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To Leave — is not a game. It is art you play with a controller

To Leave — is not a game. It is art you play with a controller

Disclaimer: I’ve followed this game’s development from its inception to launch.

As someone who’s seen this idea evolve and as someone who’s been lucky enough to meet several indies, I do not consider To Leave, by Freaky Creations, to be a video game, in the strict sense of the word. To Leave is a new approach to literature and digital painting, where an interactive component of the experience involves difficult challenges with a controller input.

The game is morally complex, and the start of the experience involves a hefty amount of lore and reading. It is designed to be cathartic, and so its difficulty, its art, characters, and challenge curve are all intended. For the player expecting a platformer, this will feel like a confusing tapestry of artwork where Harm serves as a twisted vehicle to empathize with many a dark self-reflection. However, it is also a story of purification and self-discovery. Players who enjoy literature will find more than one page in Harm’s Journal an inspiration to overcome inertia.

Of course, many a player may not be emotionally ready for its level of difficulty or lyrical narration. Many might rage quit. For those players, remember this is an indie game, a creative hypothesis. Remember it’s designed to be beatable, albeit with hard effort.

This is a breed of a game with vast depth and care that gamers may not find in several years. A step towards new creative horizons.

Congrats, Freaky Creations, I hope many find and complete this game, and I hope those who complete it find themselves restored.

Hopefully, To Leave will one day make it to other distribution platforms, so the more mature players can appreciate this medium as a means to spiritual nourishment. For now, it’s a $9.99 purchase on Steam and an $11.49 purchase on Playstation Store.

Author Bio — David F. Chang

Tech Transfer & Innovation @ESPOL, former @RedHat@EpicGames.

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