Developer: Ben McInnes
Launcher Quote: “Today, look back on the year and think about everything you have worked towards. It’s easy to dwell on the end goal you wished you had achieved, the results you’re not yet seeing. But when you step back, look around, and breath for a moment, you’ll see that there is value in the path you have chosen. You hav egrown in your craft. Learn to love the process of not quite getting there yet.”
Playing this game immediately reminded me of an old classic that I loved way back in the day – a game called Katamari Damacy. The game had a simple goal – score the most points by rolling up pretty much everything in your path in the time allotted, getting larger and larger the more stuff you picked up. It was, at its core, a fun but ultimately a destructive experience – after all, you’re basically destroying whole worlds and sometimes even universes with your ability to roll your little boulder of stuff into a bigger boulder of stuff to capture larger and larger targets.
This game, however, takes a bit of a different, and more creative tack. You’re rolling the boulder, but instead of doing that in order to create a destructive wake in your collection of stuff, you’re creating life – a set of flowers that bloom from the direction you’ve rolled things. The game itself created a challenge in terms of moving the boulder forward at all – a kind of skills test in doing so as I ended up moving it in wrong directions or over objects I hadn’t intended. But always, the flowers followed me, and followed my progress. It’s a very apt comparison and message sent for the developer conveying the idea that you go through a ton of difficulties and push a boulder of your skills and development up a mountain in a Sisyphean manner – but you’re always learning and you’re always accomplishing, even if it isn’t apparent at the time. Oftentimes we get so caught up in the short term failures that we aren’t looking at the long term successes of making progress, and knowing that failure is a part of that progress. It definitely makes rolling the boulder, however difficult it is, a lot easier thinking about it as an ongoing set of accomplishments.