When a parent abandons their child the media, rightly so, goes crazy. Documentaries are made exploring the pain the child went through and demonizing those who left them behind. When a person abandons their pet, it is normal. People abandoned their pets every day but there is no media fan fair. Stories will appear on our social media time-line and they briefly tug at our heart strings. Those responsible will be called monsters but will be barely punished. We accept animal cruelty as a day to day occurrence. Till the Dawn, Waiting shows a whole new side to animal abandonment. For the first time it gets you thinking about an animal’s thoughts and feelings, as you would do if they were human.
Love, loyalty and betrayal
The reason why many people love dogs is because of their loyalty. No matter what, they will always love you. Till the Dawn, waiting is a game that shows the experience of a dog, Barney, who has been left behind. You choose your dialogue to advance through the game, but no matter what you chose you can always see the love this pup has for his owner.
It is this loyalty in a time of such betrayal that makes this game so hard hitting. The demo was only 10 minutes or so long and yet had me blubbering like a baby. You truly find your self in Barney’s position. Even though we are wise enough to know what the likelihood is in this situation, you end up choosing the more optimistic dialogue choices. It is an attempt to cling on to the idea of a happy ending.
Till the Dawn, Waiting portrays the innocence and dependence on us our pets have. It shows how stranded and alone animals must feel when left behind. Using a mixture of Barney’s thoughts and his interactions with other animals, it beautifully guides you through an array of emotions.
A heartbreaking story, but what about the game?
As a story I can fault nothing in this game. As a game, I was not a fan of its pacing at times things just seemed very slow. Every now and then a cut scene would state the passage of time. These were very effective and really made you feel sympathetic as to how long Barney has been waiting. Unfortunately sometimes they just seemed to occur too often. This really slowed down the game, especially when little to no development had happened since the last one.
This is a minor issue in an otherwise solid game. I enjoyed the use of the arrow keys to select dialogue and how it wasn’t just a pure dialogue game. Visually it was pleasing and really showed the strength of the story, as I was getting emotional over a dog with more edges than a hectagon. The minimalistic art style meant the game had to rely on the story to make the characters seem real. This is a risky move but Till the Dawn, Waiting defiantly pulled it off!
Don’t leave Till the Dawn, Waiting behind
Available on Steam from the 12th January Till the Dawn, Waiting is a game that you should definitely play. It is emotional and gets you thinking about things you would never consider. The message of the game is a strong one and one that needs to be heard.
Unlike a story on your Facebook feed Till the Dawn, Waiting really sticks with you. It is not a game you will be quick to forget. So get your tissues ready and get set for a roller-coaster of emotions.