Leaving (iOS / Android)Reviews
We take a look at Mimicry Games' latest 'experiential' title.
Leaving is the latest reflective experience from independent developers Mimicry Games that tries to play out the moment you make a huge change in your life. Taking place in an airport, the aim is to, basically, leave. You check-in, you say goodbye to your friends and family, you go through passport control, you leave. It's not just a clever name.
There aren't any reasons for leaving, there's no back-story or exposition or any crude forced constructs to try and make you 'feel'. Leaving will work for you or it won't. Plodding through the unusually quiet airport in first-person perspective towards the check-in desk with your buddies dutifully and silently tailing your moves is a strange and reflective venture.
As far as gameplay is concerned, there's not much to fiddle with. You simply point where you want to head, or slide your fingers across the screen to interact with solemn-faced characters. Unfortunately, Leaving's beautifully sombre world is very limited at the moment, but with further environmental interaction, this could be even more magical. Its muted grace becomes overly sentimental with an emotion-laden poem read out as you make your way around the twisty turns of a peculiarly empty passport queue, but it never tips over the edge into melodrama. Its final, quiet scenes full of hope, expectation and wonder are likely to strike home, and do so with a subtle finesse.
Maybe if you've never left anywhere, Leaving won't do anything for you. But, we've all hit a crossroads in our lives, and Leaving is about the moment you take the leap – not the decision. It's unlike any other game, it's the bridging moment between two set-pieces of a life. There's nothing before or after.
Developer Thomas J Papa from Mimicry Games has delivered something extraordinary from something blandly ordinary. Its purpose is to resonate, cause reflection, and leave a lasting impact. Leaving is a short, but important, piece of work that further underlines the majesty of subtlety and artistry in gaming that can get lost under yelping marines and complicated load-outs. Of course, if that's your bag, Leaving will likely leave you wanting to shoot a yelping marine via a complicated load-out.
We're not daft, it won't be for everyone – but it is different, unusual and brave. If you thought Heavy Rain was a dull-em-up, best leave Leaving alone. But if you think you'd enjoy a game about leaving in which you do absolutely nothing except leave, then we encourage you to download Leaving, because there's lots of leaving in it. Insert quip about its lasting impression never 'leaving' you.
Download Leaving now for iOS devices.