In Between for PC, XONE and etc. is an atmospheric, two-dimensional logic-platformer game offering an extensive plot, which focuses on death and coming to terms with it. The game was created by Gentlymad - an independent German developer awarded a set of prizes at several indie game festivals for this particular title.
The player is put in the shoes of a nameless man suffering from a malignant lung cancer, though he is just over 30 years old. When the player is acquainted with the protagonist, he is already in the last stage of this terrible sickness. He moves around the hospital in a wheelchair and he is aware that the fight is lost and all he is left with is several weeks of time. Facing the inevitable, the protagonist asks himself many questions typical for such circumstances. He takes up a trial to bring his life to account and the player's task is to help him. One is required to make their way through 60 different levels – each presents a metaphorical take on the protagonist's experiences and emotions.
In terms of the mechanics, In Between for PC, XONE and etc. is a typical logic-platformer game. Each of the sixty levels requires the player to make their way from the starting point to the portal at the exit. The player encounters a set of traps and puzzles on their way. Puzzle solving here is based on manipulating environmental objects and playing with gravity, which makes it possible for the protagonist to move across walls or ceilings as well. The game is divided into five chapters - these differ in mechanics to a reduced degree, gradually placing new challenges in front of the player.
The entire gameplay here is a subject to an extraordinary story, which makes the player eager to continue even despite the problems solving the puzzles may cause. The creators were inspired by a popular, though controversial, psychological concept behind one's reaction when they realize the death is coming inevitably - this was once described by an American psychiatrist and thanatologist - Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. The said five chapters symbolize five stages of coming to terms with death she describes, namely denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Each of the chapters makes references to important events from the protagonist's life, which creates a mini-biography and a psychological portrait of a man who is terminally ill.
In Between for PC, XONE and etc. stands out with its hand-drawn, two-dimensional graphics with an old-school flavour. However, the visuals create an appropriate atmosphere for the serious theme this game carries. The gameplay is accompanied by a suggestive soundtrack and voice acting. Although the latter is rather minimalistic, it conveys both the protagonist's feelings and his state of mind in a convincing manner.
PC / Windows
- Intel Core 2 Duo 2 GHz
- 2 GB RAM
- graphic card Intel HD 4000 or better
- 1 GB HDD
- Windows 7