Play it now: Little Party

lilparty

We don't usually play as older women in games, let alone as moms. But in Little Party, you're a mother in a deep, wooded home that makes a perfect retreat for your teenage daughter, Suzanne, and her artistic friends.

The creators describe Little Party as a "short story video game" -- as you glide through the quaint house as your daughter and her friends try to jam on their respective creative projects, you experience the mother's fond bewilderment at the lack of party convention (and the guests' lack of interest in your homemade guacamole).

The main interaction of the game is moving through the home, sometimes to the music and sound of the little party. You interact with the space bar, which the game charmingly labels "Get Involved." Even though Little Party's terribly simple, it's still evocative -- you fully experience your own easygoing approach to your maturing child, to this hijacking of your property by fuzzy guys who want to meditate on their weird identity projects in your bathroom.

HNRRVz As the player, I experienced so much tenderness at the simple act of hovering in the background, mostly making space for Suzanne and the keyboard EP she wants to write and record all in a single night. As a gentle twilight falls you can walk through the woods with the dog, Mewtwo. You might wonder if today's teens would even get a first-gen Pokemon reference. You might start to feel old, except it doesn't feel so bad.

You can download and play Little Party right now for free or pay-what-you-want. (h/t to the fantastic Alice for the recommendation!)