Escapism is a big part of our stress-inundated culture. For most people, vacations are enough to “reload” your batteries and come back fresh to your daily routine; but you sometimes still hear of those that straight up disappear for an… uncertain amount of time, at an uncertain location.
Solitude is a very short game about the life of such individual: an office worker that decides to get out of his life to become a shepherd in the middle of the woods, of all things. His road to peace of mind is not a lonely one, though, and you still have to help other people out. In exchange, many will learn from you, and join you as sheeple in your quest for a higher meaning.
This all happens as you simply point, click, and walk through the surreal dioramas that have become of your forest office as time passes, and you become as much of a part of the place as the place becomes one with its surroundings: with enough time, the foliage enters the building, ultimately substituting the curated with live wood, and the scenery is completed with your herd, circling around your place as they grow bigger in both numbers and enlightenment.
The whole game feels like a metaphor of many ideas as society and religion, yet it touches a very familiar place: a simple desire to leave behind everything you don’t like, and go for a simpler lifestyle along whatever decides it’s ok. Solitude is a calm title, with calm gameplay and music, which gives you a very unique version of classic, often uncomfortable fantasy.
Solitude is available on Itch.io; Rat King (actually 2 lone developers) ask for any donation you can hand over, but a minimum of 2$ is required to get the game, which in its whole is around half an hour of your time.
So, consider it a small, refreshing experience akin to trying a new coffee or dessert.