Ludum Dare 46: Keep Her Light

“Keep Her Light” by Rémi Blanc, Florence Noé, Jérôme Audo, Elsa Tharel, Fabien Cocheteux & Edward Clombe.

“Olivia, why can’t you see me[?] Why can’t you hear me[?] I won’t give up, I have to find a way to contact her. Maybe I should move some objects to get her attention?”

It is a normal reaction to mourn after the death of a beloved one. Crying for days, weeks or even longer. The pain of missing them will only slowly fade away. However, sadly there is always the chance of becoming obsessed with their absence. So while grief is an important element of the emotional coping mechanism, it can also be destructive. “Keep Her Light” is a bittersweet jam game that revolves around this fact.

You play as the ghost of Eddie, who recently passed away after an accident. Eddie still is present in the flat that he shared with his young wife Olivia. Naturally, the woman is absolutely devastated in the moment and cannot enjoy anything anymore. Olivia spends most of her time on the couch or in the bed, thinking about her beloved Eddie who has gone too soon. But Eddie’s ghost can try to communicate with Olivia. By clicking on objects on the apartment you might be able to call her attention to something specific. Maybe she will recognize who is responsible for it.

Eventually, Olivia and Eddie will be able to find a way to ‘talk’ with each other. But “Keep Her Light” also shows that this is not the best idea for neither of them. For example, while Eddie wants Olivia to be happy, she is also his only connection to the realm of the living, so he does not want her to go out with her friends to spend even more time with her. On the other hand, Olivia does not want to lose her bond with Eddie and quickly agrees to his irresponsible demands.

Do not worry too much though: “Keep Her Light” ends on a ‘happy’ note, as both characters realize how unhealthy their behavior is. That is the important core message for me that the game provides. Yes, it is understandable to mourn and grief when someone close passed away, but we have to go on. If we get too absorbed by the situation, we cannot become happy again – and that is never a state that a loved one would want to see us to be in. >>PLAY