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When trying is not enough..., May 21, 2023
A chilling and confusing snippet of life told through the eyes of a small child dealing with struggling parental figures, in a gothic style
Horror is usually not my style because I am a bit of a chicken, but Sweetpea's big eyes and scared demeanor pulled me in and would not let go until this game was complete. [This is actually my second playthrough]
The vivid descriptions of the surroundings or Sweetpea's feelings, as well as the formatting and animations of the text added onto my discomfort and uneasiness. Yet, I could not look away. I had to check all the boxes and find all the hidden links to understand the troubles the eponymous character was going through.
I actually didn't catch this the first time around, but it is (Spoiler - click to show)heavily implied the father is an alcoholic following the mother's departure (death?), behaving strangely in her eyes when drunk. The hints were all there, from the stranger who looks like dad but is not like dad; the broken glass and the sickness in the bathroom, or the father leaving for hours/days on end. It is clear the father is trying his best (and failing at the task), but his guilt is not enough to change him (until the end is reached). The horror of every day life...
Even the second time around, I was still quite confused at the second "act" with Micheal, not because of the change of background marking a new beginning in the story, but by the shift in the story going from a grim reality told through the eyes of a child, to being swooped by some sort of guardian angel in some imaginary place and being served breakfast. (Spoiler - click to show)Then afterwards, the context of alcoholism with the father kind of makes it as if the dad was sobered up then, caring for his child.
While the story ends on the positive note, it still depict a grim part of life, where hurt people hurt other people (and worse, children), which shook me to my core. The contrast of the pain and the panic of the child with the fond remembrance of gifts or the soothing taste of a sweet makes it all the harder to go through. This is accentuated by the gothic style of writing, making this everyday horror more vivid and visceral.
Chills going down the spine at every turn.