Explore a world of perpetual winter, guided by curiosity and a well-meaning fox, in Close.
When it comes to depicting winter in games, it is hard to do so without also symbolising an end of things and the sadness that comes with it. Close, a slow-paced exploration game, takes a snow-coated nature and fills it with wonder and mystery — giving the white, stretching landscapes a touch of the same magic that captivates us when we are consumed by wanderlust.
There were two monitors running Close in the Leftfield Collection at EGX. The players from before had upped and abandoned the experience in progress: one character lonely atop a giant mound near a lake, the other standing in long grass, footprints trailing off into the distance. The fox, the protagonist of the game, was nowhere to be seen on either screen. When I played through I didn’t reach either place — the fox’s AI explores dynamically, piecing together the world around it as it stumbles upon things it deems relevant.
Close is quite different than most might expect, mostly due to that little fox. It is, as it turns out, the fox who is living out the exploration of the world, solving the puzzles and tied up in their own quest to find something. You are simply an observer of its journey, watching it discover and travel to the different locations and see the sights. That is, if you choose to follow it in its journey. You can go off and explore the open world separate from the fox, although, who knows? You might cross paths with them while they are on their adventure.
Close is currently in development for unspecified platforms, although I played the game on PC. To stay up to date with the game you can follow the developer, Tobias Zarges, on Twitter.