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Blues For Mittavinda Is A Gloriously Odd Odyssey

Despite appearances, the game actually doesn't take place across a series of pieces of concept art from Torment: Tides of Numenera.

Blues For Mittavinda is the latest globule of congealed insanity from the brilliance factory between Jack King-Spooner’s ears. Unsurprisingly, given his prior work on Sluggish Morss: A Delicate Time in History (which Porpentine rightly aimed an adoration missile at hereabouts), it’s quite weird. This time around, however, it’s a more restrained, methodical madness – the kind that takes a moment to sit down, breathe, and revel in the truly bizarre nature of our most basic, life-sustaining habits. The backdrop’s gloriously realized, too, sewing its yarn of inevitability into the very fabric of down-home Wild West Americana. All of which is quite impressive, given that King-Spooner put it together in just over a week for the recent Gamejolt competition. Mostly spoiler-free impressions after the break.

The basic setup is as follows: your father is dying, but – after some desperate pleading – he tells you that a wise man named Tonda who lives on the outskirts of town might be able to help. It’s up to you, then, to flail your Gumby-like limbs through a world of natural desolation and sloppily scrawled sketches en route to the supposedly simple solution to all of your problems. Naturally, of course, he isn’t. It’s then that things get interesting, and also (SPOILER ALERT OH GOD RUN) there are fish for some reason.

Blues For Mittavinda’s a slow-burn, both in terms of its in-game progression and the way it unleashes a herd of meandering thought-tumbleweeds inside your brain afterward. It moves at a methodical clip, but never to its own detriment. Instead, the pace gives your every pore and orifice time to soak up the flavor of the world, which is key in delivering its central message. Once you reach the end, it all snaps into place perfectly, like the final leg on a table you managed to construct in spite of the fact the instructions were in Chinese.

And oh, that ending. It’s so very strange, but not in a horrifying, unearthly sort of way. To me, it felt warm. Encouraging. It was couched in harsh reality, certainly, but I came away feeling both mentally – and, as a result of something you absolutely must experience – physically enriched.

Blues For Mittavinda is a fascinating little adventure, and it’s totally free. I very, very strongly recommend it. Give it a go here.

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Nathan Grayson

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