“Bleakshore” by Breogán Hackett, Cade Higgins & Fionn Power.
“The haunting wilderness awaits you. The ocean washes the silver sands. Orla is here somewhere. The marram grass blows gently in the wind. Over the salt marshes ravenous gulls cry. Where is Orla? The pines tower overhead, [their] dead needles carpet the ground. An object dear to you rests there. Dusty paths maintained by the feet of summer, [hidden] now in thick unmoving fog. You hope [she is] okay.”
Orla left you a voicemail. You did not really understand each word, and though her tune was calm and she even said that she loves you, you start to feel uneasy about the situation. She mentioned the “Bleakshore”, so you decide to go after her. Soon after your arrival at the coniferous forest you find some of Orla’s personal belongings on the ground. Something must have happened, you are sure of it.
This is the basic scenario of “Bleakshore”. For you as a player the game offers no direct lead where you can find your partner. Instead you have to explore the area, where you will find more objects scattered between the small bushes and the trees. Whenever you pick one of them up, the protagonist’s associations and memories of it will be described. Of course, you will also learn about the relationship between your character and the missing Orla.
All the time you will assume that something must have happened, because why else would all the stuff be in this forest? Even Orla’s favorite mug is there, crushed to pieces. Was she attacked or something even worse? Did she decide to go away for good, disappearing from your life forever just leaving one last voicemail behind? Did she got tired of you and your insecurities? What happened? That will be the constant question in your mind.
This jam submission is an absolutely fantastic haunting game without displaying any horror, violence or gore. Without spoiling anything, it has to be stated that “Bleakshore” revolves around the essence of fear and on the tricks our imagination plays on us as soon as we let these doubts get stuck on our mind like glue. Some things are hard to get rid off, after all. So look for Orla. Maybe you will find her. [PLAY]