This piece accommodates spoilers for Far Altering Tides.
What would you cling to in a world the place you don’t have anything? The long run, maybe? The hope that in the future, sometime, this too would move? What would it not take so that you can preserve placing one foot in entrance of the opposite when nothing on this frigid place can rustle up sufficient enthusiasm to care should you reside or die?
It turned out to be a carousel that I clung to. A carousel, then a duck, then a crudely carved deer, and eventually a tiny ballerina in a field, the determine eternally frozen in a pirouette. I hung them on the hooks positioned strategically all through my caravan-cum-ship-cum-best-friend, however all the time on those farthest away from the furnace, as if storing them distant meant I would by no means should burn them. It isn’t that I did not care in regards to the issues I did sacrifice to the hungry engine. It was unattainable to collect the discarded baggage and never marvel about who packed them and the place they have been now. However the deer and the duck and the ballerina symbolised one thing else, I believe. By storing them individually from the remainder of the junk I picked up alongside the way in which, I used to be making a alternative. I used to be selecting to maintain them secure for the longer term. As a result of there was a future – and I used to be selecting to outlive.
Ostensibly, Far Altering Tides is a journey journey, a sport the place you puzzle over rusty levers, curious buttons, and odd little stress plates to work out tips on how to carry on truckin’. Your unusual locomotive is delightfully cellular, in a position to glide throughout the water, roll throughout the sands, and even dive beneath the waves as you’re employed your manner throughout a damaged, silent metropolis. And like its pleasant predecessor, Far Lone Sails, Altering Tides weaves a painfully temporary and briefly painful story of affection and loss and grief.
However survival is what sits on the coronary heart of Far Altering Tides. Survival is what retains you placing one foot in entrance of the opposite, even when it feels hopeless: particularly when it feels hopeless. The metaphors won’t really feel notably abstruse as you slide into inky depths and trample by means of empty houses the place there’s nothing and nobody that can assist you piece collectively what the hell went mistaken right here.
However later, simply as issues really feel impossibly grim, a patchworked balloon unexpectedly picks you up. It lifts you up by means of the water, then the waves, then up, up – all the way in which up! – into the clouds. For one temporary, wonderful reprieve – floating so near the pale blue sky you possibly can nearly contact it – you realise you possibly can rise above all of it; the darkness, the coldness, the harm, the loneliness. It is miles away now! All of a sudden, your world is huge. Infinite. Brilliant and heat. You start to assume that you could be make it.
After which the balloon sinks. Imperceptibly at first, however then much less so. You realise that the crude scaffold that was holding your ship collectively – holding you collectively – is crumbling away. The euphoric respite ebbs away as your on-screen companion bodily and metaphorically floats again all the way down to earth once more.
However you will survive this. Identical to the final time. Identical to the subsequent. Whether or not you select to cherish the duck or burn the carousel or just throw away the carved deer, it does not matter, does it? Stuff is simply stuff, and you may do no matter it’s important to survive. To maintain combating. To maintain transferring. As a result of somebody someplace is on the market ready for you. And that is what makes this unassuming little puzzle sport such an absolute delight.