It’s been a long day.
Some days making time to play and write about games are obviously easier than others. This has been one of those where every muscle in my body aches, my brain is fried, and all I can do is stare at the mattress that my head is currently not buried in. A few quick levels of Sonic the Hedgehog were not going to do it for me on this day.
I’d been meaning to play one of Kitty Horrorshow’s games for quite a while. I figured now was as good a time as any.
Chyrza places you in the middle of a desert. The only things you see are a pyramid in the distance and a collection of odd structures made of a textured black marble. As you collect pieces of a memoir, you start to learn what happened to the people that once inhabited this place… and what was likely to happen to you.
I typically don’t like to put myself in the shoes of a stranger, even if they are a fellow creative type, but I’ve seen and heard enough of Kitty Horrorshow’s other works that I can’t help but wonder if her brain is similar to my own; crowded with worlds that simply need to take shape, no matter how unnatural they may be or how uneasy they make the person choosing to interact with them.
Chyrza makes me feel a lot of uneasy things, moreso when I attempt to think deeply about it. Similar to the way a short horror film forces your mind to fill in the blanks, the most horrible things are left to your own imagination, forcing you to wonder if you yourself are even more depraved than the creator. It’s a feeling that I often miss; being prompted to create something that I myself am uniquely afraid of, removing nearly all responsibility from the source. It’s like how the most interesting things in a Twilight Zone episodes are typically what I imagine are taking place just off-screen.
That uncertainty can be terrifying; the kind of thing that sticks with you for a while, that you can’t help but want to share with others, even if you know they’ll end up just as tortured as you are.
So yeah, play Chyrza. For me.