This, Too, Has Passed is a melancholy thing. You wander slowly around a world, watching crunchy snow expand in a gentle creep beneath your feet, and occasionally get interrupted with portends of doom. It's a meditation on the climate crisis and collapse and savouring small things. It’s also a “B-Side remix” to a game that you almost certainly can’t play.
The main game is called This, Too, Shall Pass. “For now, the only way to get that is to be given it by someone who has it,” writes developer Marc Loths. And very few people have it, because there are only five copies in circulation.
One of them ended up in the hands of fellow game developer Colin Le Duc, who wrote a Twitter thread about the experience, including screenshots, so you can catch a glimpse at it. (He also says he's planning to stream it, which might give a better view.)
It also has its own Twitter bot, A Fleeting World, which provides more photographs from the world. Unlike its B-Side equivalent, this place has colour:
-37.4078, 175.86 pic.twitter.com/ximHZVbH90— This, Too, Shall Pass (@afleetingworld) September 1, 2019
And weird, potentially man-made sculptures:
-37.4078, 175.86 pic.twitter.com/iUWlU5Nx6J— This, Too, Shall Pass (@afleetingworld) September 4, 2019
And whatever this is:
-37.4078, 175.86 pic.twitter.com/4chwKMOxFX— This, Too, Shall Pass (@afleetingworld) September 4, 2019
There is one way to get the fifth and final copy of This, Too, Shall Pass, which is to bid for it by planting trees. Whoever plants the most trees (via the link, not just in your back yard) gets the game. Simple, and also fascinating. I’m not sure a game’s distribution has ever caught my attention before, but I’m so glad that it did.
Moreover, while there’s no limit on copies of the monochrome alternative that I played, I can’t tell you exactly how much it costs. As of right now, it’s $14.95, but it changes monthly based on average global temperatures. So it’ll probably go up. (Accordingly, at least $10 of the purchase also goes towards tree planting, in an attempt to not have the price get so high that, you know, civilisation collapses.)
This, Too, Has Passed is available to download via itch.io.