"A creature comes across a town in the night.
An unknown entity weighs down on the unaware sheep.
A choice needs to be made"
Like most, if not all, I at first expected to play this game like the Big Bad Wolf:
a monster that comes to a village when it is dark, preying on the lifestock, pressing on them, approaching them. The question is "to eat, or not to eat?" "It seems necessary - I choose to eat."
So I relentlessly mauled and slaughtered sheep, supposing that the beast was hunting;
but then there was a farmer walking about... "Should I - must I devour this hapless man? Must I take his life, and mindessly eat away at all in my way?"
Why? Why? Why?"-"It is clear, I NEED to do this, that's why." There seemed to be no other way than to continue the slaughter, and as such I went on till the end. "Cries were heard in the night."
I finished the game and it left me with a feeling of senselessness and unfulfillment.
So I started over. "a CHOICE needs to be made." "What can I choose? What can I do but let the beast eat the sheep, to let the predator consume its prey?"
As I went on I noticed blobs appearing, seemingly at random. "What are those? Maybe I need to eat them as well? Yes, I won't let them escape! .....Or.... Maybe,... maybe that is the REAL purpose, my aim is to end those unsightly specks, at all costs."
So I shifted from destroying sheep and people, to destroying all beings, not letting a single blob escape. Then I changed my thinking: "what if those blobs are the real problem, I can leave the sheep alive, save the villagers?" I decided to only bite them, to get the parasites out of the hosts I would be the needle that vaccinates them. But I noticed that moving about could be equally effective. I was deemed "reckless".
After that I chose to scare the blobs out of the living, a choice that was easier made than lived up to; but I succeeded at it.
Over all this game plays with appearances and our judgement thereof, offering a situation and letting us act instinctively. It suggests different views and options to solve a threat if we choose to try again. These suggestions become clearer and more evident with every new attempt at liberating the town. We're left with choices and results that fit those choices: we're confronted with a seemingly hard reality, that softens somewhat afterwards. And if you don't give up you can reach your goal.
The music befits the setting, threatening and melancholic; it won't get repetitive for those busy enough with saving the town trying not to harm non-blobs.
The art is simple, yet this functions as a suggestive element, not making it too clear what things are and as such having us decide what we need to do (and if we indeed need to do so).
Yes, the townspeople move quite erratic, as do many creatures in real life when threatened.
It made it harder for those in a hasty attempt at solving, but if you choose to be careful and take your time this is not a problem. The gameplay was rewarding, in fact the gameplay was about rewarding certain deeds in a certain way in itself.
All in all, I rate this game 5/5; I don't see any big errors, I see a game that succeeds in what it tries to be and do: to play with our choices and how we engage settings.
For those who want the "survivors" medal I can add that the description seems to suggest something impossible, and if you read it as it is, it indeed is impossible. But I found it helpful to read it with interpunction that is not there, but could be there: you'll figure it out.
It's more enjoyable to discover how appearances can be misleading and what things really mean.
(I have no idea what to do with the secret medal, but I'll figure something out!)