Heal: Pocket Edition is his latest, and it tells the tale of an elderly man suffering from dementia. Solo developer Jesse Makkonen has put out some of the best horror games of the last few years, so any new release from him is cause for celebration.
While it outwardly looks to be a sizable departure from his earlier work, it does appear to carry over the intensity and escalating unease of the Distraint series. Its world is highly abstract, operating on pure nightmare logic, which acts as a way to explore the protagonist’s condition.
Characters of a certain age are very rarely the focus in the world of video games, but that’s slowly changing with the release of titles like The Stillness of the Wind and now Heal.
You’ll spend your time here solving puzzles that revolve around items dotted throughout the protagonist’s home. Clocks, telephones, and other everyday household objects become multi-layered conundrums to crack.
There’s said to be very little by way of dialogue or obvious exposition, with the man’s tale instead unfolding through environmental storytelling and the game’s obscure atmosphere.
Harry’s review of Distraint 2 was fairly glowing, calling it “a smart adventure, a harrowing experience, and occasionally quite funny as well”, before awarding it a strong Silver Rating.
If you want a game that “sucks you in, chews you up, and then spits you out”, be sure to give it a go.