What would you do if all time came to a halt? With no way forward into the future, how would one have any sense of place? To know when to eat, when to sleep, when to embark on new endeavors and to shed the shackles of listless melancholy.
Most of us would likely find ourselves adrift, succumbing to boundless ennui and without ambition, now unable to sense the changing of the seasons or feel the delicate touch of the sun’s rays. We would have no choice but to put our faith into someone, anyone, who might put things right and set the hands of our once great clock tower in motion once more.
Moments To Midnight is a small hero’s tale, but not the kind many of us are accustomed to. Set within the confines of a sleepy village on the edge of a wispy forest, Moments puts you into the fuzzy feet of a nameless Fox who finds themselves gaining consciousness the moment the story begins. Without purpose or meaning, you must seek out the prophecy of the clocktower and find a way to restore the natural flow of time in order to set the townspeople’s hearts at ease.
Whether it’s the gorgeous soundtrack put together by Aaron Cherof or the way pixelated firs dance in response to the gentle wind, Moments serves an exceptionally sublime atmospheric backdrop to the piece’s thoughtful ruminations on the role of fate. There are no great battles to be fought here, nor sweeping high fantasy epics to be sung throughout the ages by those who remember, but instead a humble amnesiac uncertain of their objective, or, for that matter, if they even have one.
Micro-fiction games serve a unique purpose amongst their peers, that of short experiments which allow us to glimpse into worlds that seem far greater than they are, both in scope and in theme, to allow us to dream beyond the confines of mundane digital reality.
Inspired by the Ludum Dare Jam #45, Moments is a work that continues to prove the value of focused development on small vignettes with extreme polish. Like a folk tale or an anecdote, these focused projects enable artists to stretch their wings, learn to work in a rapid prototyping cycle, and build up meaningful relationships as a group of artists. In a sense, the lifecycle of a game jam project reflects the themes found within, allowing the little heroes inside all of us to flourish within the memories of those we touch along our journey.
Well, old friend, when the clock strikes midnight once more- indeed if it strikes midnight once more, perhaps you will finally find what you’re looking for. Moments can be found on itch.io, and it is most certainly worth your time.
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