“Respite” by Kayden Chan, Luxiere & Mr. Serpent.

“[Play] as a [white-collar] worker who is overworked and experiencing fatigue and stress. As he re-explores his apartment and reminisces about past experiences, [he is] reminded of the importance of family, friends, and respite.”

It is important to take a break when you feel overwhelmed by all the work you do, regardless if it comes from your day job or your passion for side projects. Sometimes you just have to lay back and recover. But some people do not recognize when they are overworked or on the edge to a burnout. Called out by family, friends or colleagues on their self-destructive behavior, they might even react in an aggressive manner. That is the basic plot of the sweet, short interactive novel “Respite”.

After an argument about this topic turned into a fight, the main protagonist of “Respite” finds himself lying in bed in the early morning. Slowly the memories about the last night strike back: His flatmates told him that he needs to calm down and that it would be better if he would not go to work the next day, because they see the clear signs of an upcoming burnout starting. However, he did not want to hear anything about this. Instead he yelled at them and broke down one of the plants of his cohabitee Harriet, resulting in a mess. Of course, it is not just any plant; Harriet is very ambitious and proud of her floral darlings, and this specific one got a prize for its beauty.

The character then decides to stand up and go through the entire flat to water each of the plants as a little apology. As he does so, he finds himself alone in the apartment, as all the others went for a trip together. But in exchange for that, he encounters a lot of notes by his friends, telling him how much they care about him, that they are sorry and that they want him to rest as he desperately needs a day off. Their flat thereby gets used as a storytelling device, where each small object tells a bit about their relationship to each other. What is even better about “Respite” is its core message: Take care of yourself. [PLAY]