The Interlude is a game about fidgeting. Technically it’s a game about waiting. But doesn’t waiting always become fidgeting? Particularly when you’re waiting for something tense, like this ne’er-do-well parked in their car on a dark evening, messages filling up their phone about the unspecified encounter they’re about to have with an unsaved contact. It’s eerie, and that eeriness causes restlessness, especially when you’re trapped in the drivers’ seat with nowhere to go.
Also eerie is how easily I managed to replicate my real-life waiting room routines within the game. First, play some Snake, because why not. But then you start to worry that you might miss the person you’re supposed to be meeting, so you just idly scroll the internet so as not to occupy too much of your attention. There’s a bit of news, a few pictures of racoons. But un-distracted without the game, you start to worry about the meeting going south, which in turn makes it difficult to focus on the internet. It’s getting boring anyway, so you just start fiddling with things around you: sipping coffee, flipping a handle up and down, turning the radio on and off. Watching passing cars and wondering where the people inside are going.
I love the fact there is absolutely no before or after to The Interlude. It begins in the car park and ends the second the person you’re waiting for shows up. It’s not here to answer questions about what you were waiting for, only what you do when you’re in the moment of waiting itself. It plays for about 10 minutes in real time no matter how you while away the time, all tension and speculation and idle actions.
You can download The Interlude or play it in browser for pay what you want with no minimum on itch.io.