Take photographs of a dead city in Dear Future
Despite their sheer ubiquity, the one thing that is hardly captured in the dead worlds of post-apocalyptic universes is their silence. Yet this dearth of humanity and lives reverberate through the decrepit cityscape of photography game, Dear Future, to an almost jarring degree. Even the souls that linger behind can only gesture at their melancholy, as they attempt to impart any knowledge of an ancient curse that befell this doomed city.
What you have, however, is a camera with which to unravel its history with. As a pilgrim to this place, you’re here to document whatever that’s left here, from the abandoned vehicles to mysterious, angular structures that tower over the land. The twist, however, is that you’re not alone in this endeavour; you’ll be working with other pilgrims–real-life, actual players–to capture snapshots. When your expedition is complete, the next player will inherit the camera, and only one picture you have taken will remain in the camera reel. As for the rest of the pictures? They’ll be gone forever.
The temporality of this experience, as well as your short time in Dear Future–you’ll only have 12 in-game hours, or about half an hour to explore your surroundings–add a layer of urgency to your experience. Yet the game is surprisingly restrained in its approach. Dear Future could have injected a dozen more objects and sights to uncover, but its briefness is the point. Even while rushing past yet another deserted home, you can’t help but feel that there’s so much more to this city you haven’t seen.
And before you know it, your time is over. You look across contaminated waters and see more vague outlines of cityscapes beyond the horizon, and you can only wonder if there’s more to this dead, virtual universe.
You can download Dear Future for free at itch.io.