Grief is a delicate subject to tackle, and games sometimes stumble in their approaches, either making things excessively mournful or veering into cringe territory with you know, like, emotions, man. But Arte's upcoming puzzling game, How To Say Goodbye, looks like a refreshingly playful take on loss. Not to mention that it’s a feast for the eyes. I mean, just LOOK at it.
The game tells the story of a character who's turned into a ghost, and finds themself trapped in a puzzly world populated by spirits. It seems like each level consists of grids that used to flow towards an exit, but now find themselves clogged up by things like fallen leaves, chunky crystals, and fallen leeks. You must find a way to unblock these channels so you can glide smoothly outta there. Of course, it's not all plain-sailing, as a nasty wizard is determined to stop you from leaving and essentially, grieving.
I'm taken by the game's premise, but I'm even more taken by its good looks. I cannot peel my eyes away from its gorgeous art style. That pastel palette with its round, soft edges makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Apparently it's inspired by children's books like The Moomins and Where The Wild Things Are, both of which I haven't read. What I do know is that each level from this game will make for a lovely wallpaper and the ghosts are all massive cuties and how vulnerable I'll feel after the credits roll.
Still, we've all got some time to emotionally ready ourselves, as How To Say Goodbye is coming to Steam sometime in 2022.
The game's being developed by Florian Veltman and Baptiste Portefaix. Veltman previously worked on Monument Valley 2 and brought us the lovely Lieve Oma, while Portefaix worked on a children's co-op adventure game called Oniri Islands. It's published by Arte France, who co-produced interactive fiction Bury Me My Love.