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Songs Of The Lost is a dream of a future internet with some very good dogs

They're all good dogs, Bront. EVERYTHING IS GOOD DOGS NOW, BRANT.

Songs Of The Lost is another free psychedelic interactive dreamscape from artist Paloma Dawkins and her posse. Produced for the Manchester International Festival, it’s a short first-person walking sim-ish-thing about cyberspace, and maybe the internet, and perhaps heaven, if it were made of code. Honestly, I’m not entirely sure what I played, but there’s a sassy mouse with wings, and trees seem like jerks. Grab it free on Itch here. Below, a trailer that absolutely must be seen to be believed, if you’re not playing it already.

While it’s entirely not my scene, the music, in-your-face characters and their animations and heavy camera movement make Songs Of The Lost feel like stumbling drunkenly through a nightclub. Only it’s better than doing that in real life, because this is the weird techno-clubland of the future internet/heaven, where everyone just talks in text-logs so you can always understand them. It also means you get to hear when someone’s being a bit of a tool. My only regret is that you’re a passive observer in this strange world, so you cannot pet the cosmic dogs.

I especially love the animation in this one. Despite being flat animated sprites against a warping 3D background, the characters feel oddly grounded, and the dialogue – while short – is heartfelt. Honestly, to say much more about this would be to spend more time expounding on why you should play it than you’ll actually spend playing it. It’s short, it’s sweet, and it’s an absolute joy for the eyeballs, so long as it doesn’t leave you motion sick. Go on, say hi to Coyote for me.

Grab Songs Of The Lost here, free on Itch, or check out some of Paloma’s other works, which RPS has been covering for years now.

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Dominic Tarason


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