The Gift of What You Notice More

by Xavid profile and Zan

Surreal escape room

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Number of Reviews: 5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Song -> game, November 17, 2023
by alyshkalia
Related reviews: IFComp 2023

I didn’t realize to what extent this game was based on the song mentioned as inspiration (“The Blessings” by Dar Williams) until I looked up the lyrics:

And the blessings were like poets that we never find time to know,
But when time stopped I found the place where the poets go.
And they said, "Here have some coffee, it’s straight, black and very old, "
And they gave me sticks and rocks and stars and all that I could hold…

Honestly, I’m super impressed at the way the authors ran with these lines, implementing them very literally into this surreal game about a PC processing the end of a relationship (and now I know the answer to my questions “Why sticks? Why rocks?”).

I love character/emotion/relationship-focused games, so I liked the premise of this one and enjoyed playing out the layers of the PC’s self-reflection and increasing insights. I think the game would have resonated more with me emotionally, though, if both the PC and their ex were more developed as characters; as-is, neither is named and both are characterized fairly vaguely, with some glimpses of their personalities and the tenor of their relationship, but not enough for my taste.

The puzzles and the surreal environments were fun, and I enjoyed the kind-of twist that not all puzzles in each location were fully solvable at first. Because of the unintuitive nature of some puzzles, though, I definitely resorted to lawnmowering several times (and I ran into one minor puzzle-related bug).

Highlight: Mouse friend!
Lowlight: After all the other animal-based puzzles required helping/being kind to them, I was disappointed to have to throw a rock at a bat.

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