Beeswing is a charismatic game dancing the line between adventure and RPG. Exploring a quiet Scottish village, you help citizens solve their problems in a beautifully handcrafted world. It’s this week’s indie pick.
Created by Jack King-Spooner, Beeswing originally released in 2014. With a recent update, you can play the game in your browser. The village of Beeswing is a nostalgic place caught between childhood wonder and elderly resignation. You’ll row a boat on a lonely loch, watch gardeners tend to flowers, and wander through a nursing home. Exploring the village captures the childhood feeling of going on an outdoors adventure even as adult decay and doubt creep at the edges.
The soul of Beeswing rests in its inhabitants. Every one of them has a deeply human story to tell. Next door, a worn out man mourns the death of his wife and wonders how much longer he has to live in his old age. He confides that he sometimes wishes his stroke killed him. As we part, I get a new quest: ”Find some help for Andy.” I walk down a dirt path and talk to a young refugee boy who tells me about how he would collect coins from vending machines. Down the road, in the nursing home, an old man mentions a matchbox full of change.
There’s a pervasive sense of familiarity to Beeswing, an all abiding humanity that is beautiful and fragile. There are wonders in each moment but that comes coupled with the sense that these are only moments and that everything will end. In spite of this, the game never feels dour. It revels in how wonderful the small things in life can be. A simple chat with your mom, the still waters of a lake, the odd trillings of a guitar. These things matter and Beeswing wants players to hold onto heir cherished moments before they’re gone.
Music forms a key component of Beeswing’s world as well. This game’s soundtrack is phenomenal, flowing back and forth between moods with masterful ease. King-Spooner brings a personal touch to his games through these musical compositions and a hand-drawn art style. Beeswing looks and sounds like it’s leapt from a child’s imagination.
I’m fond of sharing games that have bright flashes of fun gameplay. Wild roguelikes, throwback shooters, or colorful, moody walking sims. Beeswing is something unique. It’s a love letter to the past and a nostalgic reach into childhood wonder. With the browser version, there’s no more reason to avoid walking around the village on a rainy day.
Each week, I show off a new, affordable indie game using the tag “Heather’s Indie Pick.”
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