Games with other people can be tiring, but games by yourself can be isolating. Games with other people. but separate from them, then, can be a lovely sweet spot somewhere in the middle, where you can run into moments of connection while being sheltered by asynchronicity. Library Of Babble is one of these, allowing you to explore a flowing abstract landscape, finding snippets of writing left by other travellers and leaving your own without ever running into someone directly.
It looks like you’ll be navigating a stylised map, complete with little sprouting plants, and a compass and bearing. Even the landmasses look made of contour lines tracing their slopes, or maybe stacked pages, colourful like a scrapbook rather than a novel. Fitting for the fragments of communication contained within.
“Best encountered over a warm mug of coffee…and snuggled up on a cold winter’s morning,” reads the game’s itch.io page, which gave me pause on a hot August day until I realised that developer Demi lives in the southern hemisphere. Games like this are really good at breaking you out of your own assumptions by giving a tiny peek into the experiences and thoughts that other people have, often regarding very simple things like seasons, so I’m happy that I got one before I was even able to play it.
It reminds me a little of the similar fragmentary thoughts left behind in The Things We Lost In The Flood. Those messages in bottles delivered Alice O thoughts on self-love, allowed Alice B to vent some feelings about breakups, and asked me if I could pronounce “whomst’ve’dn’t’ll’t. (I cannot.) All this to say, I’m looking forward to seeing what messages Library Of Babble may have to be explored.
Library Of Babble is scheduled to release on itch.io on Friday, August 16th for $5.