We all try not to be overly emotional in public, but on the show floor PAX East 2018 I almost found myself crying. This is not a bad thing. It was during a demo of Team Gotham’s soon to be released puzzle game Solo. Solo is an introspective game about love, relationships, and how the player views these things in their own lives.
After choosing how they and their partner is portrayed in game (Male, Female, or Non-binary) and selecting an avatar for them, players are set lose to explore a cute minimalistic world. Filled with creatures and objects to help get you to further islands, expanding the world for players to explore. Along the way, lighthouses will ask questions related to love and relationships, the player is asked to answer truthfully based on their real world experiences. Here is where Solo diverges from being just a cute platform game. In just the opening area, the questions being asked made me have to think which answer was more accurate to my own relationship, while also making me contemplate if I have actually been this open with my partner in real life. Based on your answer, Solo’s in game representation of your partner will have a response later down the road. And it’s with these answers that Solo left a lasting impression on me. I was once asked if I thought love lasted forever, choosing to say that I thought my relationships love would last, I was later hit with my partner being afraid that our love couldn’t outlive our bodies and that if everything fades, what makes our love so special that it wouldn’t?
It was obvious that these answers were building on each other to make a more accurate profile of my personal relationship. This hopefully will help tailor the game better to the individual playing it, potentially making them think more about themselves and who they love. It would be interesting for both partners in a relationship explored the game on their own, then got together at the end to discuss what they learned and some of the different answers they had to questions about the same relationship. Solo doesn’t try to hide is complexity under is cute facade and simple puzzle solving mechanics. It uses these things to welcome in players and make them feel more comfortable about looking inside themselves.
Those interested in Solo won’t have to wait long. Solo is launching on Steam April 26th for $14.99