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Exploration And Reflection In Minkomora

I may read readme files but I don’t read video game manuals. What kind of a rube do you take me for? However, I made an exception for Minkomora [official site] and I urge you to as well.

It’s a gentle free game about exploring a hand-drawn world filled with varied places and characters doing their own thing. That’s nice, y’know, but then I followed the urging to read its manual and oh! what a lovely thing! I over-use “lovely” but it’s a warm, caring game encouraging self-reflection. I am reminded, narcissistically, of my time with Dark Souls Nites.

The world of Minkomora is a colourful place for you to explore. You can sit down if you want. Your adventures will heat you up and cool you down, and you can balance that in different ways if you want. And you can end your journey by returning home whenever you’d like. The manual’s laid out beautifully, and explains a little of the world and the creatures you meet. And it’s just lovely:

Back and forth, back and forth! Nurek certainly doesn’t seem to tire easily, does it? In fact, it loves the water so much that it’s content to swim around for hours at a time.

If you’d like, you can take a swim alongside it. If you swim long enough, it may be hard to remember where you end and where the water starts. But it’s okay to lose ourselves from time to time; sometimes, it might be just what we need to give ourselves permission to try something new.

The manual offers a few thoughts on people and places, then turns it around on you. I’m very keen on using games for self-reflection, and relish games which encourage it.

Minkomora is made by Merritt Kopas and Joni Kittaka, manifesting Merritt’s Soft Chambers design ideals/manifesto/philosophy/thing. I’ve been looking for an excuse to post that for a while, so now: head on over to read about the many things Soft Chambers is, warm and cool games, being against ’empathy games’, verbs, helping games spill into players’ worlds, and more. I am glad to have this around.

It’s free to play in your browser and the manual is a pay-what-you-want download with no minimum.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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