Soak up the atmosphere in these short mood pieces

Designer Connor Sherlock designs games that defy the idea that to absorb and immerse the player has to take time. In the eerie, Lovecraftian The Rapture Is Here And You Will Be Forcibly Removed From Your Home, you have just 20 minutes to hurtle with painful slowness across a blanched plain beneath apocalyptic sky and an inexplicably-creepy hovering oblong before the world ends.

Sanctuary is also relatively-short—play it with headphones and be lulled into the silvery rhythms of a weird, dark wood and the knell of looming, mysterious structures, some of which move. There is an opaque mystery—to unseal a door—but I found Sanctuary so mesmeric I forgot to care about the gamey parts. I love its old-photo skies, the subtle effect of noise and scratch on my field of view.


I also like his Voice of Vamana, which calls you inexorably toward an alien vessel made of odd silhouettes, every step soundtracked by the worrying sound of your own shivering breath. It's fun to enjoy spaces that are designed primarily to be experienced, where "interacted with" or even "understood" take lower priority.

Check out Connor Sherlock's mood pieces on his online store, or read more about all his games on his site. Most of these works are available to explore for free, but the developer accepts donations toward ongoing experimental game development.