Rarely have I played a game that refuses its own descriptiveness as much as “THAT NIGHT, STEEPED BY BLOOD RIVER”. It is like a mystery that everyone can see, but hardly anyone can find the words to talk about it – and yet you try, because you want to convince others to dive into these spheres so that you end up sharing something special with them. In fact, hidden among colorful neon worlds and surreal dreamscapes, some secrets can be found here. But beware, these secrets are not exactly of the joyful kind.
After all, “THAT NIGHT, STEEPED BY BLOOD RIVER” is primarily about death, grief and processing. This may be surprising at first, but literally in the first scene the game screams the word “DEATH” at its players, albeit in binary-coded form. Indeed, one may assume that the phone call one receives at the beginning is the news of the death of one – or several – loved ones. After that, you suddenly find yourself in the foyer of an unknown building, where you have to sign a list to gain access to three different rooms, which in turn can take you to other places, possibly dim memories and distorted dreams.
The experiences in each of these three worlds can have two different outcomes: Either you get a regularly aligned white triangle or an upside-down one. Once you find all three of a variety, you can use them to unlock one of the game’s two endings. What seems interesting to me is that the ways of getting these symbols are in a certain sense very similar. For example, if you surrender to the most obvious route of a world and simply follow it, you will end up with an inverted triangle. But those who do a bit of exploration and also solve a puzzle or two will get a conventional white triangle.
There is an intention behind it, of that I am sure. There is a reason why you have to ‘work’ for one ending, while the other is virtually thrown at you. One path is easy, the other is difficult. I wish I could tell you more, but I want you to figure it out for yourselves. I do not want to deprive you of this. Find your interpretation. [PLAY]