This story is both rough and delicate. As repulsive as it is endearing. Melancholy and joyful. But most of all it is a tale that is deeply human and profoundly singular. So let me introduce this young blind boy, who from birth, has only ever perceived the world in black and white. – Désiré Narrator
This is a powerful game that speaks to darker side of humanity. All the issues and problems that people often choose to ignore or forget. It is a game that I highly recommend despite it being repulsive at times. The ending is beautiful and completes a full circle and will leave the player slack-jawed at the craziness of Désiré’s life.
The game tells spans across the life of Désiré, a young man who is color blind by birth and is constantly either pitied or bullied for his inability to see colors. Each act deals with a different period of his life, beginning with primary school.
Bullied and ostracized, Désiré’s 12 year old way of dealing with his anger is to ‘get back’ at his school bully by taking a picture of the poor kid fapping to a poster of a naked woman that Désiré stole from his dad’s lab. He then prints 50 copies of it using an access card that he obtained by trading illegal porn (and by illegal, I mean underage) with his school priest. The porn he got from his psychiatrist who is supposed to be helping with his social anxiety problems. It escalated very quickly.
But wait, there’s more.
Fast forward to the next act when Desire is in his 20s and he’s trying to get with a pretty young lady who lets him see “color” for the first time. I think this is just a poetic way of saying, “she’s really hot.” To make her happy, he takes a severance pay, orchestrates the firing of a coworker, arranges a BDSM night for another coworker, and has a philosophical debate on modern feminism with a third- ALL for this one woman who ultimately ghosts him for a one night stand.
In his 30s, Desire finds the body of his friend Damien, who committed suicide because of his lifelong struggle with being attracted to children. Is it fucked up? Yes, very. Is it sad? Heart wrenchingly so.
By now, you’re probably wondering who in their right minds would play such a game because it clearly touches are multiple taboo and uncomfortable topics.
Désiré takes on a stoic approach of “this is reality, this shit is happening in real life and people actually suffer through this.” The amount of social issues that Désiré touches on could fill a library: Child abuse, mental health, bullying, gender equality, homosexuality, sexual deviance, social anxiety, breakups, even casually brushes over bestiality. It does not glorify these issues but the rather presents them in a way that is perhaps even more shocking. It is realistic.
Realistic in that posting pictures of a 12 year old fapping in a school bathroom can ruin that kids life and prevent him from ever finding a stable job. Realistic in that homophobia and misogynists still exist and cause a world of hurt to many people. That those who suffer from mental illnesses are often mistreated, neglected and forgotten in society. That child abuse is the worse form of it all and it destroys the child and, as this game suggests, can also destroy those that find themselves with the wrong kind of desires. Unfortunately, the chances of getting psychological help and rehabilitation for these desires are slim, simply because it is taboo.
There are many controversial, difficult and downright repulsive scenes but as the narrator suggests- you can’t help but feel empathy for Désiré because he like many of us are trying to make sense of this chaotic world. He’s a pretty messed up kid, but then again aren’t we all.
Basic point and click puzzle game. Find items and merge them to create a new item to unlock the next area. It was frustrating at certain points of the game because I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to click and just basically spammed the LMB until something happened. Perhaps a hint system like highlighting an item after a set period of time would help a lot. In the first act, I had to run between five areas and click everything before I figured out that I had missed a conversation prompt.
The graphics were uncluttered and simple enough that you can eventually figure out what you need to do. I liked the graphics, they were well drawn and contributed to the solemn atmosphere. The first few scenes of colour really emphasized how grey everything was for Désiré. Imagine a world without color. How sad would that be?
The music was beautifully done and the one song where a woman is singing was very fitting for the scene that it played in. You can hear it in the trailer below but OMG is it good. The background music for the rest of the game were piano pieces that were really helped set the melancholy mood. It was not repetitive and it was soothing to listen to.
I recommend this game, I really do. It is a beautiful game that makes you feel and sigh. It is a story that is “deeply human” indeed.