“There You Are” by Rong Deng, Rui Huang, Yu Yang, Adam Morina, Randen Banuelos, Guangdi Jiang, Yuwei Lin, Mengyuan Guo, Alysha G. Bermudez, Nia Baker, Demetri Bouzos, Aubrey Isaacman, Lazybeam, DiipSilence & Michelle Ma.
“[This is an] exploratory narrative game about grief [that features stop motion] inspired graphic design[.]”
I was immediately interested in “There You Are” because of its striking graphic style, which vaguely reminded me of Henry Selick’s animated film “Coraline”. But apart from that, there is another similarity, because this game also features a teenage girl, who cannot cope with her family situation, as its protagonist.
We players slip into the role of Su, who wants to go camping with her dad on his birthday. Since the early death of Su’s mother, who passed away five years ago, this has become a kind of sacred ritual for the two of them. This year, however, the father wants to spend a day at home – not only with his daughter, but also with Gina, the first woman with whom he entered into a relationship as a widower.
Su is visibly offended by this idea and feels as if Gina is threatening to overshadow her mother’s memory. After a heated argument between the two, the father calls his girlfriend and tries to make her understand that the plan for a get-together was probably not such a good idea after all. Gina replies that maybe it would be best for the two of them to take a break. Su overhears the phone call and is then struck by a mixture of guilt and a panic attack.
It is clear that she faces many questions at this moment: Is she sabotaging her father’s fragile happiness? But also, is she ready to let a new person into her life? Would Gina not just destroy their special bond anyway? What would her mom advise her to do now? Fortunately, she can find an answer to the last question by taking a closer look at some special mementos: A small treasure trove of artwork created by her mother herself. What message that is and whether Su subsequently acts on it is now up to you. [PLAY]