357/365 – Meditation Games #357 – Routine Into Darkness

Developer: Frankie Bu

Launcher Quote: “It’s a game based on our own reality, our every day, how we get used to the routine, no matter what you do you end up in darkness, I just want to make you feel sad just by playing it.”

There’ve been a few entries in this project that have presented stark or not-so-uplifting messaging when it comes to what’s been presented, either to teach a lesson, provide a thought, or make the players consider something that needs to be looked at without any kind of rose-colored lenses. But few of the games’ developers have outright stated that their intent was to evoke a specific, not-so-great emotion when doing so, so when playing this understandably depressing game, I had to respect the developer for being up front about what they were doing.

The game itself seems to be a doldrum of inevitable choices that lead ultimately to a dark, and bad end. Replaying it didn’t seem to change the outcome in any way, regardless of which way I decided to go. The interesting part of this was that playing it put me into a routine all on its own – either to repeatedly try to change the outcome, or to go through the same apparent choices over and over again to try to change fate. In this sense, it’s a very meta way of showing in an additional manner than through the actual game, about how routines can put us into a place of complacency or otherwise difficulty in trying to break that endless loop and descent into a dark place. While it isn’t apparent about whether or not the developer is presenting this as a means to be nihilistic or as a way to provide a cautionary tale about getting locked into repeated routine, it nevertheless provided me with a lot to think about as far as my own choices, and, hopefully, avoiding the darkness that the developer states is going to happen if you get worn down with the same things every day.

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