Take a deep breath — in through the nose, and hold two three, then out through the mouth — and open a window into another world with Tenderfoot [official site]. It’s a small virtual scene staring out a window in a futuristic (and possibly post-apocalyptic?) city. Green creeps up glass-fronted buildings, wind turbines rotate slowly on rooftops, a creature snoozes on a leaf, flocks of birds loop around the city, thick green clouds pass by, and occasionally a putrid sun brightens the mood, all while chill music plays. We can look around a bit, but we’re really there to stare. It’s very pleasant.
Tenderfoot’s city changes with your time of day, which has quite surprised me. Yesterday evening I saw an abandoned post-apocalyptic city, a view from a dirty apartment over dark buildings with green clouds ahead. Then night fell and windows began to light up. What I saw as piles of waste in the dim light is, during the day, rampant plantgrowth.
As the day goes on and Tenderfoot still sits in a window on my second screen, I’m slowly been converted from “What a wonderful end of the world!” to “How nice this utopia is!” The green clouds do still make me pause but hey, most utopias hide something awful. If this is the end of the us, it’s a peaceful end.
Whatever it is, it’s a nice contrast to Blade Runner’s balcony.
Tenderfoot is pay-what-you-want from Itch for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It’s made by Ice Water Games, the makers of melancholy survival game Eidolon and virtual flowerpot Viridi. They made Tenderfoot in a recent Utopia-themed game jam; I’ll have to poke at that jam’s fruits more.
(Pro tip: while Tenderfoot is fixed to a 500×500 windowed view, just a little portal in your desktop to another world, if you have a big screen you might fancy popping into the Windows Registry to increase the resolution. I’ll not explain how because if you’re safe to do this, you probably already know how to. Please don’t bust up your PC then say I told you to.)