Ludum Dare 41: YOU LEFT ME.

“YOU LEFT ME.” by Angela He.

“You wake up in a different world. […] [You have] forgotten something important. But what? Remember [before it is] too late, and [you are] lost forever. […] A [dark, funny, surreal] game about loneliness and loss[, which comes] with [a speaking] cyclopic cat and [a] moon that tells dad jokes. […] Warning: [There] is explicit handling of suicide.”

Important note:
If you have suicidal thoughts, please get psychological help! Talk to friends, relatives or with someone from the telephone counseling, suicide prevention / suicide crisis hotlines of your country. There is always someone who can help you.

When you ever lost somebody close to you, you will know the feeling: A sadness overgrowing your mind, a void right inside your brain and heart and a numbness in your eyes, ears and even your skin, because your body refuses to sense something else beside this emptiness. “YOU LEFT ME.” is a game about exactly this feeling, and why it is important to overcome it.

You wake up in your own bed, but in another world. An one-eyed cat sleeps beside you, but when you wake it from its slumber, it will express some exaggerated joy because of each single touch by you, and then you will have a chat about the irrelevance of normality. The shining moon will tell you bad jokes, but sooner or later it will also sprinkle some depressing words and questions into the conversation, before the red disk on the horizon decides to fall in silence. Can you read the post-it stickers on the fridge? Can you understand them? What is their significance? Did you write them? What is there to remember in “YOU LEFT ME.”?

You do not want to, but eventually you will have to. You have to travel to places like a clinic, your work and to the place where it all began and ended. Your mask is cracking, and no glue can stop this process. No pills can completely heal your soul, if you do not confront yourself with the true reason of your fading smile.

“YOU LEFT ME.” is a surrealistic, melancholic and still beautiful game about one of the basic fears of humankind: Losing somebody. Each location represents a strategy one might try to handle the depression that comes with such a loss. Overloading yourself with work to get distracted for example, to swallow drugs just to numb the pain or to take a trip down memory lane without even recognizing it.

Something similar goes for the five different endings, because they show off the variety of consequences that come with your decisions. A game dedicated to everyone who already went through something terrible like this, where each of the wonderful illustrations and the well-placed sentences might perfectly speak to your soul. For everybody else, it could be a mirror into the inner self of others, so that you can understand them just a little bit better. Once again, Angela He reached out her hand with a stunning game to me – and of course I accepted this gesture. She is one of the few artists and creators out there that are truly able to build up a connection with their audience through their work, and that is an admirable talent. >>PLAY