What happens if you tie a weight to your ankles and hoy yourself into the sea? Let’s find out! Wee free game Fishbones is a five-minute journey down, down, down to the depths, offering five minutes to see what we can see in the sea before the end of you and me. What we do see is a strange and often surreal assortment of sealife, detritus, oddities, and, of course, fishbones. I’ve sunk to the bottom three times, seeing different things each time, and I’m still curious about what else might be down there.
Right so, here we are, weight chained to our ankles, and down we go. The weight takes care of movement for us, though we can turn ourselves and blink. All we can really do in the five minutes we’re apparently able to hold our breath is watch and listen.
Down we go, past shoals of fish, past jellyfish, past wrecked cars, past submarines, past skeletal rays, past sliced octopuses, past fellow chained bodies, past… I think I once saw mermaids? I’m not wholly sure what they were. Not right. They were not right. Each descent pulls a new assortment of objects from a larger pool, and I’ve still not seen everything. I still don’t understand quite why different colour filters come and go either. Or what, if anything, the sounds signify. I’m cool with that.
What a pleasant digital dream this is. And not just because I love being in the sea so much that I get tetchy if I’m on land longer than four days. I’ve often said I like short games which ask for my attention for a few minutes so they can show me something weird. This does that.
Fishbones is free to download on Itch.io. I believe it’s made by Tom Victor, Lucie Viatge, Titouan Millet, Héloïse Lozano, Flex Roman, and Pol Clarissou of the Klondike collective, together with Aurore Fiorini. I think? Those are the names I dug out the depths of that mystifying Itch page, at least. They don’t make it easy.