As a neurodivergent person, I have a number of unique ways of thinking and processing information. I also, occasionally, suffer from depression.
Gaming provides a great respite for me (along with writing code, photography, and a whole bunch of other things). Sometimes, however, I need something a little different.. Something with a delivery that has a certain kind of positivity to offset negativity in my mind.
Right now, that game is Kena: Bridge of Spirits.
First: The graphics are simply beautiful. As a gamer, I like games with nice graphics. In this case, though, it isn’t just the general aesthetics and quality of rendering, but the storytelling through the visuals.
There’s a certain bit of evil you’ve got to cleanse from the forest: This nastiness desaturates colors and overall has a “this is bad” look.
When you cleanse that nastiness you get a wash of color coming back, and it feels good when I’m not feeling the same.
Next is the extra characters: The rot.
The rot are these adorable lemming-like critters that just ooze positivity.. and they follow you around. One rides on your shoulder, and will even hop on your head while you’re swimming across a body of water. They help you in fights, and perform tasks for you as you explore the world.
I’m not typically a big fan of cutesy stuff, but the rot? Yeah, I’ll cuddle with that.
Finally, the gameplay is just right.
It’s got difficulty options, which is absolutely critical for me as my physical impairments occasionally keep me from being able to complete objectives such as combat or anything else that requires quick reactions.
Even then, on the “normal” difficulty, it’s plenty easy.
On top of that, the puzzles are perfect. There is no direct hand-holding, but the puzzles themselves are simple, and you have freedom to try stuff to solve them. That engages me in a way not entirely unlike writing code does: The answer is there, and I just have to find it. I’m not ordinarily a puzzle person given I spend a lot of time solving puzzles in code and the like, but these are delivered in a nice fashion where you can look around and try things with little to no consequence.
So, if you’re feeling down, or need something simple to engage your mind without frustrating you, give Kena: Bridge of Spirits a try.