One more step?

Video games can convey messages much more powerfully than other media. Unlike films, television or music, all of which are passive entertainment, video games can convey their message and ideas in a much more powerful and profound way.

The Indian game system has long flirted with these ideas and has continued to create great games that touch on interesting ideas and stories. This is the case with the game SHUT IN, which seems to have been specially designed for the situation we all face on a global scale.

As the name suggests, SHUT IN is a game about a young man who shuts himself off from the world and fights depression. Every day is a worldly nightmare of fear, and even the simplest tasks seem useless. Because if everything goes wrong and our useless existence in the life of the universe just flashes, what’s the point of trying?

And it is exactly this way of thinking that SHUT IN can imitate so effectively. With its sarcastic and self-conscious commentary, SHUT IN is a pathetic piece of an oppressive puzzle.

The surroundings here are very similar to the ghosts of the past, and whether you’ve played Monkey Island, Grim Fandango or Life Is Strange, the controls and ideas are very similar.

You control your pixelated character through a series of pages in a house full of mystery and darkness. For most objects you can interact with the space bar, important objects can be found and assigned to your inventory (selected with the shift key), while various hints and fuzzy tooltips are scattered around.

SHUT IN’s main mission requires you to perform a number of everyday tasks, including combing your hair and eating. But he does this by mixing it with the fantastic vibrations of the horror and the need to jump over different tyres to accomplish one or the other task.

Along the way you’ll come across carnivorous insects, glistening lights, annoying bumps and moans, and a lot of unpleasant things waiting for you to dive back into this infamous screen. The game is over (with a sarcastic applause as a reminder).

The game is announced with a duration of about an hour, but in reality only if you know exactly what you’re doing and if you can easily solve the puzzles. Most people are likely to enjoy about 2/3 hours of gaming fun, with some frustrating puzzles that seem to be poorly executed.

The most remarkable thing happens in the middle of a set of microwaves. In the oven there is a piece of paper with the inscription 01, but it is not clear what the seconds should look like. It was just a coincidence that I found a solution by searching on Google, because I thought I had missed an important clue. Unfortunately, it seems that other actors have had a similar problem with this strand.

In fact, this is a problem with some important points in the game where there are no clues if you get stuck and the rescue system relies on the fact that you save if you die instead of a specific button. Not to mention the microwave mentioned above, which takes literally 1 minute and 34 seconds to activate in one place.

I understand that this should increase boredom while waiting for the microwave, I couldn’t help thinking I ruined the puzzle along the way. Although this is not an interruption of the agreement, it is a pity that some of the more frustrating puzzles have not received the same attention, since the game is intended to tell you about its management at an early stage.

Yet the sound and atmosphere of this indie is really good. The themes seem clear, and the apathetic commentary and the inappropriate way in which these challenges are tackled fit in well with the minimalist soundtrack. It’s the charm of a comment that constantly reminds you that tomorrow’s smugglers will tirelessly sit on your loose, torn t-shirt as you try to leave the house in the hallways. And in the end, that’s the main goal here.

Perhaps with a cruel sense of irony, Shat-in’s ultimate goal is to leave the house. By 2020 it will probably be easier said than done, but SHUT IN is a blatant reminder of the enormous task it can mean for so many people. Anyone suffering from depression, anxiety or apathy for the routine of everyday life should definitely take a look at this game.

If you can get past some of the frustrating puzzles and have a little patience, SHUT IN is a decent game that will keep you quiet for hours… …or can you still wait until tomorrow?

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