Now that Q1 of 2019 is behind us, it’s time to look back at the best of what’s released so far. It’s not all been peachy, with a number of big-name titles disappointing, but I’d wager we’ve already seen several proper GOTY candidates – most of which are premium single-player games.
It’s impossibly hard to keep up with every mobile game that comes out, so this little series might spur you on to try out a few you said looked really cool but never got around to playing.
So without further ado, here’s my first pick.
The Stillness of the Wind
It’d be easy to downplay this one’s successes, shrugging it off as a dreary take on something like Stardew Valley. Of course the two might initially appear quite similar, requiring the player to establish a farming routine, cultivate crops, and trade their produce for new stock; however, The Stillness of the Wind is far more interested and successful in communicating the toil, hardships, and minor triumphs of such a lifestyle.
It’s also very much focused on its main character, the elderly owner of a dusty farm, named Talma. While everyone in Talma’s life has moved on and away from the farm, she instead remains. By repeatedly going through the ins and outs of her often laborious routine, the player grows to understand and appreciate her outwardly irrational decision to live a hard life in isolation.
The day-to-day grind requires that one set aside traditional expectations of fun, as it’s not fun, nor need it be. Talma is slow on her feet, tires easily, and has a very specific way of getting work done. The slightest of errors – say, leaving a gate open before bed – can therefore snowball into a ruined, unproductive day.
And while the end of her story might initially seem like a foregone conclusion, the game sidesteps easy sentimentality in favour of acting as a reminder of the dignity in choosing to live life on one’s own terms. It’s ultimately one of the most careful and affecting portrayals of aging you’ll find in video games, and that alone is why it absolutely deserves to be sought out and played.