Driving games have a sort of uncategorizable mystique, which has over the years come in myriad flavors. Something about the experience of driving, or perhaps its situational surrounds, serves as a passage ritual, representing a journey not merely through space but also through the psyche.
The Interlude, on the other hand, self-identifies as an anti-thriller and is all about the space between those dramatic highs and lows found elsewhere, it is the eye through which we needle our narrative thread.
The game opens cold, infront of you and suspended in the void is your trusty ‘Lokia’ phone, you clumsily punch out a message on your T9 keypad:
The car interior snaps into your periphery, information overload, the radio kicks on, a world-building buffet as your eyes draw across empty soda cans and old newspapers in the back seat. You flip through your inbox to find a message with instructions stating that if it takes any longer than the 10:50 deadline for your figurative partner in crime to appear, the meeting is a no-go. Drifting to the upper right hand corner of the phone, you take note that it’s 10:47, dread sets in… tension rises… you start to worry.
Yet… somehow everything is so calm. It’s cozy, you feel the cool wind drift from the air conditioner diligently keeping the hot aussie night at bay outside the car. Time passes so slowly… you begin to explore your domain, soaking up the atmosphere, fidgeting with the windshield wipers, flashing the lights on and off, and aimlessly turning the steering wheel from left to right.
Like any youth spent in your parents car, you soon realize once the tables are turned it’s no less boring in your wise maturity to wait in a car. Sure, it’s a nice car, it’s your car, but it’s still nonetheless a car with only you in it, merely a vehicle for your ambitions, a faithful chariot with coffee stained upholstery.
And that…… smell…. what’s that smell? It’s… stale like old cookies, savory cookies…. it smells like a grandpa’s wallet…? This thing’s a mess, and you just got it detailed! Your friends always used to say that with the way you live you need your own personal janitor following you everywhere…….. Ugh, opening up the airflow doesn’t help…. There has to be something stuck in the vents… where were you? Oh right, here, in the present, the now.
It’s past 10:50… and suddenly you get a text… is it them? Are they even real? maybe this is a prank and now they’re switching songs on the radio. Don’t get distracted… but you’re so bored. Ugh. *Click Click Click, Tap Tap Tap* Now they’re on the way… late.
Maybe you’ll open up Snake, maybe you’ll go through your settings and cycle through ringtones or load up that joke of an internet app you’ve already read 50 times, maybe you’ll go home early.
After all, it’s about the journey, not the destination….. right?
Go show the team some love, check out ‘The Interlude’ on itch
Emily Rose is an indie developer who writes for rebind.io and resides in the pacific northwest. She’s often seen in the local VR arcade and developer community participating in pushing the medium’s horizons. You can find her on twitter @caravanmalice