A calm voice drools out of the radio: “And that was Pinky’s Dream by David Lynch.” It’s just past two in the morning, the sky is a byzantium purple above the highway, and the radio host starts telling me about the Ming Dynasty. I see some tail-lights up ahead, and I ooze onto the gas, peaking at 120 klicks, and blowing past a sign that says the closest city is called “Nebulas.”
The cars ahead aren’t getting any closer, so I lay off the gas, and the engine’s whir drowns under the radio’s music. It’s playing some haunting piano track that sounds like it belongs in Twin Peaks, repeating the lyrics: “Find me.” There’s a flash of something in my peripheral– a glitch, it seems– so I check my mirrors.
A hitchhiker has found their way into my car.
Glitchhikers is the latest original title from the narrative-driven developers at Silverstring Media in Vancouver. Put in the driver’s seat of a context-less night drive, players will have philosophical conversations with strangers– and themselves.
Throughout a fifteen minute drive, players will have up to three different conversations with these surprise passengers, discussing spirituality, suicide, and self. Each question will have a select number of answers to choose from, and selections will affect which hitchhiker comes next– each more strange than the previous.
Silverstring says that Glitchhikers is about “thinking thoughts you’d never have anywhere else;” an intimate journey of self during a night drive. Glitchhikers’ writer, and founder of Silverstring Media, Lucas Johnson, says that he wanted to “give [players] the mental and physical space to consider their own answers” to the game’s philosophical questions.
Stark with subtext and symbolism, Glitchhikers is available with pay what you want pricing on itch.io, or for $10 to get support the studio and get the soundtrack as well.
In all of the game’s ambiguity, one thing’s for sure: Glitchhikers is fifteen minutes of poetic, thought-provoking moments.
“To find something.”
This article was originally published on indiegamemag.com on March 31, 2014, and has been edited accordingly