04/12/2019

๐Ÿง ๐Ÿ’ฌ Fractured Minds | Nintendo Switch | Review | "An Important Short Video Game On The Subject Of Mental Health" ๐Ÿง ๐Ÿ’ฌ @EmilyMGames #GameDev #IndieGames

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Created by Emily Mitchell, a teenager who turned towards game development as a way of having an outlet for her stress and anxieties, Fractured Minds is a short - around half an hour in length - first-person puzzle game split into six chapters, each which look at specific scenarios that are designed to resonate with to those that suffer from or are close to those with mental health-related issues.
At only £1.99, I would personally say that it is worth your time and money - not just because the proceeds are split with a percentage going towards the charity Safe In Our World (link at the bottom of this article) – but the game stayed with me for a while afterwards, not specifically because it resonated with me emotionally but because I was interested in the topic that the game is about and also the developers’ reasons for designing the title.
Fractured Minds is a game which has very linear and specific goals designed to put you in the frame of mind of someone who may see the world differently and in this regard, it was a mixed bag for me.
Although I could understand the metaphors playing out in each sequence and I was impressed by the game when taken purely as a young developer’s first title, I had no emotional connection or personal context to the situations taking place.

For me, the connection to the material didn’t come from playing the game and feeling a resonation that echoed my personal experiences; my enjoyment came from discussing the game with others and getting a fuller understanding of mental health as a whole based on my relative disconnection with the narrative.
These conversations included a friend of mine who has experience in these matters due to being a counsellor and it was during this particular chat that I realised that the game had been successful for me, in that I was learning more about the issues that the game is based around and that for me was an enriching experience.
I personally am lucky enough to not suffer from depression or anxiety and so I wouldn’t like to comment on how the game will affect the people that do deal with such things on a daily basis, from a technical perspective, the game runs relatively smoothly with a quite stripped-back visual style whilst the gameplay is, as previously stated, quite linear and very direct.

Each sequence is pretty clear with what has to happen in order to progress and the chapters culminating in a sort of final ‘boss battle’ which makes the developer’s narrative intentions very clear.

I have to admit to not fully understanding the meaning of some points in this short title but that could be down to me not having the first-hand experience with the issues being explored.

Awareness is a pivotal part of understanding the struggles of others, especially when they are not so easily seen from an external perspective. Emily has created an important short game that feels like a great launchpad not only for her career but for discussions around the topic of mental health and that is to be applauded. I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes next from her.

More information on Safe in our World can be found at www.safeinourworld.org

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