Moral Obligation in Don’t Take This Risk

I downloaded this game by Poison Apple Tales on a whim based on the screen shot of the menu. I had no idea what was in store for me, nor any idea what the game was about. Unless I’m on the fence about something, I tend to stay away from promotional material, letting my high-quality visual acumen be the judge of what game I will play next.

Thankfully, Don’t Take This Risk comes with a warning that gives me a glimpse into the journey the player is about to take.

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It took me a while to click to continue.

After this, it goes without saying that there is a big trigger warning when approaching Don’t Take This Risk and I want to underline that here. I played through three times, the first two time I earned the same ending, #1, out of a possible nine. On the third play through, I earned ending #2. I wasn’t able to sit through ending #1 a second time. This game, in the early areas at least, is devoid of graphical distractions. It’s just you and another voice and this blackness erases any visual stimulation. The player and the character are connected only through language, verbal or written, and this makes for a more exhilarating experience. On the first play through, my heart raced a bit as I struggled to answer questions within the time limit, yet on the second, I found myself rushing through the character responses so I could get to a place to make a different choice. Still, after earning ending #1 again, I was troubled enough to take out my ear buds while the ending “happened.” Even the second time, the emotional work wore me down.

I can’t and won’t speak to the other options in Don’t Take This Risk, as I don’t want to lead you down one path or the other. Yet, if you do decide to play this game, please be warned that it deals with disturbing subjects such as abusive relationships and suicide. If those hit too close to home, feel free to take a pass.

The Quiet Beauty of A Raven Monologue

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It’s not a game. You’re objective is to listen, not necessarily to dialog (there is none, though there is a wonderfully mournful song that plays while you watch. “A Raven Monologue” by Mojiken Studio is, per the description at Itch.io: “a short experimental silent story about a raven that does not know how to croak and his relationship with the people in the town.” The illustrations are masterful, part art deco, part Edward Gorey (my art critique game is weak) and compelling. The song by Christabel Annora is haunting and well-suited to the muted colors and melancholy undertones of the “Monologue.” I found myself drawn into this drawn world and heartsick when I had to leave. If you find the experience as wonderful as I have, please tip the creator the $3 to get the fan pack. These image will be decorating my monitors for a while.

Rating: Buy