Bottom Floor, Going Down.

The phone rings.

An anonymous tone repeated ad nauseam until your fingers grip the plastic to asphyxiate the sound and it becomes silent. An elevator forever going down, forecasting a life once lived now deemed maculate and it bears repeating, repeating, repeating. You know the saying: “Don’t sign your life away.” But your John Hancock is needed before I can show you more. Sign quickly. We have much to see.

You’re doomed to remember That Night, Steeped By Blood River. Leaving the elevator and checking into the front desk of a mysterious, lo-fi, aesthetically crunchy hotel of memories. Several rooms sprawl through long hallways that invite openly with articulated events from the past, each room melting into a concoction of abrasive colors: like spinal fluid poured onto a visual equalizer. Long drives through the mountains to embrace the temptation of coins dispensing from slot machines, the harsh neon blues swirling around all four walls keeping you a prisoner of luck and circumstance.

You know why you’re here.

The circle of life is only fun half the time. Your ink in the pen was used to certify the matrimony of two souls intertwined. To certify the creation of 274 days of patience until parturition. To certify memories to lay peacefully 6 feet deep. You ask yourself if the years before were worth the years ahead, when each night spirals into a whirlwind of forgotten promises, irrecoverable dreams, and the dreaded, deafening loneliness.

The television buzzes.

A remote lays flat on the table as you observe the prominence of the value of color in art and nature. The inclusion of white and black into any color can change its value. The similarities start to bleed into your past thoughts and lifestyles: a 1960s university school study gently performs a therapeutic waltz of how dark and light moments in life can change the value of you. How one sees color is in the eye of the beholder. How one handles trauma is in the eye of the bystander. Thoughts and Prayers. Thoughts and Prayers. Thoughts are the Prayers. Pray the Thoughts go away.

You start to finally see it.

There was always a quick way out. Remember how your life was: speed forward, tunnel through and let the black paint seep into your canvas. Let the elevator take you lower, and pass by the river of Blood. You would’ve done it that Night.

Or.

Take what Taylor Swietanski slathers onto her canvas. Relive the memories that plague you, but venture deeper to find meaning and reasoning. Even a drop of white can lighten the value of the darkest painting, so work diligently to find the way to tip that paint can even further. Embrace this abstract lo-fi puzzle game that plunges deep into your heart and reassures that even in moments like this, where everyone is dealing with their own personal issues invoked by an unfortunate circumstance or a particularly hellish year, that the values of dark and light are necessary to create a beautiful picture. Whether on a 45 minute walking simulator, or in your own everyday life. Because a wise game creator once said,

“Hope you’re doing well in your own Hell.”

Reviewed on itch.io.