Mental illness may be challenging to depict in any moderate as people frequently have numerous misconceptions about them. But, it’s but one of the central topics of To Leave, a unique 2D puzzle platformer game from Ecuadorian Developer Freaky Creations. The game is all about the fantastical journey of a manic-depressive adolescent called Harm whose aim is to harvest the spirits of his home world and send him and everyone else to Heaven. The game has been marketed as being extremely difficult and “hardcore,” that is severely no understatement.
Though the gameplay is comparatively straightforward as you direct Harm from the Dark Void through different levels of the Temples in his own magical flying Door, the narrative of To Leave is quite a bit more complicated and actually up to every player’s interpretation of each one of those degrees. As Harm has become more and more disenchanted with his universe, he makes a plan to harvest all of the souls of the Spiraling Stars by tripping all eight Harvesting Temples and binding them to the Origin Gate to trigger it and end his pain.
Before entering every Temple, Harm writes a diary entry detailing the encounter he is going to experience. To get in the game’s story, I strongly encourage you to choose some time to not only read those but also to read the ones that detail his previous. The English interpretation can be a little awkward, but it gives a far deeper comprehension of Harm’s mind and his motivation for embarking on the trip to find peace. He’s the only “real” character that is struck, and through him, we encounter a huge selection of struggles and emotions as he tries to escape.
The game is broken up into chapters, and Harm travels throughout the Dark Void of their Spiraling Stars to utilize his Door to transport him through the various obstacles of their levels to trigger every Temple. You just grab on and try to switch between flying and using gravity to earn your path to the rugged checkpoints. The Door can only land on these square-faced platforms throughout the different degrees and colliding with anything sends Harm and also the Door back into these checkpoints, and there is a lot they can encounter.
To keep on fueling the Door, Harm has to accumulate what seems like balls of blue light found throughout each level. They never become replenished, so tough areas of the game appear to exhaust the Door much faster. Once the Door is drained of electricity, Harm is kicked back into his flat at a cutscene that progressively seems as it takes forever, and since the game grows, this happens much more frequently. Once back in the apartment, you need to begin each level over again from the beginning no matter how close to the end you might be that is probably the most annoying part.
The Door is sensitive to both restrain, and specific obstacles are absurdly difficult. The programmer has talked in the past about knowingly creating the game increasingly difficult during, but I felt that it jumped out of being a tiny challenge to seemingly impossible very unexpectedly late in the game. Those who don’t like spending a great deal of time grinding by difficult puzzles probably will pass this one up, as it requires a good deal of patience and concentration to master each one of those levels. Those who love these types of games might want to replay some of its levels, but I needed a rest before I attempted them again.
To compensate for looking at the identical thing whilst hammering away at exactly the same level during each attempt, the visuals To Leave are incredibly magnificent, and its mix with all the game’s audio creates aesthetically unique levels during. Every one of the amounts was handpainted, and this painstaking dedication excels. I was drawn from the dull cutscenes at Harm’s apartment and the way they contrasted with the vivid colors that are employed in different regions of the game.
The visual representation of all Harm’s battles and experiences is translated so well that even those who haven’t experienced the exact issues can understand what he is feeling. One of the later levels called “The Bully” is seemingly impossible and finds out Harm attempting to move his way past a group of blocks with faces that morph into a less than pleasant demeanor and zoom their way to knock Harm out of the course. This was the amount that broke me at first, however, the manner that the “bullies” force Harm to take refuge in areas difficult to escape off of the most important path evoke the feelings of anger and defeat which bullying causes. The symbolism found during each level represents various states of thoughts, experiences, and emotions.
To Leave is an experimental 2D platformer that tackles some very important issues in a special manner that leaves its interpretation up to every player. While it is not supposed to be an educational game about mental illness, I felt that its approach to the topic has been exceptionally well done. The preface of To Leave is totally truthful when it states it was created to battle the wits, abilities, abilities, and perceptions of its players.
Since it is the first project of Freaky Creations, also also one of the very first Ecuadorian games available for PlayStation 4, now I look forward to what other unique, experimental games they’ll come out with in the future.