Video games are at their best when they’re pushing the boundaries. This is an industry in its cultural infancy – the top selling charts are rarely about more than guns, cars or football – but the potential for interactive storytelling is limitless. Where are the games that make us think? That make us feel?
A Song for Viggo is looking to fill that gap.
That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of great indie games out there doing the same, but something about A Song for Viggo just makes it stand out. Maybe it’s the game’s papercrafted presentation. Maybe it’s the game’s heavy subject matter: a father dealing with guilt of accidentally killing his own son.
Both are unexpected, but it’s the latter that really shakes us up.
You play as Steve, and as the game begins it’s up to you to book your son’s funeral. You are going to have to do it yourself, because your wife, Karen, falls sinks into a deep depression following the passing of Viggo.
A Song for Viggo isn’t about being a hero; it’s about processing the emotional aftermath of a tragedy.
The game’s presentation seems designed to complement the story, and not just because of the “unfolding depression” tagline that the developers sent our way. Steve’s wife Karen deals with her depression by learning piano, subsequently providing the only music you’ll find in the A Song for Viggo.
Your goal is to maintain everyday life, despite the tragic circumstances. Be there for your daughter. Put food on the table. Do the dishes. Keep your marriage together. The struggles are of a psychological, rather than mechanical, nature. There is only one puzzle. It’s called life.
A Song for Viggo is currently on Kickstarter, aiming for a very reasonable $20,000 goal. If you’re as interested as we are in games that challenge the medium to be something better, you can pledge here.