Thistle (thistle_chaser) wrote,

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I don't usually make game recs. Heck, I never play games other than MMOs, but I saw a couple posts about Loved and wanted to check it out.

One part of it is a "simple" platform jumping/enemy dodging game. I put simple in quotes as I suck at jumping games and I believe I said "Fuck!" more times than I have in the last decade. However, other people call it simple, so if you're not me, maybe all the jumping and not falling on spikes might be easier for you.

The larger, much more interesting part of the game is the voice. (I should probably put voice in quotes, since it's text on the screen, but it was a very powerful voice and the tone came through perfectly clear.) As you play along, it gives you instructions. "Do this." "Don't touch that." "Wait." You decide if you obey or not, and the game adjusts based on that.

You wouldn't think you'd learn something about yourself from such a simple flash game, but I was almost disturbed at how much a simple bit of praise "Good boy" from the voice meant. It made me feel good, like real, meaningful praise. There was one bit of instruction I couldn't follow, and I actually felt apologetic and bad that the voice hated me for it.

The instruction I couldn't follow: [Spoiler! Play and find out for yourself!]Near the end, it told me "Don't fail" and I knew I was in trouble. Like I said, I suck at jumping and dodging, so it took me maybe twenty tries to beat each section. I didn't want to disobey the voice, and it felt even worse that I was disobeying from lack of skill than intent.

Someone described Loved as "the entire game feels like a giant metaphor for abusive relationships", and that feels accurate to me. It's a really disturbing, cool game. It was worth all the effort it took me to get through each section.

And now I'm going to play again. Hopefully I'll have better luck with that spoiler part...
Tags: game: loved
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