Being asked about past relationships can stir up mixed feelings for certain people, they might not be willing to discuss what happened. Most people keep it to themselves and dwelling on something like that can hurt more than it actually heals. Solo is a game which poses some of the most introspective questions about past relationships, it’s concerned about what could have caused the break-up, and seeks not to make you feel bad while doing so. Solo is a departure from the games which Team Gotham typically makes, and ultimately is their most ambitious title to date.
The environments in Solo are beautiful, they are something out of a watercolor painting. Going to the next island is intriguing, only to figure out what the next puzzle is. Most of the time, they involve moving these boxes to find a way to this wooden tower. After you answer a simple question about a past relationship, and the ghost of your former partner. Watching this over and over across a dozen makes an impact on you. It makes you reminisce about this past relationship and making you curious about what went wrong.
These questions ride the line of being negative about your decisions, and sometimes it asks questions about how to open yourself to other aspects of your relationship. Questions about how open you are to polygamy, and if the relationship’s fault was a part of the culture you found yourself in. These questions are very introspective, and make you think about what you are truly set on. And maybe the things which may drive your curiosity forward, and what you might really what to have in a relationship. Depending on how you answer these questions, you will find journals in small tents. These journals provide a strange insight from someone who may have been to these islands or they slowly build to what you tell the game.
Each island all present a different set of challenges, all providing an incremental ramp in difficulty. Slowly making your way and unlocking the islands. The puzzles that I was able to are revolving around moving these crates to get to these wooden towers. Some of the crates would propel you into the air, which allowed you to parachute across some gaps. These puzzles feel really rewarding, and they keep you playing. Wanting more, seeing what is on the next island and what it holds for you. Only to venture over there, and mind a more complex puzzle than the last one kept me playing. The puzzles ramp up their difficulty in the best way, Solo didn’t drop an extremely hard puzzle on me suddenly. It built of what the game told me and made it feel intuitive.
I spoke with Juan De La Torre, an artist with Team Gotham, he spoke of a member of the team going through a very bad break-up. And how he kept it to himself and felt that if actually spoke out about it he would feel better. This is something which helped Team Gotham pursue tackling this theme and wanted to have this deep introspection with themselves. Truly wanting every player to have a different experience, and seek something inside themselves to change.
Solo is a game that I wasn’t expecting to make such a big impact on me, I knew the premise of the game. But I left the demo falling in love with the game, and the themes it was tackling. It was something which I saw the beauty in both the world and the personal story it was telling.
Solo will be available to purchase on April 26, 2018, and you can play it on Steam.