Okay, wow I’ve had a totally different experience with his game than y’all. At first I was overwhelmed because it seemed like there was so much to do and I wasn’t sure how I should be structuring my days to maximize efficiency… then I realized there’s absolutely no point to being efficient in this game. Nothing bad happens if you don’t feed your spirits, or if you don’t water your crops, or if you leave food in the oven for too long. It’s utterly uninterested in punishing you for anything, and as a result it’s an excellent game to laze about in, soaking up the atmosphere without any particular goal.
As far as the story goes I’m enjoying it so far, though I understand why it could come across as overly vague for others. For me it’s more about the mood it sets than the actual plot beats. I also think it’s a very good example of how to do this sort of whimsical, twee writing; this style of writing has become overwhelmingly popular in games over the last decade, but when it isn’t done well it can feel glib and obscure the emotional stakes of the story and characters. Here, it never feels forced and makes sense in-universe because the entire point of the game is that people are using cute animals as facades while they work through the issues that haunt them even in death.Sure, Gwen is a cute deer lady who loves popcorn, but she’s also a person who’s clearly experienced significant pain and those two aspects of her personality never feel at odds with one another. If anything I appreciate that it’s so vague, because it allows you to draw your own conclusions and bring whatever you want to the story.
I totally get it if it doesn’t work for you, I just wanted to add another perspective because I’ve found myself slowly falling in love with this game the more I play it. It’s also probably helped that I’m working through it very slowly, usually in 1-2 hour chunks ever few nights, so it never turns into a slog of grinding for resources just so I can move onto the next part of the story. Plus I’m an emotional wreck right now, so I’m open to the idea that I’m finding meaning where I usually wouldn’t.