What a lovely thing to stumble upon and enrich your afternoon. Lieve Oma [official site] is a short narrative experience accompanied by relaxing piano music, in which you, as a small kid, go for a stroll through a forest with your grandma. You're here to pick some mushrooms for dinner, but really, you're here because your grandma is worried about you, and how you're coping with things. She's here to listen, to give you some space to open up.
Lieve Oma is a tribute to the author's beloved grandmother, and it's coming out on her birthday, April 5th. I've had the chance to try a preview build and I'm glad I did.
Here's a short trailer showing the first few seconds of the game.
The game shows a quiet smile and a deep nostalgia, as it cherishes a past that may not come back and a person that may not be alive for much longer. I'll let the author speak:
"My grandmother is probably the most important person ever to me, as she provided me with the stability and care a child needs growing up. We all have or have had people helping us become a responsible and caring person, and this short narrative game is an ode to these people. A few months ago, my grandmother had a small household accident, with big consequences. One of those consequences was that I realised that she might not be around forever, and that I need to cherish her presence, so I decided to make this game as an ode to her sweetness and her giving me the space to be myself."
My experience was tinged by a different shade of nostalgia, on top, that of experiencing moments of a life I've never had the chance to live. I've never had anyone like this figure in my life.
Even though it's very different in many respects, it reminded me of Three Fourths Home. In both games, the conversations are really the centre of focus, but everything else surrounding them, the frame of those conversations, managed to setup a mood and an atmosphere that elevated the words beyond what they are.
Even if you're just pushing a button to keep your car going in one case, and walking along the path looking for fungi in this one, those small interactions colour the experience in ways that are too often dismissed or underappreciated.
Lieve Oma was made by Florian Veltman, who also contributed to the free wait 'em up Endless Express, and will come out on Itch on April 5th, the birthday of his grandmother. It'll be available for Windows and Mac, priced at £2.99/$4.22/€3.77.