and a bunch of other types of events. In all of these, what you learn during the journey and how you decide to experience it is said to be just as important as getting past that hump and moving on to the next thing.
This game is a bit curious as it not only gives that advice but it also seemingly penalizes you for going too fast. In many games, especially when you decide you’re going to consume them at a breakneck speed, you’re given a priority to try to get your ass to the next goal and do so in the most efficient way possible. That’s a worthy attitude to take, and surely the right one if you want to make sure you’re playing games at a rate that doesn’t take up all of your time, but it might be the right one. Games, as in life, are at times meant to be experienced as much as they are to be played, and when I went way too fast for this one, it rewarded me with a bit of an early grave (literally). Going at a leisurely pace allowed me to make meaningful progress and also to notice the little things in the presentation that made the game interesting, like the little changes in scenery and how your character subtly changes as far as going through life. It’s a forced, yet meaningful re-framing of the games experience (and perhaps the life one) and is something that I think more of us could stand to learn from.