About Ten Years is a Ludam Dare 44 Game Jam entry by OddSocks Studio. The game jam tasked people to create a game in 72 hours with the theme “your life is currency”.
About Ten Years is heavily narrative based and it throws you in at the deep end with some unanswered questions. A woman has left you and you must fix it and go find her. You, perhaps confusingly, start exploring and collecting jellybeans. Why are you collecting jellybeans? Who is the woman who left you? Why are there no toilets? That last one is a genuine question the protagonist asks at one point.
There’s some definite creepy vibes within this game. The music is eerie and there’s not another person to be seen. You explore empty houses, parks, a classroom/library and optionally, some caverns. All while you’re exploring, the protagonist talks to you about what he’s seeing and what’s going on his life. He also waves at you if you leave him alone for a few seconds. In spite of the creepy vibes, this game doesn’t take itself too seriously and has a lot of good humour!
You do meet another character eventually – the Grim Reaper (or the ‘Mysterious Stranger’, but they wear a black cloak and own a scythe – it’s definitely the Grim Reaper). You offer him some of the jelly beans you’ve collected to take you closer to Luna (the woman who has left you), but he politely declines. I’m sure you can guess from the game jam theme what he wants instead.
You sign a contract and the ‘mysterious stranger’ takes your jellybeans anyway! The mysterious stranger demands you get him some more jellybeans to get you closer to Luna. Rinse and repeat a couple of times. The protagonist seems to get more self aware as the game progresses, remarking that he ‘feels lost’ in a maze of caverns and he says he’ll just have to ‘slog it out’ when asked to get 100 jelly beans.
After delivering your part of the bargain with the jellybeans, you get your part of the bargain fulfilled and get to be close to Luna! The end of the game ties everything up really nicely and it may well be one of the most unsettling endings I’ve seen in a game. There’s also a fun little reference to the developer – a mismatched pair of socks on the bedroom floor!
Overall, it’s a fairly short game and playable in browser, so definitely worth checking out! It’s got some great looking artwork, some fun jokes and a good story to play through. It’s always impressive to see what people manage to get done in only 72 hours!