Game Off 2021: We Follow The Fickle Path

“We Follow The Fickle Path” by SweetHeart Squad (Sean S. LeBlancMichael Hetman & Ian Martin).

“[This is a] story about ants.”

There are stories that are worth listening to more than once. Stories in which even subtle nuances within the formulations conjure up a completely different course of events. “We Follow The Fickle Path” tells such a story. Here we take the role of the ant Sister Twenty of Many Oecophylla. Of course, she is not alone, but a member of an ant colony. Together with her Queen Mother and her remaining sisters who survived the collapse of their old nest, she is in search of a new home. However, this journey proves to be a breakneck undertaking.

In episodic form and in the best “Choose your own adventure” manner, we play through individual scenes of the stressful travel. Not every playthrough leads to the same locations and characters, and thus not necessarily to the same ending. This order seems to be primarily dependent on the thoughts you choose for Twenty to have in the morning of each new day. They differ mostly in two aspects. The first factor is whether Twenty sees herself as an autonomous individual and therefore also uses the word “I” or whether she acts completely in terms of the colony and family collective, which is why she always speaks only of an ominous “We”. The other, less subtle aspect lies in her belief in the success of the mission. Some of the thought fragments reveal pure hopelessness, while others reveal a firm unwavering faith.

With these simple means in terms of gameplay, as well as the anthropomorphized ant figure, an exciting play about inidividuality and collectivity, open coping with grief and stifling silence, as well as striving for more in life is unleashed. In just half an hour, “We Follow The Fickle Path” makes its players think without ever raising the ‘moral pointing finger’ – the atmosphere, the successful audiovisual backdrop as well as the grandiose script alone are enough to captivate the recipients. Here you can expect a jam game that perfectly manages to illustrate the easily forgettable but ever-present brutality of life. [PLAY]