Day three has dawned! That means it must be time to open another door in the RPS Advent Calendar! Put your ear to the keyhole. It’s quiet, and the metal is very cold.
It’s It’s Winter!
Alice0: It’s winter, it’s night, and you are alone in your apartment within a Russian block. Snow keeps on falling, and your neighbouring block is already snowed-in. The pipes are gurgling. The fridge hums to life. The shops are closed. Most windows are dark. Your neighbour keeps clomping about but they don’t answer if you go upstairs and knock. The world hasn’t ended but it might feel like it.
It’s Winter is that special kind of night aloneness. It’s isolating but liberating. The world is your playground and the rules of day are not currently enforced. Unseen, or at least unseen by anyone who cares, Hell, if you want to eat half a dozen fried eggs, that’s Day You’s problem. And you can do that in It’s Winter.
You can fiddle with plenty in It’s Winter. Play with the taps. Rummage through your cupboards. Take your pills. And cook. You can use your oven and microwave to cook, frying eggs, roasting sausage, toasting bread, and such, then scoffing your midnight feast. What else do you have to do on a night like this? You could throw things around your flat. Or clear up your building’s stairs by carefully putting rubbish in the chute. Or play in the austere playground. Or flush your dinner down the toilet. Or just run into the woods.
It’s an immersive sim with no goals. It’s Warren Spector’s “one city block RPG” in a world where the rest of the block doesn’t care about you. It’s a game vague enough that I still feel like I’ve missed something huge, a big secret or goal that will turn this mundane reality into a wild fantasy. It’s nice to have a dream when you’re unable to sleep, you’re all alone, no one cares, and you’re munching on canned meat while listening to the eerie music of a half-tuned television because that’s as grand as your life allows.
Graham: I never roleplay in role-playing games. Adam Jensen’s fist-chisels have never felt expressive to me, and I don’t feel embodied in Mr. Witcher’s scar tissue. Plop me into a game with a set of mundane verbs like It’s Winter though, and I’ll quickly start playing along. I’ll crouch on chairs to make like I’m sitting, I’ll awkwardly drag physics objects onto plates to set the table. I will imagine my character is world-weary. Best stare out the window at the mist-covered gloom to convey the turmoil of my soul. Best do a big sigh. Will this winter never end?
Looking for a different door? Head back to the RPS Advent Calendar 2019!