November 07, 2018

PAX Australia - Hands on with The Stillness of the Wind

One of the anchors of the PAX Australia indie section over the past few years has been Surprise Attack games, this year though, they changed things up a little. Recently they went through a name change and are now known as Fellow Traveller and with that change, came a more defined focus on the games they help bring to market, now while they had a number of games on show, I checked out two of them and I am glad I did, one of them was a game called The Stillness of the Wind.

One of the best parts of any game, for me at least, is the ability to just do mindless tasks and not worry about advancing the plot, or even trying to hit a target for whatever reason the game has given me. The Stillness of the Wind is a game that feeds that piece of me, as you play as Talma, a grandma, who lives in her little house, surrounded by her tiny farm, complete with a few chickens and two goats, in the middle of the desert, that is it. Occasionally another person will swing by to deliver mail and partake in the age-old tradition of trade, but it is just you and your farm, and the idea is to just survive.

As the day begins, I started out planting some seeds, then trying to find water, without seeing any source around me, I decided to go and get some eggs from the hen house, then milk the goats for their milk, which I in turn used to make cheese. With that underway, I heard a shout from outside and heading out there, resulted in my meeting with the post guy, who handed me a letter from one of my relatives from the city, letter in hand, the man left and I went back to trying to get my farm in order, sadly, by the time I had gotten used to the tools, the sun was setting, so inside I went to have some dinner, just some eggs fried and then it was letter time.

The next morning, I repeated the opening actions, but was able to find out where the water was, in a well, that was well off screen. After taking the bucket all the way out there, getting water and walking all the way back, I ran into the mail guy at the gate, another letter in hand, we traded some of my eggs for some new seeds and he was on his way. I planted the seeds and then watered them, before heading to check on my cheese. As it was crafted well, it went on the shelf with some other wheels of cheese, before I headed back out to work on my tilling some soil, again, I did not get much done, before the sun began to set.

While the demo started on another day, I had to wrap it up, as I had another booking, but the cycle of the game had me hooked. Trying to work out the best way of getting as much done in a day, was something I was thinking about, even a few days after PAX Australia ended. The simple visuals, may look basic, but they hold a very tight art style within, to the point where if you just left it running, it could be mistaken for a piece of art.

The Stillness of the Wind is a game that doubly impressed me, not only is a game about living a day at a time, which can be played in bursts, it also has the plus side of being simple to learn, but complex to master. Knowing what choices to make is something that I can’t wait to do when the game is released in full, so if it sounds something you might like, be sure to put THIS GAME on your list to watch.

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