“Off-Peak” by Cosmo D & Archie Pelago (Hirshi, Kroba & Cosmo D).

“[You are] stranded at cathedral-like train station in the near future, searching for a ticket out of town. Explore the secret passageways, interact with strangers, dig for records, and get hypnotized by the soundtrack[.] […] [Players] will uncover a world where the fate of [its] musicians and artists is unclear, yet their tools of the trade are highly prized. […] [A] short first-person adventure game.”

Whenever I moved to a new place and searched for flats, I tried to get one near the local train station. I am not quite sure why I did that, but “Off-Peak” made me thinking about it, as it paints these type of buildings in a maybe absurd, but not too unrealistic way by filling it with a lot of quirky characters. You play as someone who has no real place to go. However, a stranger offers you his ticket to an unknown destination. The problem is, it got ripped to pieces, so it is your job to find each scrap of paper to glue them back together. All pieces are scattered in the station, but by exploring each corner, each food stand, each hidden passage you will find them for sure.

Of course, the more or less simple collecting quest is not what makes “Off-Peak” a special game. Instead, the construction of the world and its atmosphere is what really fascinates me: The dialogues as well as the monologues of the occupants, the drugged cookies in the underground, the stares of the triplets that you can feel even though they are wearing sunglasses inside, the board game club, the mesmerizing soundtrack… There is so much to see, hear and read, just as in regular train stations. Maybe that is the reason why I always love to be near them – they are places of transition, not just in the literal sense. [PLAY]