286/365 – Meditation Games #286 – Sphere Bodyguard

Developer Credits: Graham Brown, Isaac Horwedel

Launcher Quote: “As Much As I Could Do is a meditation on protecting the people you care about. Imagine the center circle as a specific person you care about. The incoming circles are dangers to that person – maybe sickness, or hate, or loneliness.

Meditate on protecting them from harm, the moments of surprise that arise in yourself while doing so, and embrace the resolution that it may never be enough. But each turn you will do as much as you could do.”

I used to not like the game modes that kept going into perpetuity, like Horde or Survival. This was mostly because of the fact that no matter what I did to protect myself or the objective, that eventually, something would get through, forcing me to take a look at the game, see what I did wrong, and then try to last a little longer. The prospect of just lasting, rather than doing everything I can to actually win the game, was at odds with the idea that games are supposed to have a way to beat them, that there is a way for the player to actually succeed at it, rather than just dying to protect your goal.

But as I began to play the modes a bit more, I began to find that it wasn’t really the objective but the moment-to-moment fighting during the mode as I sought to protect myself and my teammates that were the most fun. That’s kind of why this entry really gave me a good sense of the appeal of those modes as knowing what you did during gameplay rather than being so focused to getting to the end of it is what’s important (that’s for people with less age, more time, and better motor skills than me). The repetitive nature of the game also allowed you to just hone your skills, pushing yourself further in a gambit to try to get your score just a little higher, handle what was attacking you in a little bit different of an approach that leaves you with the resources to survive a bit longer.

All of these are worthy goals of the survival game that this particular entry seems to highlight. There are simple ways in which to keep up your protection, but there’s no way to really keep it up forever, and perhaps that, too is a lesson in knowing when and where it would be time to retreat, to fight another day, to cut your losses. it seems a bit fatalistic, but I prefer to think of it as more of a realism argument, and one we might stand to hear once in a while in life.

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