You’re drifting on an ocean, or maybe it’s a lake… All you know is that you can’t remember how you got here or what happened.. You’re floating in a Sea of Solitude.
Sea of Solitude, a title created by Jo-Mei Games an independent development studio is a tale that explores many different themes. .
These themes align themselves heavily with mental health, allowing the player to peak into a world where demons and monsters are not mythical creatures spawned from a fantasy world. Instead they are developed from our own feelings and how we perceive our surroundings and sometimes in extreme circumstances, the monsters may be us.
The game itself is relatable because of this fact, painting a picture of eloquently designed loneliness and suffering that we as humans experience throughout our lives. It weaves together the troubles of everyday life, whether that be in the realm of adolescence through bickering carried out in young love, through the corridors of school walls where hurtful daggers shoot themselves out of young and harsh mouths or maybe, even marriage telling the story of two people who simply lost themselves along the way.
The story is where this title thrives, it exists as its own entity and breathes life into all other elements, ranging from the soundtrack to the gameplay mechanics, all feeding into creating this experience that is based solely on how each player perceives the story. The magic is in how Sea of Solitude created these dynamic characters that maybe you can see in yourself. This is so easy to do because each of them carry strong pieces of certain emotions that shape their entire character, maybe it’s hurt, guilt, anger, or even helplessness. Creating a vision of what it means to be human and suffer means we can relate and empathize with what’s going on.
This game wasn’t just a journey, it itself was an entire roller coaster of experiences which knew how to venture inside the players head, and while it taught the characters, also worked to teach us as humans how to forgive, heal and move on from things. These things being the collections of pain that we’ve picked up throughout our lives, and carried along with us as unneeded baggage, because we haven’t looked back for long enough to see how much we’re actually carrying.
The experience was metaphoric, in the sense of Kay not knowing why, even after trying to fix everyone’s problem, she remained a monster. Or even standing out in the subtle details of a backpack that grew heavier on her as she collected other peoples darkness, not noticing how large it had actually grown and how that eventually changes how she can move.
Sea of Solitude expresses many things, but in it’s most basic form it expresses this open ended ability to be able to take an experience and put it out into the world in a way that speaks to people. To be able to show people that even when they feel most alone, there is someone there that understands is compassionate and sometimes just knowing that fact can be something someone needs. I feel like this game, putting aside all the other things, does that very thing and that’s what makes it so powerful.
Because at the end of the day, isn’t that what we as humans want, simply to know that we aren’t alone and that what we feel is understood and felt by others too.
The game itself is a piece of art that from what I’ve read has also spoke to many other people as it spoke to me, and because of that I’m going to rate it, sincere.