Ludum Dare 40: Back to Dust

“Back to Dust” by Uruca Game Studio (Suâmi Abdalla-Santos, Philippe Alves Lepletier & Felipe Osório) & Super Velociraptor.

“[A] storytelling game focused in [decision-making]. You and your daughter are in a conflict zone and running low on food, you must travel to the border and try to enter the [neighboring] country. The path to the border is full of other refugees asking for your help. The more refugees you accept in your party, the worse is your travel condition.”

Creating a serious game is always a pretty ambivalent endeavor, especially in the short timeframe of a game jam. When you try to break down complex matters into small game mechanics, then of course you will not be able to show the whole picture of your topic. But I am still glad that some developers try to do such things. It is an honorable task, and “Back to Dust” gets some things right: Instead of trying to explain each detail of a war and the history behind it, it only shows small, tragic story fragments and four ways how the escape could end. This way the jam submission might activate the empathy of some of its players, what would be absolutely great.