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Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Orchids to Dusk 21 months ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 4 months ago.
Whatever you do uses oxygen at a different rate, but even if you do nothing you still burn through your supply in a few minutes. As you push further into the world you leave footprints behind you and discover more of these gardens. But also, you will find the bodies of other stranded pilots.
As oxygen gets low you can preserve it by stopping and sitting down. If you do, you can choose to take off your helmet and give in to your doom, or you can press on to explore more of the world. The fascinating twist is that (Spoiler) taking off your helmet turns your body into a new garden (or enriches the one you are sitting in).
The result is a contemplative game that invites you to explore a world made from other people's decisions about how to spend the time they had left. It's a fascinating experience in terms of individuals, community, the resources within us, the desire for external rescue and the generative beauty of failure.
As your oxygen runs out there's a slightly alarming red light that flashes. When you die your body collapses to the floor as they asphyxiate but they do not look or sound in pain. You can find the dead bodies of other players in the world.
13+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. You need maturity to engage with the themes of the experience, but younger players may find the gentle approach to death and mortality helpful.
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